Echt to Tarland Road closure


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



FROM Auchorrie Bridge to Junction with B993

Commencing 26 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.

The alternative route is via B993 to Millbank, A944 to Dunecht and B977 to Echt OR B993 to Torphins, A980 to Raemoir, B977 to Echt and vice versa as shown on the attached plan.



Garioch Bus Forum


Garioch Bus Forum meets on Thursday 22nd September at Kemnay Village Hall at 7.30pm. Representatives from Aberdeenshire Council and Stagecoach will be on hand to answer any bus-related queries. I will not be able to attend due to another local meeting, but can pass on any comments to the Chair so that they can be discussed at the forum. Please feel free to go along and raise local issues. The Agenda for Thursday’s meeting along with the Minutes of the previous meeting can be found below:

Garioch Area Bus Forum Papers (22 Sept 2016)

Dementia cafe


There are dementia cafes across Aberdeenshire. The cafes provide an informal meeting place in a community setting for people with dementia and their families to get together and develop friendships in a friendly and supportive environment. It is important that the sense of social isolation felt by many people with dementia and their carers as their condition progresses is reduced.

The cafes are suitable for people who are able to attend on their own safely or who can bring their own support with them.

There will be on occasion informative talks, singing sessions, IT support and outings organised.

You can join in at any time. Coffees, teas, cakes available purchased at cost from venues.

For more information and to find out what is happening next at your nearest Dementia Café, please contact: Anouk Kahanov-Kloppert, Community Activity Organiser on 01467 530513

Below are some of the local dates for your diary:

Monday 3rd October  10am-12noon – Carer’s X-change – all welcome. Venue: Quarriers, Wardes Road, Inverurie

Tuesday 11th October – Lunch: 12.30 onwards and sing-song 2-3pm – all welcome but lunch needs to be booked – Green Pastures Café, Westhill Community Church, Old Skene Road

Tuesday 18th October – 10.15-12.15 walk then 12.30-2pm lunch. Alford Walking Group and Dementia Café lunch – all welcome but booking essential – walking group meet outside Le Bistro, Main Street, Alford at 10.15am

Dementia café meet at Le Bistro at 12.30pm.

Food Waste Collection Service

Nom Wright recycling

Our Community Waste Officer, Nom Wright, will be in Westhill over the next few weeks to focus on explaining fully how to use the Food Waste collection service. Nom will be happy to answer any waste and recycling questions you may have.

You will find Nom at the following venues:

Tesco, Westhill – tomorrow – Monday 19th Sept 10am-2pm

Costco, Westhill, Thursday 22nd Sept – 10am-3pm

Tesco, Westhill – Wednesday 12th Oct – 4-7pm

Costco, Westhill – Wednesday 26th Oct – 4-7pm


Stadium survey results sent to AFC

AFC Survey 22 08 16

Westhill and District councillor Iris Walker has lodged the results of an online survey to Aberdeen Football Club ahead of the closing date for comments at the informal stage of a public consultation. The Elrick-based councillor carried out the online survey to gauge the initial views of local residents on the proposed stadium and training facility at Kingsford, near Westhill. The survey returned over 500 responses from local residents showing a near 60-40 split in opinion. Councillor Walker said “Although it will be Aberdeen City councillors who have the final say in any formal application, I wanted to make sure that I captured a range of views so that local councillors could represent those views if asked to do so at a later stage.”

Concerns raised from objectors include increased traffic and parking in local streets and public spaces, insufficient road infrastructure, knock-on costs to Aberdeenshire Council, proximity to oil and gas pipelines, noise and light pollution, as well as loss of greenbelt and loss of a boundary between City and Shire.

Those who would welcome the new stadium near Westhill said that the proposal would bring jobs to the area and much-needed sports facilities, local hotels and businesses would get a boost and it would put Westhill on the map.

Councillor Walker added “of course we have not seen the detailed plans yet so it is really important that residents make their views known once they do study the final proposals by making written representations to Aberdeen City at the appropriate time once the formal application is lodged.


Public consultation opens on charges for sports activities in Aberdeenshire


A public consultation on the cost of sports and physical activities offered by Aberdeenshire Council will open on Monday, August 29.

The consultation is taking place to allow the council to consider how best to keep services and facilities affordable for users while ensuring those services are sustainable in the long term.

In February, at a meeting of full council, Aberdeenshire councillors agreed to adopt a new charging framework to pave the way for greater consistency of charges levied by the council and make sure they are reviewed on a regular basis.

As part of the framework, councillors agreed the regular consideration of fees and charges should be supported by consultation.

As part of the consultation, an online survey has been created and everyone who completes it and wishes to be entered in the prize draw could be in with a chance of winning two three-month Active Aberdeenshire passes.

The online survey, which will be available for two weeks until Monday, September 12, can be found at

Since 2012 Aberdeenshire Council has invested in four major new facilities for sports and physical activities, with a further three due for completion by 2018.

The principle of generating more income for the council where appropriate has been included in the medium-term financial strategy.

During engagement on the council’s budget earlier this year, those proposals received public support with 60% of respondents agreeing with the statement: “I would be prepared to pay more for a service if it would prevent that service being reduced/discontinued. This may mean, for instance, paying more for services such as leisure activities and trade waste.”

City Forum meets to discuss AFC stadium plans


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


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:



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.



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.


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 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.