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Kingsford: What happens next?

An artist's impression of Kingsford Stadium
An artist's impression of Kingsford Stadium

While city councillors have backed the plans, there are still opportunities for other bodies to derail them.

In its role as a statutory consultee, Aberdeenshire Council objected to the plans over concerns including the loss of green belt land and the stadium’s potential impact on traffic and parking.

Two of the conditions approved last night will require the neighbouring local authority’s backing – a footbridge or other form of road crossing, and the use of a controlled parking zone extending to all streets in Westhill and Elrick within a 30 minute walk of the stadium.

Last night an Aberdeenshire Council spokesman confirmed that planning applications for these two aspects were yet to be filed by the football club.

The local authority’s head of planning, Robert Gray, said: “Any planning applications which come to Aberdeenshire Council in future in connection with the stadium application for Kingsford will be considered on their own merits, as any others would.”

The motion which city councillors backed yesterday did mitigate this somewhat, with members noting a willingness to work with the club if its proposals are rejected by its Shire-based colleagues.

It read: “In the event that the applicant seeks to vary conditions following consideration of any matters by Aberdeenshire Council that this be submitted to council for consideration.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s objection also means that the Scottish Government could get a say in the decision, if it so wishes.

The planning process dictates that ministers must now be informed of the planning approval, and will be given the ability to “call in” the plans for redetermination if necessary.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Ministers would then have the opportunity to consider whether the planning application should be called in for their determination or for Aberdeen City Council to handle the application.

“Ministers call in planning applications in exceptional circumstances and where matters of national importance arise.

“If an application is called in by ministers, an independent reporter would be appointed to consider the proposal and submit a report with a recommendation on whether or not planning consent should be granted.”

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