Aberdeenshire councillors debated the proposed new Aberdeen FC stadium at Kingsford yesterday and reached general consensus the current plans should not be given approval.
Members of the Garioch area committee discussed the project in reply to a consultation request from Aberdeen City Council, who want to gauge the views of Westhill residents on the £50million development.
The club’s plans for the 25-hectare site include three professional training pitches, two community 3-G pitches, a community pavilion, gymnasium and an AFC heritage museum.
After a lengthy debate, members agreed to send back a recommendation to the city councillors that the project should be refused, because it breached “multiple planning policies” – most notably the fact it would be built on greenbelt space.
George Yule, the club’s executive vice chairman, responded: “We welcomed the opportunity to address the Garioch area committee on our plans and are pleased that other parties were also allowed to speak, both in support and to raise concerns.
“We recognise today’s meeting was the beginning of the process that will enable the council to reach a final view on the proposals and now await the matter going before the infrastructure services committee next month (on March 16).
“Our view remains the proposals will deliver significant benefits to the City and Shire and represent a rare opportunity to deliver major private sector investment in sporting and community infrastructure at a time of economic challenge for the region.”
The proposals have faced opposition from many local residents, who have concerns about the effects of noise pollution, the loss of greenbelt land and the development’s impact on local roads and walkways.
Dr Nicola Seal, representing No to Kingsford Stadium spoke of evidence they had acquired from “a reliable source” who worked at the Kingsford site when it was owned by McIntosh Plant Hire, alleging “tons of asbestos” were buried on the land.
However, Aberdeen FC strongly rebutted the claims and a spokesman said: “Asbestos was not detected in any sample, or physically encountered during the ground investigation.
“The site was previously used as a landfill site for inert material. A full site investigation, including trial pits and bore holes, was carried out and a detailed Site Investigation Report was submitted to Aberdeen City Council.
“The site investigation determined there was no evidence of asbestos.
“Claims to the contrary are further examples of unsubstantiated statements being put in the public domain to raise unnecessary concerns.
“Our view remains the proposals will deliver benefits.”