Developers aiming to build more than 250 homes in Aberdeen have been advised to explain how they plan to protect bats and otters.
Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) has announced its intention to build 256 homes on a strip of land between the River Dee and South Esplanade West.
The land, much of which is in industrial use, stretches from Aberdeen Boat Club to Victoria Bridge.
Several industrial buildings and a petrol station would have to be demolished to make way for the homes and there would also be a new shop.
Following a public consultation event at Torry Youth and Leisure Centre in April, the next step is to establish whether the environment would be affected by the development and if any work needs to be carried out to protect the site and its surroundings.
In a letter to AHB’s representatives, Aberdeen City Council’s senior planner Matthew Easton assessed the potential impact of the proposal.
He said the council disagreed with the applicant’s conclusion the development would have no impact on the environment.
“Under several of the criteria, it would be more accurate to acknowledge there would be an impact, but that it would not be significant,” said Mr Easton.
He added: “It is expected the risk of any of the identified impacts occurring, or their severity, could be reduced to a reasonable level through the implementation of management and protection plans.”
Mr Easton said a full environmental impact assessment will not be required but that several reports should be drawn up as best practice.
He recommended the applicant carry out a new econological survey, which includes an otter survey, a bat survey and measures that could be taken to protect those animals.
It would also include a record of the kinds of plant species on the site so that invasive species can be controlled.
A separate report detailing any contamination on the land should be filed, said Mr Easton.
Chris Grinyer, managing partner at J&E Shepherd chartered surveyors, which is assisting AHB with the application, said: “There will require to be supporting information provided to allow the council to make its decision.
“There will also be conditions applied to any permission to ensure the environment is protected – for example, the submission of a construction and environmental management plan prior to commencement of development.
“(This) shall be addressed through the planning application process and the necessary information will be submitted in support of the planning application and available for the public to view.”
He added that about 35 people attended last month’s public consultation event.
“Further engagement was undertaken with the community council. The event has provided the design team with helpful feedback on the proposals and a full summary of comments and how these are addressed will be set out.”