Aberdeen has published its regional development plan for the next 20 years, including infrastructure spending on roads, rail, ports and sustainable transport.
A significant increase in housebuilding is also targeted, as Aberdeen aims to build 67,500 new homes to meet the expected population increase.
New energy infrastructure will also be built to ensure that 100 per cent of the city’s energy comes from renewables by 2020. All new builds in the region will also have to be carbon-neutral by this date.
The plan identified four strategic growth areas where development will be concentrated:
- Aberdeen City – the focus for around 50 per cent of all new development under the plan, including the regeneration of the city centre;
- Aberdeen to Peterhead – includes the Energetica Corridor and is highlighted as a potential global hub for the energy sector;
- Aberdeen to Huntly – part of the main corridor between Aberdeen and Inverness, there will be a focus on completing the A96 dual carriageway between Inverurie and Inverness;
- Aberdeen to Laurencekirk – will be the site of new developments early on in the plan’s lifetime. A sustainable new community will be created at Chapelton of Elsick, south of Portlethen.
Outside of these areas, coastal communities throughout the county and city will be targeted for regeneration as ‘Regeneration Priority Areas’.
Several ‘Local Growth and Diversification Areas’ have also been identified throughout most of the county, where employment growth will be targeted in order to make them more sustainable for the future.
Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council aim to strengthen the region’s position within the Scottish and wider UK economy by building on the current Structure Plan that was approved by ministers in 2009.
Aberdeen City councillor Ramsay Milne, who chairs of the Strategic Development Planning Authority, said: “This area has unrivalled assets and opportunities.
“Evidence suggests that the economy of the area has been the fastest growing in the UK since 2007. That growth needs to be facilitated and supported.”
The public consultation period for the plan began today and ends on 12 April.