Council planners back new stadium

A special meeting of Aberdeen City Council will consider the Kingsford proposals
A special meeting of Aberdeen City Council will consider the Kingsford proposals

Planning officials have backed Aberdeen FC’s proposals for a new stadium at Kingsford.

A special meeting of the full council on Monday will consider the club’s bid for a £50million ground and training facilities near Westhill.

Planners are recommending that the controversial project should be approved, subject to strict conditions.

The club put the Kingsford application on hold last October - days before it was due to be debated by city councillors - to allow more time to discuss the project with planners.

It switched its focus to Kingsford after years of discussion over building a new ground at Loirston Loch on the southern side of the city.

But the proposals have divided local opinion and opponents are prepared to take legal action if the go-ahead is given.

The No Kingsford Stadium group has fought a high-profile campaign.

It has raised concerns over a potential increase in traffic and the stadium being built on green belt land.

Earlier this month, Aberdeenshire Council renewed its objection to the stadium plans.

The authority cites the loss of greenbelt land and unsustainable traffic levels as the reasons behind its opposition.

Aberdeenshire is a consultee on the plans – but the final decision will be made by the city council, as the proposed site lies just within the Aberdeen boundary.

The club maintains a new stadium at Kingsford would bring significant economic benefits to the city and also to the wider region.

The Scottish FA, which is supporting the stadium move along with the Scottish Professional Football League, says the development would ensure that Aberdeen remains in the running for hosting international matches.

Dons chairman Stewart Milne has said that the 20,000-seater stadium is vital to the club’s future and the only viable option - a view now supported by planners.

Business leaders have also backed the plans.

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry maintain the development of Kingsford is vital to the future of the North-east economy.