NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ballot papers on Aberdeen's City Garden Project going out

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Media captionVideo of a model showing how Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen could look after redevelopment

Referendum ballot papers on the controversial future of Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens are being dispatched to voters.

A City Garden Project design called Granite Web has been chosen to transform the historic site.

Members of the public are being asked whether they support the project or want to retain the existing gardens.

The referendum ballot closes on 1 March, with the result due the following day.

The Scottish government must see a finalised business case for the project before it can proceed.

'Economically wrong'

A £92m loan for the project would help pay for the project, and would be paid back by increased income from business rates.

Businessman Sir Ian Wood has already pledged £50m of his own money to the project, and another £35m from the Wood Family Trust in case of an "unlikely" overspend.

However, campaign group Friends of Union Terrace Gardens claim the proposed City Garden Project is wrong economically, environmentally and for the heritage of the city.

During an earlier public consultation process, 55% of those who took part said they did not support the new development.

Councillors then backed taking the plans to the next stage.

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