Granite Web opponents to continue with battle

The Union Terrace Gardens project continues to be a divisive issue
The Union Terrace Gardens project continues to be a divisive issue
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THE group formed to oppose controversial plans for the transformation of Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens has vowed to continue its campaign – despite losing a public vote on the scheme.

Last month, after one of the most divisive campaigns in the history of the Granite City, 52 per cent of residents who took part in an online, postal and telephone poll voted in favour of the £140 million Granite Web transformational scheme. Supporters claim it will “drag Aberdeen kicking and screaming into the 21st century”.

The campaign to retain the Victorian gardens had been led by the Friends of Union Terrace Gardens, which had won the support of Annie Lennox in its attempt to stop the redevelopment.

Following an extraordinary meeting, Friends of Union Terrace Gardens has announced that members have unanimously decided to continue as a campaign group with the objective of “saving the city centre park”.

Mike Shepherd, the chairman of the group, said: “Although we accept the recent public referendum as fairly run, the campaign that preceded it was not. We are investigating irregularities concerning this campaign.

“Additionally, it was recognised that the group will need to carry out due diligence on the final business case that has yet to be submitted to the Scottish Government, the legal aspects of land ownership and the planning submission. The mood was very upbeat that we can still influence the decision-making process concerning the City Garden Project.”

He added: “We have much work still to do as a group. The referendum vote was very close and it is clear that the city is still divided over the fate of our park. The next step is to ensure that the highly-dubious business case is challenged and that the indebted Aberdeen Council should heed Audit Scotland’s warning that they could be taking on long-term risk to its finances.”