City gardens plan will take until 2016 to bed down

IT WILL be 2016 at the earliest before the controversial transformation of Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens is completed, it was revealed yesterday.

The timetable for the radical redevelopment of the Victorian Gardens into a new civic square has been outlined by Aberdeen City Council chief executive Sue Bruce in a report to next week's meeting of the full council.

Councillors have agreed in principle to accept an offer of 50 million from oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood for the proposed 140m transformation of the Union Terrace Gardens site. However, Ms Bruce's report reveals that even if the proposals are finally approved, it will be six years before the new civic space can be completed.

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An international competition, will be held and the public consulted on a shortlist of preferred designs before the winning architect is picked by a jury in June next year.

The timetable includes proposals to complete the planning phase by December 2013 and construction by May 2016.