Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen

The main campus of Scotland's Rural College, south of the A96 is allocated for 1,000 houses over the period to 2023 and the part to the north of the A96, Sunnybrae Farm, is identified for future employment land or higher education and research purposes.

Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen North of Scotland

SRUC's Craibstone Estate has been a key part of their operations for many years. In order to sustain and develop its long term commitment to Craibstone, SRUC has decided to consolidate its activities on the site in order to provide a sustainable facility. This will become a major and vital component of CALA's and SRUC's shared vision of a 'village' model of long term development. 

This would create a well-connected, mixed-use community with the retained land area for SRUC's facilities, access to employment land and a critical mass of residential development to support some local facilities, all set within an attractive and mature landscaped environment.

CALA and SRUC worked together with their consultants to produce a draft Masterplan which showed one way that this vision could be realised on site. At the same time, the partnership did not lose sight of the fact that there are two other major adjoining land parcels which were allocated in the LDP for development. Together, the three sites are known as the Newhills Expansion Area – Craibstone South, Rowett South which is owned by the University of Aberdeen and Greenferns Landward, owned by Aberdeen City Council (ACC). 

On a broader scale, these development sites required to be considered together, with a view to the production of a Strategic Development Framework covering matters such as infrastructure phasing, education and transportation matters. 

Craibstone Road Consultation

This is a major development proposal, as defined by planning legislation and CALA and SRUC have been following the process of community engagement and consultation which is required before planning applications are made.

The process started by the acceptance by ACC on 15th June 2012 of CALA's Proposal of Application Notices, which explain the steps which applicants intend to take to publicise any future public event and how they will engage with the local community. Recommendations for additional work, such as direct contact with local Councillors, the display of posters advertising an exhibition and making contact with some additional key people or agencies were either followed immediately, or had already been covered.

The first Consultation event took the form of an Exhibition and was held in the Education Centre within the Ferguson Building at Craibstone, on 25th and 26th June 2012. In addition, during the first day, a presentation and explanation of the draft Masterplan proposals was given to an invited audience of key organisations, politicians and businesses.

As the academic year at Craibstone had ended when the first event took place, a further internal presentation to staff and students took place on 8th November 2012.

While SRUC was fully engaged with this process it also had its own, on-going, internal arrangements for consultation with staff, students and stakeholders.

In order to recognise that Craibstone was part of the much wider Newhills Expansion Area, CALA and SRUC took part in further public consultation on 20th August 2013 and 28th October 2013. There, refined Craibstone proposals which had taken account of earlier feedback from stakeholders, ACC officials and members of the public, were displayed alongside the wider Development Framework proposals for Newhills. In effect, CALA and SRUC were leaving the public consultation open-ended, encouraging further feedback at every stage in the planning process.