Scots singer Annie Lennox has launched a scathing attack on controversial plans to transform a Victorian park in her home town.
The singer, who grew up in Aberdeen, made the comments on her Facebook page on Tuesday evening after reading a newspaper article about the proposal to transform Union Terrace Gardens.
Lennox said the £140m development is the wrong approach to revitalising the heart of Aberdeen.
She wrote: “From my recent visit to Aberdeen I was saddened and shocked to see how much decline has taken place.
“With so many windows boarded up in buildings and streets that used to ‘thrive’.
“Weeds, broken windows, dereliction and crappy shop front facades in the city centre of Union Street. It was once rather splendid but sadly no more. In the ‘oil boom’ town I saw little evidence of the trickle down of wealth.
“I've already expressed my views, and said very clearly that it is up to the citizens of Aberdeen to decide the fate of Union Terrace Gardens."
She added: “The ‘vote yes’ councillors’ knee-jerk reaction to the dangling £50m golden carrot is embarrassingly short sighted.
“Another dog’s dinner of crap concrete development, ravaging the only authentic, historical green space in the city centre is not the solution to the challenge of reenergising and revitalising Aberdeen. When will they ever learn?”
Responding to the comments, Tom Smith, chairman of Aberdeen City Gardens Trust, said: “We wholly agree with Ms Lennox’s views about Aberdeen’s city centre and that is why we want to create an amazing new focal point that will regenerate and revitalise the whole city centre, giving us much more usable and attractive green space and amenities that can be enjoyed by everyone.
"What she does not seem to be aware of is that the majority of the citizens of Aberdeen have made their views known in the referendum and they want the City Garden Project to proceed.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the business case for the £92m tax incremental funding application to fund the City Garden Project and four other regeneration schemes will be revealed on June 26.
The details of the Scottish Government loan were due to be discussed at next week’s finance and resources committee next week, however convener Willie Young said the document would not be ready in time.
Instead a press conference is expected to be called on June 26 ahead of a vote on the City Garden Project on August 22.
A public referendum has already been held on the £140m plans to redevelop Union Terrace Gardens in the centre of Aberdeen. More than 85,000 people voted in a public referendum on the contentious project with 52% voting in favour of the project.
Local businessman Sir Ian Wood has pledged £50m towards the project and a further £20m is expected to be generated from the private sector.
Aberdeen City Council is proposing to borrow a £92m tax incremental financing loan to cover the remaining cost of the project along with four other regeneration schemes.