Start of project to create a user-friendly community park area

Lucy Johnston2017, News

A sod-cutting ceremony was held today for the start of a £1.546million project which will create a new user-friendly community park out of scrubland.

The Middlefield Project will include raising the Scatterburn from underground to above ground to work as a flood alleviation scheme, creating new pedestrian and cycle-friendly paths, improved pavements on two streets beside the development, and installing new landscaping to create an attractive park area which will be user-friendly to the residents living in the surrounding areas.

The Scatterburn used to be above ground however it is believed town planners put it underground just after WWII.

The scheme includes £500K from Aberdeen City Council for flood alleviation works, £426,813 from Scottish Natural Heritage for environmental improvements, £150,445 from Nestrans for pedestrian priority works on Provost Rust Drive and Manor Avenue, and a provisional award of £469,093 from Sustrans for Active Travel route improvements. The provisional award looks to be agreed once Aberdeen City Council and Sustrans confirm designs.

Aberdeen City Council communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: “It’s fantastic that work has started on the Middlefield Project as it will make a big difference in the lives of people who live in the area to have an attractive park on their doorstep.

“The community will also be involved in helping to design the new planting areas of the park which will complement some of existing natural features in the area.

“I look forward to watching the work progressing in the coming months and we are pleased to be working with our partners.”

Mike Cantlay, chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “The impact of a robust green infrastructure on a community can be revolutionary, from improving physical and mental health, attracting business to an area, to reducing flood risk and improving biodiversity.

“The Green Infrastructure Fund provides a unique opportunity to create better places for people and wildlife on an unprecedented scale across urban Scotland. It is inspiring to see work begin on these exciting projects today in areas where this type of transformation is most needed.”

Tom Bishop, community links manager, Sustrans Scotland, said: “Sustrans welcomes the development at Middlefield and looks forward to seeing the space developed to become a community amenity that supports active travel in Aberdeen.

“Our provisional offer of funding for this project is subject to sign off of designs between ourselves and Aberdeen City Council but we are confident that active travel will be at the heart of the plans.”

The project is being split into phases with the ground-clearing and Scatterburn work in the first phase. Local residents should be aware there will contractors’ vehicles going to and fore this week while the contractors’ compound is created. The main contractor is the Cleantech Group.

Once the contractors’ vehicles are on site, most of them will be staying on site until the first phase is finished. The first phase will also mean the site is expected to be extremely muddy over the winter months until the planting starts in late Spring.

The work programme is to start by setting up the site compound at the west end erecting protective fencing and forming a haul road, and then work will start on embankments at the eastern end, working back from the lowest level in an upstream direction.

The local community steering group is going through a process for naming the park when it is finished.

News release from Aberdeen City Council