see council website, here (document since removed from ACC site, download from our link here) they raise a multitude of concerns, omissions and problems regarding the ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping report’ which has been submitted to them by AFC and their team. This ‘scoping report’ is a report detailing what they will or won’t look at in their environmental impact assessment. Are the team employed by AFC trying to rush these plans through? Are they attempting to pull the wool over the planner’s eyes and talking down the potential impacts? From the council’s own comments and our reading of the documents submitted so far, it would seem that they are. The council highlights a large number of issues, including:
Green BeltThey say “Alternative sites, relative merits etc, need to be considered in the context of the plan/policy departures needed for this site. The proposed development is located on green belt land, directly against policies NE1 and NE2” (policies NE1 and NE2 are about green space).
Cycle route“The assessment should also acknowledge that this is an important and busy cycling corridor between Aberdeen, Kingswells and Prime Four business areas, with the potential for conflict between different forms of travel with additional vehicle crossings”.
TrafficThe traffic assessment plans are inadequate. The council planners say “ The traffic assessment is considering the year of opening only, which would not take into account future developments in already allocated sites. It should include a cumulative assessment of traffic levels when all identified and planned development in the area has been completed to ascertain what effect the stadium proposal, an unallocated site, would have on LDP planned development”. (n.b. LDP is the local development plan which is how the council allocate and zone local development. This site is not zoned for development, it is green belt).
SocioeconomicsOn the socioeconomics, the planning team say “A general weakness of the socio-economic impact assessment is its treatment of impacts on the “local level” …as being synonymous with impacts on “regional level” and/or the “national level”…… The overall benefits of the proposed project to Aberdeen City or the region do not automatically translate into benefits for the communities in the local level (Kingsford, Kingswells, and possibly Westhill). They go on to highlight 6 areas that the developers need to look at, including employment, changes to where people will live locally and who might live there, local house prices and rents, effects on local police, fire, recreation and transport services, local finances, lifestyle/quality of life including but not limited to potential drink driving issues and community stress and conflict; integration, cohesion and alienation.
WildlifeBoth the city council planners and our own ecologist at No Kingsford Stadium group, are critical of the lack of consideration given to badger and otters, which are protected species. AFC’s ecological consultants had decided to not do a badger survey as they hadn’t chanced upon any badger signs yet. The council say they need to do a proper badger survey. Our ecologist (who is trained in badger surveys), points out that badger signs are only seen in winter months and a quick walk about in the summer months when vegetation is high, is unlikely to reveal badgers. The council also criticise the assumption that any otters would be unlikely to be affected. They say “ at this stage it is too early to accept this, as there are no details of the proposals available. It would depend on the design of the proposals and any direct or indirect impacts on otter usage of the site” Our own ecologist agrees with the council on this and also agrees they need to look at disturbance of these species from noise and light, and not just from building on their habitat.
Contaminated landThey also raise concerns as to what will be done with construction waste and possible contaminated land.
FloodingThey ask AFC whether they have considered climate change and the risks of flooding. Given that there may be a lot of hard standing on the site, this could have the potential to increase flood risk elsewhere. This would not be allowed.
Landscape“Retention of the key characteristics of open, unbuilt character in line with the approach in the Aberdeen Landscape Strategy is central to this assessment”. ——- This document (see council website, here) highlights key reasons why this stadium cannot be built in this location. The No Kingsford Stadium Group, constituted from residents of Westhill and Kingswells, shares all the concerns raised in this report from Aberdeen City Council. You can support our campaign by giving what you can here.
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We’ve had an amazing response to our first IndieGoGo Campaign. We raised over £3000 in direct donations and via IndieGoGo. We’ve already used some of that money to engage in publicity activities and to begin to approach a number of consultants however, we’ve been informed that we will need a significant level of funding to challenge these proposals via all possible means. Hence, we’ve launched our new IndieGoGo Campaign.