City Forum meets to discuss AFC stadium plans

AFC

Members of the pre-application forum of Aberdeen City Council met on Thursday (18th August) to discuss the proposed application by AFC for a Sports Campus, Football Academy and Stadium at Kingsford. Planning officers from Aberdeen City Council and representatives from AFC including Stewart Milne (SM) and George Yuill (GY) were in attendance. The lead architect for the club, David Halliday and planning consultant, Michael Halliday also sat round the table to answer questions on the proposal.

I went along to listen to the proceedings. There was a good turn-out of Westhill residents in the public benches and sitting listening to the City councillors, it hit home just how democratically unrepresented the residents of one of the settlements most impacted by this proposal are going to be when final decisions are being made. Nevertheless, it is important that residents are kept up to date as the application progresses and that written representations for and against are made at the formal consultation stage. I also mention later the pre-application hearing which is another opportunity for those who lodge an official objection/letter of support to address City councillors before the application is determined.

Below are my own notes from the meeting which I hope will be of interest. The official Minutes will no doubt be available from Aberdeen City Council.

The recommendations for the Forum were to:

  1. Note the key issues identified (see report attached);
  2. if necessary seek clarification on any particular matters; and
  3. identify relevant issues which they would like the applicants to consider and address in any future application.

Stewart Milne kicked off discussions by telling City councillors that this proposal should be viewed in the context of the City Deal and that it was a vital project for AFC. For the Community Trust, the deal would provide a stepchange in services available.

George Yuill then outlined the reasons why AFC needed to re-locate. Reasons put forward included that the existing stadium does not meet UEFA criteria, at the moment they have to shuttle top class athletes across the city to other training locations and that the three year old Community Trust needs to move forward.

Some background information on the recent consultation events was outlined. The Westhill events attracted 700 interested parties, the Kingswells one, 300 and the Pittodrie event, some 140, making a total of 1140 attendees. Friday 26th August is the deadline for comments to be presented to AFC at this informal stage.

Issues raised from the public consultations include transport, noise and light pollution, loss of greenbelt, people management, travel to and from the site and parking within the local residential area.

Members of the Forum and the public benches were advised that the next steps would include a public Feedback Event, the date of which would be announced in due course.

The lead planning officer, Garfield Prentice then outlined the potential economic benefits of a new stadium (AFC stated they expect annual spend to rise from £12m to £20m) to be weighed against the potential loss of revenue to the City. Garfield stated that the earliest date an application can be technically lodged would be 20th September.

City councillors on the Forum were then given the opportunity to ask questions/make comment to the applicants. I have listed them in note form as I heard them along with answers when given.

Cllr 1 – raised concerns about the site being “sinking” for years and flooding issues, visual aspect, light pollution, loss of economic benefit which the City enjoys at the moment including shoppers who travel with family members going to the game.

GY’s response re negative impact on city centre spend – detail not worked through yet but fans will still spend in city.

Cllr 2 – traffic, environment a major concern. Site being landfill is a sensitive issue. Community Trust has a major social aspect. At Loirston it was mooted to have the stadium lit in red at night.

AFC reassured Cllr that Kingsford would not be a “red light district”.

Cllr 3 – will the new stadium have similar facilities i.e. food, refreshments etc throughout the whole stadium? – answer Yes.

Cllr 4 – with the out of town location, he was concerned about the extra cost to fans re travelling.

SM replied this would be taken on board; public transport very much part of the detail; and tied in with the price of the match ticket.

Cllr 5 – will the stadium have sedum roofs, living walls etc to blend in with environment?

AFC response – that would add to cost and maintenance.

Will it have underground heating?

AFC – we are not at that stage of detail yet.

Will you consider biomass?

AFC – heating likely to be gas.

Cllr 6 – commented that Loirston was greenbelt but allocated in previous LDP. Assume there will be a landscape strategy to mitigate the loss of amenity. Could Kingsford be classed as prime agricultural land?

Planner’s response – not necessarily “prime” but could still perform an agricultural function.

Cllr 7 – what else will be there apart from football? Can there be other sports facilitated there? Multi sports arena?

SM response – this would change the whole nature of the stadium and would have cost implications and require a larger structure.

Cllr 8 – commended AFC for their community engagement but asked if they were engaging with community councils affected by increase in traffic e.g. Craigiebuckler, Seafield etc.

SM responded – yes, we want to take the City with us.

Cllr 9 – Loirston failed to deliver – why? Where does the 58% of fans come from (referring to previous comments about percentage of fans outwith Aberdeen city).

SM – it will be shown in the travel plan where fans travel from. The reality is Kingsford is the best location.

Cllr 10 – responded to sinking landfill site – not the case – it is insert waste. Test bores done on site, SEPA involved. There are technical solutions for dealing with these issues.

Cllr 11 – this is the 3rd AFC application she has been involved in. She approved of Loirston and asked if Kingsford could have a tennis academy as proposed at Bellfield.

SM – no room at Kingsford but could be considered in a second phase.

Cllr 12 – raised issues about the three access points into the site, and the amount of traffic crossing over a dual carriageway. How do they cross? What happens to the footpath/cycle path?

SM – detailed work still to be done but the access point to the extreme west of the site would be for emergency and away supporters only with a dedicated get-out area to clear within 20 minutes of the game ending. The middle access would be the main access and the east access being the coach exit. All to be agreed in conjunction with Police Scotland.

Cllr 12 – can football deliver a family friendly atmosphere?

GY – the drunken rowdy image of the standard football fan does not belong to this area or indeed century. The lack of facilities at Pittodrie cannot deliver a family friendly atmosphere – the new stadium can, with a whole match experience.

Cllr 13 – questioned why stadium was limited to the size proprosed?

SM – because of cost.

Will there be an opportunity for expansion in the future –

SM – possibly.

Will service buses be used to transport fans?

The chair then went through some procedural matters e.g. the application will be an “EIA application” (requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment) because of the scale and being on greenbelt and likely to require a pre-determination hearing which will allow anyone who makes a formal representation to speak directly to councillors before determination by full council.

SM rounded up the proceedings by saying that all issues raised today had been addressed by the Loirston application successfully and emphasised how important the stadium was to the City of Aberdeen adding that if the new stadium did not go ahead, there might not be an AFC in years to come.

Further A944 closure – September

Craigenlow

Please note that due to RESURFACING WORKS to be carried out by Aberdeenshire Council it will be necessary in the interests of public safety to apply the following restriction:

CLOSURE

A944 DUNECHT TO TILLYFOURIE ROAD

FROM Burnseat to Kinnernie

Commencing 12 September 2016 for 2 weeks.

Site notices will be erected in due course indicating the temporary restriction to traffic and the alternative routes where applicable.

Alternative route is B977 to Gauchhill, Kintore, B994 to Kemnay, B993 to Tillyfourie or vice versa as shown on the attached plan.

A944 near Dunecht set to close

A944 29 08 16

Please note that due to RESURFACING WORKS to be carried out by Aberdeenshire Council it will be necessary in the interests of public safety to apply the following restriction to traffic.

CLOSURE

A944 WESTHILL TO DUNECHT ROAD

FROM Nether Affloch to Craigiedarg

Commencing   29 August 2016 for 2 weeks.

The alternative route is via B977 to Echt, B9119 to Carnie Roundabout, B979 to Mason Lodge or vice versa as shown on the attached plan.

 

AFC reveal new stadium plan consultation events

A series of public exhibitions in late July and early August will provide the first details of Aberdeen Football Club’s plans to develop a community and sports campus, football academy and stadium on land at Kingsford.

The consultation events at Westhill, Kingswells and in the city will enable members of the public to view and comment on the proposals before a planning application is submitted to Aberdeen City Council later in the year.

AFC


The main consultation events will be:

  • Tuesday 26 July 1pm to 8pm at Fourmile House, Old Skene Road, Kingswells
  • Friday 29 July 1pm to 8pm at Holiday Inn Aberdeen West, Westhill Drive, Westhill
  • Tuesday 2 August 1pm to 8pm at Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen

Further pop up exhibitions will also take place:

  • Wednesday 3 August 12 noon to 6pm at Trinity Shopping Centre, Union Street, Aberdeen
  • Friday 5 August 12 noon to 5pm at Central Library, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen
  • Monday 8 August 2pm to 8pm at Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen

The proposals will also be available to view via the Club’s website at www.afc.co.uk/stadium from 26 July.

Comments in relation to the proposals will be accepted until Friday 26 August 2016. This will enable the Club to review responses to the consultation before a formal planning application for the project is submitted to the local authority later this year.

Do you collect your prescriptions from Skene Medical Group?

prescription 2NHS

I received the following letter last week from NHS. Please reply to the consultation (form can be found at bottom of page) if you currently collect or are eligible to collect your prescriptions from Skene Medical Group.

“Dear Colleague,

Review of dispensing GP practices at Auchenblae, Gardenstown, Portlethen,

Rhynie, Skene and Udny Station.

I am writing to inform you that NHS Grampian is to conduct a review of six

dispensing GP practices. This review includes a public consultation which will run

from 4 July to 1 October 2016. The GP practices are Auchenblae, Gardenstown,

Portlethen, Rhynie, Skene and Udny Station.

Following the review of dispensing by the Haddo Medical Group completed in 2015,

the Grampian NHS Board accepted a recommendation to conduct a review of

general practice dispensing across Grampian. This review would assure the Board

that, where a Medical Practice has been required to dispense, this is in line with

existing regulations.

The review is triggered by the need to make sure that the Board is continuing to act

legally in requiring these GP Practices to dispense for their patients. The Board can

only legally require a practice to dispense for patients who have a “serious difficulty”

in accessing prescribed medicines and appliances from a pharmacy. The term

serious difficulty is not defined but the Board can consider the distance to the

nearest community pharmacy, issues of communication and other exceptional

circumstances.

The review will therefore seek to determine which patients of each of the associated

practices continue to have serious difficulty in accessing prescribed medicines and

appliances from a pharmacy. The review will also seek to establish the overall

impact of any potential changes on the practices involved with the aim of ensuring

sustainability and a cross-system approach.

Please find enclosed an information sheet about the consultation. I would like to

draw your attention to 6b on page 3 regarding how to respond to this consultation.

The form on page 5 is for individual patient responses. If you would like more copies

of the information sheet and/or patient response forms, please contact the Public

Involvement Team on 01224 558098 who will be happy to provide these.

The closing date for all responses is 1 October 2016.

More details can also be found at:

www.nhsgrampian.org/involvingyou and by clicking on ‘Projects and

Consultations’.

Thank you for reading this letter.

Yours faithfully

Laura Gray

Director of Corporate Communications and Board Secretary”

Consultation sheet for patients-public FINAL (3)

 

Road closed between South Fornet and Easter Terryvale

roadworks

Please note that due to LAYING A NEW WATER PIPE to be carried out by JR DONALD & Son LTD it will be necessary in the interests of public safety to apply the following restriction to traffic.

CLOSURE

ON U102c

From South Fornet to Easter Terryvale

From 18 July 2016 for 4 weeks.

Access for pedestrians and to adjacent properties will be maintained at all times. The alternative route is via B9126 to Lyne of Skene, B977 to U102c as shown on the attached plan. u102ceasterterryvale180716

Proposed Kingsford Football Stadium update

On Thursday 23rd June, Aberdeen Football Club lodged with Aberdeen City Council, a formal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening opinion request. This is a procedural matter under the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The purpose of this procedure is to allow the planning authority (Aberdeen City Council) to provide a potential developer or applicant with a formal decision on whether their planning application would need to be accompanied by an EIA.

When such a request is made, the planning authority has 21 days to issue a formal decision. Aberdeen City Council officers are currently considering the information provided by Aberdeen Football Club and a decision will be made within the prescribed period on whether an EIA will be required. There is no public consultation or any role for the public in this process.

The next stage of the process should see Aberdeen Football Club lodging a Proposal of Application Notice for the proposed stadium and training facilities. For this type of development, such a notice must be submitted to the planning authority at least 12 weeks before a planning application can be lodged. The Proposal of Application Notice will set out the public consultation events/exhibitions and consultation with local community councils and Elected Members. When a planning application is subsequently lodged with the City Council, it will be necessary for the applicants to include a Pre-Application Consultation Report which should explain how issues raised during the consultation have been addressed and if such issues have not been addressed, why that is the case.

Aberdeen City Council has no role in the above consultation and thus the City Council cannot accept or take in to account any comments on the proposed stadium development made by the public arising from the consultation. Once a planning application has been lodged, formal consultation on the stadium proposal will take place. It is only at this time that the public should submit written representations to the City Council. All such representations will then be taken in to account in the assessment and determination of the planning application.

The Proposal of Application Notice lodged with Aberdeen City Council today can be seen here.

 

Surgeries cancelled

Unfortunately two of my regular surgeries over the next few months have to be cancelled. They were scheduled for Saturday 2nd July and Saturday 3rd September 2016. This means that my next scheduled surgery will be on Saturday 1st October. I apologise for any inconvenience caused but please be assured that an appointment can be made at any time outwith my Saturday surgeries – just call me or drop me an email.

 

 

 

Lyne of Skene road repairs in sight

Letter Road

Please note that due to RESURFACING WORKS to be carried out by Aberdeenshire Council it will be necessary in the interests of public safety to apply the following restriction to traffic.

CLOSURE

B9126 LYNE OF SKENE TO KIRKTON OF SKENE ROAD

FROM the junction with B977 to Greystone

Commencing 4 July 2016 for 2 weeks.

Site notices will be erected in due course indicating the temporary restriction to traffic and the alternative routes where applicable.

The alternative route is via B977 to A944 Dunecht, A944 to B9126 Gairloch (see map above).

 

 

What would you like to learn?

Adult learning

Adult Learning Survey in Inverurie/Huntly/Peterhead/Westhill/Alford

Aberdeenshire Life have just released a survey to engage with five of its Communities to identify interests in Adult Learning Classes. If you live in the above areas please take time to complete the Adult Learning Survey and share the link throughout your Community on Facebook and encourage your friends and families to complete this. Survey here

Life is for Learning & Learning is for Life……

Learning is for everyone and goes on throughout our lifetime, it can be fun, inspirational and challenging – having the right opportunities in your area, opens doors to step out and gain new skills, expand your abilities, meet new people and can transform your life.

Some of these interests could be – upholstery, computing/internet, languages, fitness, photography, calligraphy, creative writing, cookery/baking, dance, table tennis, family history/tree, painting and drawing etc

Hopefully some of these have sparked you into thinking of other activities you would like to participate in – possibly an old interest being rekindled or a totally new one that you have never tried before. If it has or if you’re slightly interested why not complete our Adult Learning Survey to identify interests in your area so that classes can be started up there (the more people who complete the survey and can identify interests in classes the more opportunity there will be to establish new classes and meet the needs you’re Community).

Classes normally run from late Aug early Sept through to April or summer the following year and are held in various locations within your community.

Please share this link throughout your Community on Facebook and encourage your friends and families to complete it. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AberdeenshireLife

If you would like a paper copy please ask for one in your local Library.

The survey has been compiled by Aberdeenshire Council Leisure Learning, for further information please contact Leslie Murison 07795252445 or leslie.murison@aberdeenshire.gov.uk