FAQNo Kingsford Stadium

Kingsford Stadium – what questions are the residents of Westhill asking us?

What is being proposed? Is it a done deal? Where exactly is it? Where is the border between the Shire and the City? What can I do now? What will happen to Westhill? How many people attend matches? What about noise? What about fans coming to Westhill? How often will something be on at the stadium? What about the training facilities? Is this in the Aberdeen City Development plan? How are they planning on getting everyone to the stadium? Can’t fans park in the Industrial Estate? Will they park in Westhill? What about safety? Can’t they use the Loirston site? Will this bring benefit to Westhill? Will Aberdeenshire Council have to pay for anything? Will this bring lots of jobs to Westhill? What is being proposed? The press have reported that AFC intend to build a football stadium (19,000 seats estimated but might be more), 7 full size training pitches, training academy and a car park for around 1,000 cars.  They want the training facilities open next year and the stadium 2019-2020.

Isn’t it a done deal? Absolutely not, although by reading the P & J you might think so! 

Where exactly is it? Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 22.59.46Many people are unaware of where it is and think it’s not nearly as close to Westhill as it actually is.  The best way to describe it is that the stadium is right behind the Lawsondale playing fields, or if you are sitting at the new traffic lights on the way out of Westhill ( at the Tarland Y junction ), then look to your left, the stadium will be there.  The stadium is planned to be nearest Westhill, with the training pitches nearer the Brodiach Road.  All of the development is on the Westhill side of the new by-pass.     Where is the border between the Shire and the City? It’s the Brodiach burn.  The stadium couldn’t be built any nearer Aberdeenshire!  But even so, it is Aberdeen City Council that will decide if the planning with be approved or not.  They are likely to consult with Aberdeenshire Council but Aberdeenshire will not be able to vote.   What can I do now? We are awaiting the pre-planning application.  Once that is submitted there will be a 12 week public consultation.  We expect that AFC will hold consultation meetings in both Westhill and Kingswells. In the meantime, people can write to their Westhill councillors and MSPs voicing their concerns.  They don’t have to wait until the planning application is in. Once the planning application is submitted by Aberdeen Football Club objections can be made to Aberdeen City Council.  We will keep people updated on our web-site, via Facebook and by flyer drops.   What will happen to Westhill? Westhill will lose its identity.  No longer the ‘garden suburb’ but the ‘town with the football stadium’. How many people attend matches? The average crowd last season was just over 13,000 – this will rise with Rangers back in the top league next season and they will come up with a large support.  (Note – this is more than the current population of Westhill, arriving at the same time).  Around 6 times a season the ground is likely to attract a full capacity – so, around 19,000 people in our area.  That’s right, nineteen thousand.  And concerts may attract even more, as they will use the pitch for standing. What about noise? Football crowds and concerts will be heard over a large area of Westhill. What about fans coming to Westhill? We can only speculate that fans will come to Westhill looking for a place to drink beforehand, and use Westhill streets to park in.  However, it seems pretty likely.  It is not sure how the police will segregate away supporters from home fans, or monitor them on the way to the stadium.  In Aberdeen they do this with dozens of CCTV cameras. How often will something be on at the stadium? We estimate as many as 30 major events – football matches / concerts etc.   Football matches can be played at various times.  These times are defined by the Scottish FA and not AFC to fit in with TV and other fixtures.  So could be mid-week, Sunday 12.30pm etc. International matches may be played there too, and European matches can be held early evening to fit in with other times zones TV coverage. In season 2015-16, matches took place as follows:
  • Saturday 3pm – 10 games
  • Sat/Sun 12.30pm – 4 games
  • Midweek 7.45pm – 8 games
What about the training facilities? It is likely that the 7 pitches will be used until late in the evening.  This will bring traffic and they will be lit by floodlight – light pollution for many local residents.  It is being said that the training facilities will benefit the children of Westhill.  If it does, this seems likely to be for a small minority of good footballers as we would anticipate the facilities being used for elite young players from across the region.  In any case we already have several good football pitches in Westhill. Is this in the Aberdeen City Development plan? No, it is not. The Local Area Development Plan is a key council document which details proposed developments in Aberdeen.  The Kinsgford area is zoned as greenbelt with no plans for development. How are they planning on getting everyone to the stadium? We can’t fathom what this strategy will be.  Currently 72% of people drive to Pittodrie.  To get 19,000 people into a stadium is a major undertaking.  We envisage AFC will put in place a proposal for shuttle buses (from somewhere?) – but you will need fleets of buses to get 10,000 fans to a match.  We think they will soon get fed up of queuing to get on buses at the end of the match and will revert to driving in future.  Some have suggested using the park and ride at Kingswells.  This only has 900 spaces.  Not nearly enough.  This also has obvious safety implications with potentially 1,000s of fans walking along the side of the dual carriageway.  It is likely that the A944 will need to be shut for a period to allow all the visiting coaches to leave in convoy (a temporary road closure is current practice at Pittodrie after matches). Can’t fans park in the Industrial Estate? It is also suggested that businesses in the industrial estates will be used.  These are bottlenecks as it is with the workforces using them at staggered times – it just doesn’t seem feasible that 100s of cars could be trying to exit at the same time without grid-lock.  Also many businesses use their car parks at weekend and into the evenings. And there may be insurance implications for public parking.  Many have barriers anyway. Will they park in Westhill? It is likely that those houses nearest the stadium will have parking restrictions during match days and concerts (which of course is very undesirable for those residents).  This means that fans will find the nearest street to park that allows them to walk to the stadium within 20 minutes or so, and so they can make a quick getaway without getting caught in traffic.  So places like Brimmond, Hillside, Hilltop, Ashdale, etc. are likely to be the prime parking spots for fans. What about safety? With so many cars driving round streets looking for spaces there are concerns about the safety of children out playing / on bikes etc.   There are also concerns for the fans crossing the dual carriageway or walking alongside it.  This will also be distracting to drivers. Can’t they use the Loirston site? AFC currently has planning permission in place for Loirston (and up until very recently were full steam ahead for there as noted in the AFC December AGM minutes) but due to a dispute over a piece of land with another developer this is not happening. Will this bring benefit to Westhill? The press statement reports that this will bring a £20million boost to the local economy.  This does not mean Westhill.  We have written a piece demonstrating that having a stadium nearby does not bring economic benefits to those nearest it.  In fact we envisage that local businesses might suffer due to fans parking in the shopping centre and people avoiding Westhill on Saturdays and match days. Will Aberdeenshire Council have to pay for anything? It is likely that there will need to be CCTV and other enforcement measures in Westhill.  There will be other costs associated with having large volumes of people in the area – litter, etc. Will this bring lots of jobs to Westhill? This development is unlikely to bring many jobs to Westhill.  AFC already have their own employees and uses the services of the likes of Sodexho and G4s for catering and security.  Any new jobs created would likely be low-paid zero-hours contracts.   If you have any other questions – please just ask and we’ll do our best to answer them]]>

2 thoughts on “Kingsford Stadium – what questions are the residents of Westhill asking us?

  1. IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: Public Safety is a key reason this planning application for a new stadium at Kingsford should not go ahead and the Health and Safety Executive MUST be involved in the planning application – why ? because they moved T-in-the-park from Balado due to the presence of the BP Forties Pipeline. IF the HSE apply consistency then they will throw out this planning application on the grounds of public safety – why ? because the stadium with 20,000 people lies within the evacuation zone should the BP pipeline leak. As an Aberdeen supporter I am mad as hell that the Aberdeen board have wasted money on this planning application and not carried out the due diligence that anyone with half a brain would do. So what if they decide to move their development a couple of hundred metres East towards the bypass further away from the BP pipeline well guess what there is another pipeline called the Shell NGL pipeline which has an evacuation zone as well. In summary please use this information and engage the Health and Safety Executive. Please inform AFC they are useless – how much money have they wasted over the years on planning applications when the money could have been used to buy some decent players. I’m not giving my name as I don’t want publicity. Good Luck.

  2. Why they want to move the stadium from where it is, i have no idea? Just cant fathom it. As mentioned on this site there is lots of public cctv in Aberdeen – nothing in westhill. On match days all the cops walk to pittodrie from queen street office – if thus goes ahead then police and ambulance etc will have to be transported down there and back. If someone is arrested they will need to be taken all the way back into town into kittybrewster for processing. Same if someone needs hospital all the way back into aberdeen to ari. Fans can enjoy a pint in city bars then walk to the game currently – or get a bus. None of that will be possible with the new stadium. Just seems completely pointless to percevere with their plans

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