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Site 6: Second office block planned for controversial Dundee Waterfront site as hotel bid falls through

The construction site at the waterfront.
The second office block would slot in next to the existing one on Site 6.

A second office block is set to be built on Site 6 at Dundee Waterfront after plans for a high-end hotel at the site fell through.

The plot is already home to Agnes Husband House, formerly known as the Earl Grey Building, which was a controversial addition to the £1 billion development when it was built across the road from the V&A.

It attracted criticism, including from Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde – who branded it a “horrible carcass” while playing a gig at Slessor Gardens.

There had been proposals to install a hotel next door, facing on to the V&A, which was going to be operated by Marriott.

A previous artist's impression of a hotel, far left, and apartments for the southern edge of Site 6, opposite the V&A
A previous artist’s impression of a hotel, far left, and apartments for the southern edge of Site 6, opposite the V&A.

But it emerged in September 2020 that the chain’s plans were in jeopardy.

Now The Courier can reveal that a second office block, along with apartments, will instead be built along the southern edge of the site.

The proposal is included in Dundee City Council’s latest capital plan and includes a £15 million commitment to “provide grade A office accommodation and attract further investment and employment within the Waterfront area”.

Money for the project will come from a Scottish Government grant, future rent income and borrowing.


What do people make of the latest office plans?

We spoke to people at the Waterfront to get their thoughts on the updated proposals.

Jamie McLauchlan, 23, worries that the new office building may taint Dundee’s “postcard image”.

He said: “The Waterfront has improved but I think the space would look much better as an open park area next to the river.

“You want the open space – the offices will probably ruin it, so maybe it’s not the best thing to have on the Waterfront.”

The question is, if they don’t put in office buildings, what else would they put there?”

Dundee University student Louise Chalmer, 19, said: “With the amount of effort they’ve gone to to make it look nice, to do that, it’s a bit counter productive I think.

“I haven’t actually noticed the building that’s already there but I do think it would be a shame.”

Stephen Hambley, 50, believes a second office block would “destroy the view” of the Waterfront from the city centre.

He added: “The question is, though, if they don’t put in office buildings, what else would they put there?

Some locals believe the new offices will “destroy” Dundee waterfront.

“We’ve got all this at the Waterfront at the moment, which is great – it’s really about what’s best for Dundee I think.”

Emily Hambley, 47, agreed and said: “I think there are enough buildings – I don’t think they need another one. I think it would spoil it.”

But some believe a state-of-the-art office block will help modernise the city.

Frances Campbell said: “I think they’ve done a great job with the Waterfront and the V&A so far, so I don’t really mind what they add.

Frances Campbell.
Frances Campbell.

“As long as it gets used, unlike the one that sat empty for ages. I think they’ve done such a beautiful job down here.

“I don’t think it’ll ruin the view – I think it’ll make it more up-to-date and help it move with the times.”


Social Security Scotland occupies Agnes Husband House – but a potential tenant for the second block has not been identified.

Dundee City Council insists offices are now the best solution for filling the site.

A spokesperson said: “It is important that we stay flexible and responsive within the vision for the Waterfront and the city and as a whole, and it was becoming clear that the hotel development which was originally granted planning permission at Site 6 is no longer the best option.

Agnes Husband House during construction work in April 2018.
Agnes Husband House during construction work in April 2018.

“It is important that we conclude development on Site 6 and ensure continued growth.

“In order to build on the positive momentum created by the development on other parts of Site 6 and elsewhere in the Waterfront, the council is now exploring the development of office and residential properties, in line with the original masterplan.

“Employment at the Waterfront is growing rapidly, with the most recent job opportunities coming from Social Security Scotland and the new NHS 24 facility.

A view from Agnes Husband House.
A view from Agnes Husband House.

“The proposed BT office will also safeguard 1,000 jobs.

“Progress will be updated to the city development committee in due course.”

Several other plots at the Waterfront remain empty, though one is the subject of plans for an e-sports arena.

Other spending plans from council

The council plans on investing £382m in capital projects over the next five years.

Included in that is the £4.5m needed to fund repairs to the Olympia swimming pools.

The local authority has also set aside £7m for investment in Dundee Ice Arena facilities, including improving the energy efficiency of the site.

And councillors are also set to approve £3.5m of spending on refurbishment and upgrade works at DCA.

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