Aberdeen stadium decision delayed by four months for more information
The development at Kingsford was due to be discussed by councillors in June, but the club confirmed today that the application “now looks likely to be deferred until October”.
More information and clarification including environmental surveys has been requested by Aberdeen City Council as well as consultees to inform assessment of the application.
Aberdeen Football Club said it has already provided comprehensive information, reports and studies to support its detailed application in line with the planning process.
However, given that this is a major application and to ensure that all potential impacts are adequately assessed, the club ensured that it has carried out this additional work requested and submitted the relevant reports within the allotted timescale.
Executive vice chairman of Aberdeen Football Club, George Yule, said: “Although this is later than we had hoped, we are confident that, if planning permission is granted in October, we will still meet the original target timescales of completing the community sports campus and football training academy in 2018 and the new stadium for the 2020/21 season.
“We have already invested considerable resource, both internally and with our team of external experts, in developing a comprehensive planning application package. This important development will deliver real benefit in sporting, social and economic terms for stakeholders and we look forward to it being considered on its merits via the statutory planning process.
“We provided the additional information requested as part of a positive and co-operative two-way process between the club and the city council, both of whom are committed to ensuring that the application brought forward is considered rigorously against a comprehensive package of supporting information.”
The club has also released new images of the facings for the proposed stadium today which they say is an example of this on-going dialogue.
“These images show that AFC is taking on-board the feedback from the planners and has responded to their request for a design that softens the external façade of the building,” explained Mr Yule.
He added: “A delay of a few weeks at this stage is not unduly concerning as we can make specific adjustments to our project schedule. However, further slippage, beyond October, or a negative outcome will result in us missing our target timescales and this will have a material impact on the Club’s ability to recruit and retain talent and to maintain our current position within Scottish football at a time when our football staff are delivering success for the city, the local community and the club.
“AFC ensures this region is profiled nationally and internationally and has further plans to enhance its reputation as a visionary organisation, competing successfully in domestic and European competition, with best in class facilities for our supporters, staff and players at all ages. We cannot deliver this vision and provide a positive role model for young people without suitable new facilities.”
Subject to planning approval, the proposals will see more than £50m invested to create a new home for the Dons; provide a base for the significant expansion of the work of the Aberdeen FC Community Trust programmes on social inclusion, participation in sport, life skills and healthy lifestyles for all ages across the region; and create a focal point for footballing excellence in the north of Scotland.
The project would be delivered in two phases, with the community and sports facilities and football academy constructed first and the stadium in the second phase.
The plans have drawn objections from Aberdeenshire Council regarding the impact increased traffic could have on the local area.