Headquarters win consent in face of outcry

Transport company FirstGroup has secured consent to build its global headquarters in the green belt around Aberdeen, despite a wave of protest.

Last week Aberdeen City Council overturned the decision of its own planning committee and approved the Woodside development. The proposal attracted 4,000 letters of objection and a 6,000-name petition, but councillors decided that these were outweighed by the need to attract jobs to the city.

Planning convener Scott Cassie said that refusal of the plan would send a shocking message to the business world. "The consequences of refusal would have had a serious effect on inward investment," he added. Local residents pledged to take legal advice about seeking a public inquiry.

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