After planning permission granted...
Dons to begin work on £50m stadium complex
Work on Aberdeen’s controversial new stadium could begin as early as June after formal planning permission was received
Aberdeen FC is set to begin construction of its £50million stadium and training complex at Kingsford after being granted official planning permission.
The paperwork the club had been waiting for arrived from Aberdeen City Council, with Dons chairman Stewart Milne hoping to see work commence on the state-of-the-art facility in June.
“This is yet another piece of good news in our long-running saga to secure badly-needed training and community facilities,” he said.
The proposals for a 20,000-capacity stadium, which will not be called in by the Scottish Government, upset locals who formed a No Kingsford Stadium protest group.
While brakes were applied to the controversial plans five months ago, January saw the council approve them. The granting of official planning consent means the club can now prepare to leave an ageing Pittodrie Stadium in earnest.
The protest group has 90 days to force a judicial review but Mr Milne added: “It’s now clear from planning and legal experts that the objectors cannot stop these plans.
“Despite claims by the objectors, we will be going ahead as we are confident that our plans have gone through the proper channels and democratic process.
“The courts won’t entertain a challenge that is just based on the development being in the green belt, or any other planning issue.
“The objectors need to argue that the process of permitting the development was flawed and, even in the unlikely event that is upheld, the club and the council will simply go through the planning process again, correcting any procedural error and the outcome will be the same.”
In a letter to the developers, the council confirmed the go-ahead despite conceding the development went against green belt policy.
It stated: “Aberdeen City Council in exercise of their powers under the above mentioned Act hereby grant planning permission for the said development in accordance with the particulars given in the application form.
“The development proposed is contrary to the provisions of policy NE2 (Green Belt) on the basis of its location within an area designated as green belt in the ALDP.
“Whilst this policy would potentially allow for elements of the development it is nevertheless the case that, taken as a whole, the development represents a significant departure from policy NE2, particularly in terms of its encroachment onto a green buffer which visually separates existing settlements of Kingswells and Westhill and contributes to maintaining their separate identities as well as the wider landscape setting of Aberdeen.
“Nevertheless, sufficient information is available to enable officers to conclude that there are no other sites within Aberdeen that would be suitable, available and deliverable that would be preferable in terms of environmental impacts.”