Aberdeen garden plans spark controversy

Plans to renovate a major garden attraction in Aberdeens city centre have been met with opposition from a nearby organisation.

Regional development agency Acsef is set to launch a public consultation into the restructuring of the Union Terrace Gardens, which would see it turned into a raised piazza linking some of the citys main shopping thoroughfares.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the scheme is being opposed by the local Peacock Visual Arts Centre, which had already achieved planning permission for its own re-design of the site.

More than a third of the £140 million required for the Acsef revamp has already been pledged by Sir Ian Wood, while the firm has enlisted conceptual landscape expert Martha Schwartz to help with its initial feasibility study.

The firm hopes to launch a competition that will attract the tip garden designers from around the world and Acsef chairman Tom Smith said the project is "absolutely transformational" for Aberdeen.

"Weve got to secure the future and look at projects which are going to create jobs and sustain the economy well into the future."

Meanwhile, the RHS recently revealed that snails and slugs have been rated the number one pest in UK gardens.