A legal hearing which could waylay the construction of a new £50 million Dons stadium has commenced in Edinburgh this morning.
The No to Kingsford campaign group raised more than £66,000 to contest Aberdeen City Council’s decision to approve planning permission for the ground and training facilities near Westhill, and the judicial review is expected to last for three days.
While work has begun on the first phase of the development, which includes training facilities, construction of the second stage – the 20,000 seat stadium itself – is dependent on the outcome of the hearing.
Dozens of people, including Aberdeen FC representatives and opponents to the project, filed into the courtroom at 10am.
Aberdeen FC bosses have said they are “confident due process was followed” when the council rubber-stamped its plans to relocate.
Raymond Edgar, project director for the club, said: “Our proposal represents a £50 million private investment in the region, which will benefit the club, the local community and the region overall. We are committed to contracting local companies in its construction and those appointed for phase one are already supporting and creating local jobs.
“Work is well under way on phase one and will only stop if the courts find against the council following the hearing.
“The hearing will only look at the process by which the planning application was granted and we are confident that due process was followed, allowing councillors to vote overwhelmingly to grant consent.”
An NKS spokeswoman said: “This hearing will bring independent and impartial scrutiny to Aberdeen City Council’s decision to grant planning permission for Aberdeen Football Club’s new stadium and associated facilities at West Kingsford.
“In reaching this important stage in proceedings, we have demonstrated that communities can challenge decisions which they believe are flawed.”