No Kingsford StadiumPlanning PolicyPlanning Update

Consultees line up to Object to AFC Kingsford Stadium: Club under pressure for unsuitable and unsustainable development plans

Aberdeen City Council’s Economic Development Service stated that AFC’s Kingsford Stadium plans would see NO ECONOMIC BENEFIT for the area. This statement is at odds with the rhetoric used by Stewart Milne, George Yule and others claiming that the stadium plans would rejuvenate the local economy – it is Aberdeen City Council’s opinion that it will not. In a damning statement on the club’s plans, the council commented that the proposal “only represents 20 FTE (full time equivalent) jobs to Aberdeen” and “the level of employment of 20 new jobs created does not represent a substantial employment-generating opportunity from the development”.  ACC Economic Development are only the most recent of many consultees to raise concerns about the Kingsford Stadium application. Aberdeen City Council’s Flooding & Coastal Protection department have raised concerns about a number of deficiencies in the Flood Risk assessment and requested further clarification and confirmation of the measures still required to prevent large scale flooding as a result of the development. [caption id="attachment_2769" align="alignleft" width="234"] Transform Scotland have objected to the stadium as an unsustainable transport destination.[/caption] Transform Scotland (the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors) lodged a strong objection stating that the proposed development was inaccessible by rail, inaccessible by foot, poorly located for local bus services and heavily dependent on private cars. [caption id="attachment_2768" align="alignright" width="300"] Aberdeenshire Council have objected to the stadium plans[/caption] Last week Aberdeenshire councillors in their capacity as statutory consultees,  voted to recommend refusal of Aberdeen Football Clubs application to build a stadium and training facility at Kingsford. Contrary to what has appeared in the media, not a single councillor supported the application. The motion was to recommend refusal or to lodge a holding objection. Councillors voted 7 for outright refusal and 7 for holding objection. The chair then used his casting vote to recommend refusal. In keeping with Scottish Planning Policy, this development should be close to the centre of Aberdeen, in a sustainable location with excellent transport links – it should not be seven miles outside the city and accessible from only one road.  Aberdeenshire Councillors, in recommending the refusal of this application have demonstrated their support and clear commitment to national and local planning policy and for that those in the communities of Westhill, Skene, Kingswells and beyond thank them. Planning policy is about the right development in the right place. This is the wrong development in the wrong place –  it is an attempt by AFC to ride roughshod over planning policy – to ignore the allocated sites within the Strategic plan –  to get what they want – no matter what the cost to the local community – a community which is sending a strong message that they do not want this development. [caption id="attachment_2689" align="alignleft" width="300"] Aberdeen City and Shire SDPA have raised a multitude of concerns about breaches of planning policy[/caption] This recommendation by Aberdeenshire Council can be added to a growing number of concerned bodies who, as statutory consultees, have voiced their concerns.  The Aberdeen City and Shire Roads Department have documented a multitude of serious concerns in their report.  SEPA have 6 holding objections within their report, and the SDPA – the joint Strategic City and Shire Planning and Development Authority have raised numerous concerns over the planning policy breaches in this application. Transport Scotland has yet to submit their analysis of the application.  In the local press last week Aberdeen City Council’s deputy leader Marie Boulton and North East MSP Ross Thomson both raised fears the bypass could have a number of pinch points at various junctions, including the A944 Aberdeen to Westhill route.  It must be obvious to anyone that has driven on the new road layout recently that the interchange (which will need to have pedestrian / cycle crossings in 2 places on the left hand-side as you walk to Kingswells) is going to become a serious bottleneck with traffic backing up on the AWPR with the addition of 1000’s of cars arriving and leaving a football match or other event. Not to mention the likelihood of 1000’s of pedestrians (also stopping the traffic to cross at the pedestrian crossings) returning to the Kingswells Park and Ride rather than waiting (the 53 minutes!) for the shuttle buses which have got stuck in the traffic.    As NKS have said from the beginning of the campaign, the AWPR junction was modelled in 2008, before much of the development at Westhill, Prime 4 and Countesswells – the junction is under-designed to cope with the current need, let alone any traffic linked to the stadium.  The application for the prime 4 extension has now been deferred – they had already conceded that there would be hold-ups at the junction and a build up of traffic. So we now have many statutory consultees raising concerns including fundamental breaches of planning policy, 5000 objections from the community, and concerns about the traffic being raised before Transport Scotland have even submitted their  report – surely this all points to Aberdeen City Council having no option but to refuse this application .]]>

2 thoughts on “Consultees line up to Object to AFC Kingsford Stadium: Club under pressure for unsuitable and unsustainable development plans

  1. I fully agree with all of your comments regarding the various Government bodies who apparently cannot approve the application for the new AFC stadium based on “FACT OF LAW”.
    The one missing comment is what the present AFC fans actually want. I only read in the press and from AFC comments that the supporters are in favour of a move to Kingsford. I would question this as the fans I talk to, the majority want the new ground to remain in the city centre due to transport links to the AFC ground being excellent from all corners of the city.

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