Plans lodged to turn former Doonies Farm into Energy Transition Zone

An application has been lodged with Aberdeen City Council, despite lawyers warning of a fight to retain part of St Fittick's Park.

Plans lodged to turn former Doonies Farm and St Fittick’s Park in Aberdeen into Energy Transition Zone LDRS

Plans have been officially lodged to turn the former Doonies Farm site and St Fittick’s Park into part of Aberdeen’s new Energy Transition Zone (ETZ).

The application by ETZ Ltd has been submitted to Aberdeen City Council despite lawyers warning they may fight to retain a part of the Torry park.

Back in September, councillors agreed to move ahead with the energy project.

However, the Govan Law Centre said it was looking at potentially raising urgent proceedings for a judicial review of the decision in the Court of Session.

The firm previously helped campaigners who were fighting to stop the closure of six Aberdeen libraries and Bucksburn Swimming Pool.

ETZ Ltd say the development marks a “significant investment” in the economic future of Aberdeen and the north east.

They also argue it will allow the offshore wind, hydrogen and wider green energy sectors to grow, while working to hit net-zero targets.

The Energy Transition Zone would be located next to the recently opened £420m South Harbour.

It would have a campus model, allowing the development to be broken down into five specialist areas.

A proposed Marine Gateway would be formed around the new harbour and would include land currently used at St Fittick’s and Gregness.

It would provide deep-water port and marine infrastructure for offshore wind and other renewable markets.

Meanwhile the former Doonies Rare Breeds Farm site would be incorporated into a Hydrogen Campus.

The much-loved city attraction was forced to close for the final time in August after its owners were told their lease would not be renewed.

Under the ETZ plan, green hydrogen test and demonstration facilities would be built here with an aim to make Aberdeen a “centre of excellence for hydrogen”.

ERM Dolphyn’s offshore green hydrogen production pipeline is expected to be supported by the development.

The draft masterplan also includes an Offshore Wind campus, Skills campus, and Innovation campus.

In August, the local authority gave the green light to a new £6.5m energy incubator and scale-up “hub”.

However, the masterplan is still to be adopted and is currently being reviewed by Aberdeen City Council.

If planning permission in principle is granted, more detailed designs of the project would be submitted and need further approval.

However, the application has already faced some opposition from residents.

Steven Bedford argued the development would hit the people of Torry most.

He said: “This project just baffles me how unnecessary it is to add St Fittick’s Park and Doonies Farm.

“Just upgrade the already deteriorated industrial estates and improve rail connections for freight.

“That is how we improve economic output without harming the environment and thousands of people’s mental health.”

While Gillian Grant said the proposal was “very poorly thought out”.

She added: “In an area of much deprivation, it is a disgrace to rob them of their only green space.”

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