Firm fails

Countesswells new town firm in administration


Thousands of homes are planned

A company overseeing the growth of a new town to the west of Aberdeen has fallen into administration.

Countesswells Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stewart Milne Group, is behind the £800 million Countesswells community.

Ultimately intended to provide 3,100 homes over 400 acres, Countesswells is an emerging community of private residential developments, affordable homes, schools, retail, commercial and leisure facilities.

About 900 affordable and private properties and several commercial properties and community facilities have been built or are under construction by a variety of residential, commercial and public sector operators who are developing the sites in line with the master plan. 

Work began only last week on the £17 million Countesswells School and Nursery.

Tom MacLennan, joint administrator and partner with FRP Advisory, said: “Our immediate priority will be to secure the site and finalise current construction, including completion of much-needed affordable housing projects.

“We will be reviewing the various land bank assets in line with the development plans and will work closely with the various stakeholders on the future development of the site.”

A spokesperson for the company said: “We are extremely disappointed that CDL, set up to deliver Countesswells, one of the most visionary and environmentally pioneering new communities in the UK, has been placed into administration.

““Countesswells undoubtedly suffered from the seismic downturn in the oil and gas industry which began in 2015, with local property prices dropping by 30%. Furthermore, the disruption caused by the pandemic has undoubtedly taken its toll, despite sustained efforts on the part of many stakeholders.

“We firmly believe in the future of the project and will, of course, co-operate fully with the administrators to help ensure that the vision, which many people share for Countesswells, is realised.”

In 2016, the UK Government committed £86m to the project as a state-backed guarantee to help the development access finance.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury said: “We regret that the Countesswells project has entered administration.

“The UK Government will stand behind the guarantee that supported the development.”

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