Following a number of representations to local councillors and council officers, the Head of Planning for Aberdeenshire Council has provided the following response:
“I write with reference to your recent correspondence. Aberdeenshire Council is receiving a high volume of letters and emails that raise a range of concerns about the Judicial Review judgement issued on 1 March 2019 and the next steps in the process as Aberdeen Football Club (AFC) and the AFC Community Trust proceed with their development at the Kingsford site.
As a consequence, the following response is of a general nature, but I hope it provides you with answers to the questions you have asked. For those who believe that any comments received to date will be passed to Councillors at the time a future planning application is lodged, I am afraid I must advise that this is not the case. Any comments you wish to make on a specific planning application must be addressed to the relevant Council during the statutory notification period that applies.
Phase 2 and the Conditions
City Council has applied a number of significant conditions to the decision to
grant full planning permission for the development. Of note and particular interest to
Aberdeenshire Council and residents are:
Condition 5 –
That no development within Phase 2 (stadium) shall take place unless a Traffic
Regulation Order (TRO) has been granted for the implementation of a Controlled
Parking Zone (CPZ) extending to an area which covers all roads and streets
within Westhill and Elrick which lie within a 30 minute walk-time of the
application site. Thereafter, the stadium
shall not be brought into use unless a CPZ has been so implemented.
Condition 6 –
That no development within Phase 2 (stadium) shall be undertaken unless a
scheme detailing a safe means for pedestrians to cross the A944 between Arnhall
Business Park and the application site has been submitted to and agreed in
writing by the Planning Authority.
Condition 7 –
That the stadium shall not be brought into use unless the agreed means (secured
by Condition 6) of ensuring safe pedestrian crossing over the A944 between
Arnhall Business Park and the application site has been implemented in full.
regard to the CPZ (condition 5), Aberdeenshire Council has begun to consider
the implications of this on Westhill and what a CPZ might look like. The first stage in developing a CPZ would be
the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which either Aberdeenshire Council or the
Scottish Government could promote.
Neither the applicant nor Aberdeen City Council could promote the order.
Council is aware that the promotion, implementation and on-going cost of
managing a CPZ would have significant financial implications. The Council is
exploring options to meet these costs. The issue of clarifying a mechanism for
ensuring the applicant is liable for this cost is unresolved.
A944 crossing (conditions 6 & 7), is deemed necessary because the applicant
hopes to secure several hundred parking spaces within the Arnhall / Kingshill
Business Park. Aberdeenshire Council
does not currently know where these are located or indeed if agreement is in
place with any of the businesses. The
logical means of crossing the A944 would be via a footbridge. The role Aberdeenshire Council would have in
that issue depends on the location of any proposed footbridge. If it lies (wholly or partly) within
Aberdeenshire a planning application would be determined by Aberdeenshire
Council. If it is located fully within Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire Council
would most likely be consulted and would put comments to Aberdeen City. A view cannot be given on the acceptability
or visual impact of any bridge until a location and detailed design is
Council currently has no formal role in checking the Travel Plan and Transport
Management Strategy (condition 23), this will be for Aberdeen City Council to
audit and approve although it is likely that Aberdeenshire Council will be
Council has recently written to Aberdeen City Council to ask when it envisages we
may become involved in discussions on the above conditions. The City Council has responded that it will
engage with Aberdeenshire Council at the appropriate stage. Primarily, it is the applicant’s
responsibility to instigate such discussions with Aberdeen City Council but
Aberdeenshire Council would welcome the opportunity to begin conversations on
these matters and get a better understanding of what is proposed.
is Aberdeen City Council’s responsibility to determine if the applicant has
complied with the conditions set out in its decision. Aberdeenshire Council will engage with
Aberdeen City Council on any matters affecting Aberdeenshire, but enforcement
of the planning conditions remains the responsibility of Aberdeen City Council. Responsibility for enforcing a CPZ would fall
to Police Scotland should any unlawful / obstructive parking take place.
Traffic and Congestion
Council raised a number of concerns about traffic and congestion in its responses
to Aberdeen City Council during the determination of the planning application
and its objections to it were partly based on assumptions and deficiencies it
perceived in the transport information submitted. However, as the application has now been
determined, there is no opportunity to revisit this issue and the impact of the
stadium on the local and wider road network will emerge in due course. Aberdeenshire Council will of course monitor
the impact on Aberdeenshire roads and take any appropriate action in its role
as the Transportation and Roads Authorities.
posed about why the stadium is needed, what risks and assessments were undertaken
and anti-social behaviour are not for Aberdeenshire Council to address. Matters related to noise and light pollution
were considered as part of the planning application and were concluded to be
acceptable or capable of being resolved through condition. Once the stadium is operational, any noise
complaints will be investigated by Aberdeen City Council as Environmental
is recognised that, whilst many people look forward to the opening of the new
training facilities and eventually the stadium, a significant proportion of the
local population is extremely concerned about the impacts it could have on
Westhill. Aberdeenshire Council did not
consider this to be an appropriate location for such a facility but must accept
that due process has been followed. Its
role moving forward will be to engage with Aberdeen City Council and, if
appropriate, with the applicant.
within Aberdeenshire are very aware of the issues involved and are being
briefed at appropriate stages. They may
be asked at a future date to make decisions on the matters arising from this
project. If they want to be involved in those decisions they cannot indicate
their support or otherwise for this project, nor how they will view any future
proposals. If a Councillor were to do so they would require to remove
themselves from any future decision making process.
I hope the above has answered any questions you had on our current understanding of the position.”