Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen has today (Tuesday) received official planning permission from the city council to proceed with the development of a new stadium and training ground.
Aberdeen plans on building a 20,000-seat stadium in the Kingsford area of the city near Westhill. The project has been in the pipeline for some time and has faced opposition from some residents who feel the complex would have an adverse impact on traffic and result in the loss of green belt land. The council approved the plans back in January and it has now rubberstamped the proposal.
The Scottish government said last month that there were no issues with the initiative requiring a decision to be taken at national level and today’s announcement paves the way for the club to begin work on the project. The BBC reported that work could begin as early as June.
Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne said: “This is yet another piece of good news in our long-running saga to secure badly needed training and community facilities. We are really excited about letting contracts to local companies for the work and getting started on site. 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.
“It’s now clear from planning and legal experts that the objectors cannot stop these plans. At best, they could hold them up for a matter of months but ultimately our plans will go ahead. The courts won’t entertain a challenge that is just based on the development being in the green belt. 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.
“It’s only right and fair that those donating or making pledges to their cause are fully aware that their money cannot prevent these plans and will simply fund a pointless exercise that will drain council resources and potentially damage the region’s reputation as a place in which to invest.
“Our aim is to work constructively with the local communities to be a good neighbour and to ensure we deliver the best sports facilities for local people and the best training facilities for the club.”
The No Kingsford Stadium opposition group is still planning legal action despite today’s announcement. One member of the group, Clare Davidson, told BBC Scotland: “This is the only avenue that is open to communities to challenge these decisions. Now that the determination has been made, we have 90 days to make our petition. We still have a little bit of work to do with our legal team.”
Image: Aberdeen FC