These claims were also used by the ETZ’s proponents and AHB in their submissions made as part of the Call for Ideas for the National Planning Framework 4 which was running at about the same time January 2020 – 30th April 2020. The ETZ’s documentation (prepared by Barton Wilmore) is strongly in favour of a change in the existing planning system to remove what is seen as restrictive developments that hinder economic development, especially the retention of green space in land in urban areas developers want developed, which is contrary to the ethos of enhancing urban green spaces at all the all levels in the current planning hierarchy and the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission (JTC).
It argues for the NPF4 to support rezoning of the greenspace and green belt land in St Fittick’s Park, Doonies Farm and all the other areas round the Bay of Nigg included in bid 486. Aberdeen Harbour Boards is similar, but focuses its demand for large areas of land close to the harbour, deemed essential for its development and for Aberdeen’s prosperity. Referring to the current designations and use of the land round the Bay of Nigg greenspace, local landscape designations (but not mentioning that they are pristine coastal landscapes with cultural and historical value), access and recreational space and golf course but maintaining that the existing balance between economics and the environment has to shift in favour of economics, give the effect of Covid 19 on the economy. This ethos and argument is directly contrary to the aims of the JTC.
The submission wants the Harbour to continue to be a National Development. (That would give economic development a greater weight when considering any future land use). It is interesting to note that it was prepared in liaison with “other relevant organisations”: ACC/Barton Wilmore and ONE (who are two of 3 bodies behind the ETZ) but also the Scottish Property Federation, the “voice of the real estate industry in Scotland”. It could be inferred that this collaboration casts serious doubt over the green credentials of whatever the ETZ turns out to be and making it quite clear that the transition it will lead to will not be just in the way that the Commission and the Scottish government envisage. Which is one that does not result in the costs are social as well as economic and should not be borne by those least able to bear it. If we look at the ETZ as described in the feasibility study, “those” are the people of Torry.