Work to create a £15.5 million office block in the heart of Dundee’s Waterfront could start next month — but the plans are causing concern among locals who fear views of the set-piece V&A museum will be spoiled.
Councillors are being asked to approve the appointment of a contractor to build on land at Site 6, next to the new museum.
The five-floor development will include office space, ground floor commercial units, a service yard and dedicated parking.
Due to be completed in February 2019, the building forms part of broader development on the site, which received planning consent in the summer.
A report to be considered by the city development committee next week seeks approval to accept the tender submitted by Robertson Construction on behalf of Wilmott Dixon.
Office accommodation has always been in the design proposals, and is shown in the official Dundee Waterfront fly-through concept video:
However, when the plans were shared on Dundee City Council’s Facebook page, locals queued up to voice their concerns.
Shona Mckinnon Whitelaw said: “This is the first time I have disagreed with what is being done at the waterfront.
“Why do we have to have five storey blocks…especially office space. I had heard rumours that blocks would go here but I hoped it wouldn’t happen.
“Absolutely gutted if this goes ahead. Encourage folk to set up at Technology Park instead. It is badly in need of investment and is near airport and still near train station.”
Andrew Pete posted: “With all the fantastic planning and care and attention that has went (sic) into this 30-year project and it’s going to be ruined by yet another short sighted decision by the council and putting OFFICES in one of the prime locations.”
Pete Orange added: “Dundee has always been blighted by the poor vision of the powers that be. Here’s a radical thought – use this space for a bus station thereby sorting out an integrated transport hub – and getting pollution out of the city centre.”
A poll on the Dundee Culture Facebook page has also attracted strong opposition to the plans.
Funding for the project is being made available as part of the Scottish Government’s Growth Accelerator Fund and through borrowing against income from leasing the commercial units in the building.
Lynne Short, convener of the city development committee, said: “This is another important milestone in the transformation of our central waterfront.
“There can be few locations matching it anywhere in Scotland, just yards from the new V&A and the River Tay. It’s also right next door to our new railway station.
“Creating top-class office space like this bolsters the ongoing efforts of the council and its partners to attract blue chip employers to the city.”
The report, by executive director of city development Mike Galloway, notes there will also be guarantees to employ local labour.