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Aberdeen council leader welcomes 80million loan for major development


Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing has welcomed the 80million loan guarantee which will help fund vital infrastructure at the proposed new Countesswells development.

The UK Treasury guarantee for the loan was announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, and will help pave the way for a mixed-use development comprising 3,000 homes, new workplaces, and education, retail, community, leisure and health facilities. Some 750 of the new homes are planned to be affordable housing.

Councillor Laing said: "I warmly welcome this important loan guarantee from the UK Treasury, which comes at a time when construction companies are finding it challenging to secure sizeable loans from the banks. This will allow up-front investment in the vital infrastructure which will be necessary for the development to go ahead.

"A planning application for the development will be considered by the City Council later this month for a scheme which our planners recognise as being in line with the Local Development Plan requirement to build more than 35,000 homes over the next 10 to 15 years.

"The scheme, if approved, would be a crucial element of our intention to deliver new housing in the city and provide the homes in sustainable communities to help us fill the skills gap.

"I am especially pleased that our officers were able to broker the arrangement between Infrastructure UK and the Stewart Milne Group and I complement them on the amount of work they carried out behind the scenes over a considerable length of time to make this happen."

The 700million development would be phased over 15 years, boosting the local economy and supporting up to 1,000 jobs. Construction could start later this year, with the first homes due in spring 2015.