Community ActionFAQFundraisingKey IssuesNo Kingsford StadiumPlanning PolicySafety

NO KINGSFORD STADIUM – LEGAL CHALLENGE EXPLAINED

Last Thursday at our public meeting, we announced that in the event of Aberdeen City Council approving the application for the AFC Kingsford stadium, NKS is prepared to mount a legal challenge though the courts.

Why would we be prepared to do that?

First and foremost – THIS APPLICATION IS NOT A ‘DONE DEAL’, as some would have you believe. 3 weeks ago, AFC launched a massive media and PR campaign – ‘Project Aurora’. Why? To try to bolster support for their application, and since they are unable to refute the facts NKS, and others, have stated. You will also no doubt have seen the almost-daily propaganda in the local press, emanating from the club – ‘Derek McInnes will leave’, ‘attendances will drop’, ‘there is no Plan B’, ‘Sir Alex Ferguson supports the plans’, ‘these applications have cost us £5 million’, ‘European matches would be played in Glasgow’, and so on. AFC would not have to do this if they thought their application was ‘in the bag’. This is clearly and blatantly designed to pressure the Aberdeen City councillors into approving their application. However, no amount of car stickers or ‘celebrity‘ endorsements can hide the fact that this application breaches so many local and national planning policies, and it should never have seen the light of day. We know that since this application is contrary to planning law and the well-being of the city and region, Aberdeen City Councillors must reject the application. But stranger things have happened – Marischal Square being a recent case in point. Therefore, if the city councillors do pass this application, we need to be ready to challenge their decision. I know that as you are reading this you will be thinking, ‘This is going to cost!’. So, here are the estimates our legal advisers have provided… • Opinion of Counsel (QC), specialising in planning law – £5,000 • Prepare case for permission to seek a Judicial Review – £15,000 • Complete Judicial Review process – £40,000 The good news is that we have already secured the £5,000 for Counsel’s Opinion, thanks to donations already received. For the remaining £55,000 we will not be seeking donations. We will ask people, who feel as strongly as we do about this application, to pledge a sum of money that, should we need it, will give us the required funding for our legal challenge on your behalf. We will only ask you to fulfil your pledge after we have obtained a favourable Counsel Opinion, intimating that we ‘have a real prospect of success’. For legal reasons, we cannot go into the specifics of any potential case at this stage.

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If we are successful in our legal challenge, Counsel will seek an award of judicial expenses in our favour, plus interest. If this is motion is granted, you should expect to receive a proportion of your money back. However, we cannot speculate at this point how much that would be. On the other hand, despite the advice that we have a strong case, should our legal challenge prove unsuccessful, the money you have pledged and paid will have been used up, therefore no part of that will be recoverable. It is only right and proper that we warn you of that possibility. While that would be the worst-case scenario, it would be the end of the matter for you financially. At least we would all have tried our level best.

Not just us

You should be aware that NKS are not (as AFC claim) the only voices to raise objections to this application. Both Westhill and Kingswells Community Councils have done so, as have Aberdeenshire Council and the joint Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Strategic Development Planning Authority. Aberdeen City Council’s own roads development management and economic development departments have also raised multiple concerns. Two MPs, three MSPs and all our local councillors have thus far done the same. NKS have been working to ensure this application is not passed. Since we commenced our campaign in May 2016 the clamour against this development has grown substantially. Since January 2017, Aberdeen City Council have received over 5,000 objections. NKS have already raised £10,000 to fund firms of professional consultants to prepare our objections. We’ve delivered newsletter and flyers. We have spent countless hours ‘behind the scenes’ working on YOUR behalf. We have a website and Facebook page which we constantly update with news, developments, initiatives and items of vital community interest. None of that would have been possible without YOUR amazing backing — YOU, our public supporters – the ‘rank and file’ who have backed us from day one. Indeed, YOUR numbers have been growing by the day, and since our recent public meeting even more rapidly.

Having come so far, let’s not now fall at the final hurdle.

Thus, if you want to be an integral and vital part of the ‘grass-roots’ movement that finally stopped this development – one which will change and define our community forever — then please make YOUR PLEDGE and JOIN WITH US NOW.

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WE CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU

THANK YOU NKS

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