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Countesswells Development Framework, Phase 1 Masterplan

Aberdeen, Stewart Milne Homes (North)

OPEN was appointed by the Countesswells Consortium in 2012 as the lead consultant of a multi-disciplinary team to develop a Development Framework and Phase 1 Masterplan for the site at Countesswells identified in the adopted Aberdeen Local Development Plan (ALDP) 2008. The adopted ALDP identifies an opportunity for the provision of 3,000 homes and 10 hectares of employment land at Countesswells, extending over 165 hectares. With associated community and commercial facilities the proposals at Countesswells present the opportunity to create a highly desirable new place to live within the Aberdeen area. The site offers a unique opportunity for the creation of a new settlement in an attractive and well contained landscape setting, only 7km from the city centre. The size of the proposed settlement allows the creation of a sustainable and viable mixed use community complete with supporting infrastructure.

In line with the Aberdeen City Council ‘Masterplanning Process’ the Development Framework sets out a vision and a spatial framework for the way in which Countesswells will be developed. It establishes the base principles with regard to land-use, access, open space and urban form. Importantly it sets out an indicative phasing and delivery strategy for the whole site area, to demonstrate the proposals are robust and deliverable. Following the Development Framework, a Masterplan for the first phase of development was progressed, setting out more specific proposals for 3000 homes, mixed use and employment areas. OPEN produced detail guidance architecture, streets and spaces and describes and illustrates the proposed urban form and character, helping to ensure the delivery of a high quality new development.

Continuous and significant consultation involving local people and stakeholders was central to both processes and ensured feedback could be reflected in the proposals as they evolved. Consultation events ranged from community exhibitions to consultation with Community Councils, a Community liaison group and with Local Councillors

The Development Framework and Phase 1 Masterplan were adopted as Interim Planning Advice to the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2012 in March 2014 and will be formally adopted as Supplementary Guidance in due course. Following the adoption as Interim Planning Advice OPEN produced a Design and Access Statement to support an application for ‘Planning permission in principle’ which The Consortium submitted in 2014. The application is currently being determined by the Local Planning Authority. OPEN have since been commissioned to develop detail proposals for initial residential parcels and the overall parkland area which is planned to be implemented in parallel with the enabling infrastructure.