Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen’s plans for a new stadium have faced their most recent setback as local councillors have objected to the project.
Aberdeen City Council will make its final decision on the project in the summer but the BBC reports that Aberdeenshire’s infrastructure services committee has this week narrowly voted to object to the application after hearing a debate on the issue.
The committee voted against the project with an 8-7 majority, with its chairman having cast the deciding vote.
The club is proposing a 20,000-capacity replacement for Pittodrie Stadium, the club’s home since it was formed in 1903, with the development to include three professional training pitches, two community 3G pitches, a pavilion, gymnasium and club heritage centre. The facilities would be built at Kingsford, close to the Aberdeen bypass, near Westhill.
George Yule, the club’s executive vice-chairman, said: “What we have got to do is ensure any valid concerns are addressed.
“I heard several times that we think it’s the right thing to do for Aberdeen, but not in our back yard. As a region, that’s unacceptable.”
Mike Forbes, of the Westhill For Kingsford group, told the committee that local businesses and young children would be the main benefactors from the stadium. Those against the project claim it would present various traffic and parking problems.
The stadium last month faced opposition in the form of the Garioch area committee, which said the plans breached “multiple planning policies.”
Claiming that the construction is planned for green belt land, the Garioch area committee recommended the project should be refused permission when advising Aberdeen City Council.
Derek McInnes, manager of the club, recently said that the construction of the proposed stadium is “absolutely essential” for the team to achieve a sustainable future.
In a letter submitted last month as part of the public consultation into the planned venue, McInnes also said the club should have access to facilities that are “fit for purpose for the 21st century”.
McInnes, who became manager of the club in March 2013, also said that the proposed venue, which is expected to cost £50m (€59m/$68.3m), would help boost economic growth and sports development in the region.