Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 15:35 UK

Union Terrace Gardens gardens petition goes to council

Image of Union Terrace Gardens plan
The proposals have divided opinion in Aberdeen

A 10,000-strong petition against plans to transform Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens has been handed over to the city council.

Council officials are recommending that councillors back the £140m City Square civic area plans, supported by £50m from businessman Sir Ian Wood.

The majority of people who took part in a consultation opposed the plan.

The "I Heart UTG" campaign group handed over the petition, ahead of the council considering options on 19 May.

Arts body Peacock's separate plans for a £13m centre in the same area have already been approved.

It's not going to be an easy decision
Marie Boulton
Independent councillor

Council leader John Stewart accepted the petition.

He admitted members face a massive task at next Wednesday's meeting, which will discuss plans for the whole city centre, not just Union Terrace Gardens, shaping the way the city develops for decades to come.

More than 100 people attended a public meeting on the future of Union Terrace Gardens on Wednesday evening as arguments for and against the protest continued.

It was organised by independent councillor Marie Boulton, who said she had been inundated with requests from people for more information due to a "mixed understanding" of what is being proposed.

She told BBC Scotland afterwards: "It's not going to be an easy decision."

A poll of those at the meeting showed the majority were in favour of Peacock's plans ahead of the City Square proposals, by 67 votes to eight.

Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef) wants to develop the square, and said Aberdeen needed a city centre to be proud of.

However, Peacock said it had already lost funding and had to make redundancies due to delays.

Meanwhile, the Aberdeen Society of Architects said its members were also opposing the City Square plan.

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Press and Journal Letters Page - 14 mins ago Annie Lennox writes over Union Terrace Gardens - 21 mins ago
The Scotsman Wood's scheme - 23 hrs ago

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