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Proposed Stadium at Kingsford
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IanC
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February 24, 2017 - 7:06 pm
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Peter, the views I have expressed are my own and not necessarily those of KCC.

pbruce9393 said

Does being a statutory consultee mean that you HAVE to take one side or the other ??

No, I don't suppose we do; but if we didn't in this case we would have neglected our duty to the community.

This application has been on the table for 6 weeks now, and yet 7 days before the close of the consultation period we are told that you are going to object on our behalf, and that there is now no time to consult anyone. I agree that any sort of consultation is simply not feasible in the timeframe left, but that being the case - why should the personal views of 9 members of KCC be put forward instead ? The correct morale thing to do here would be to abstain !!!

It has taken all this time to go through the paper work, attend meetings, etc. Even if we had tried to gather views on day one, it would have been an impossible task. That is why we have opted to research the Pros and the Cons on behalf of the community, and let them express their own views. Its the only fair thing to do.

I don't think we have said that our submission would represent the whole community. When their is a split in the views then it is simply not possible to do that.

No one in Kingswells has come to KCC meetings either in support or in opposition; but KCC have been to meetings in Westhill where supporters have provided their views. Within KCC we have one member who is a supporter, and another potential new member who also supports the club. They have presented the Pro views.

I have listened to the views put forward by the people in support of the proposal and I accept that there will be some benefits, and we say that in our submission; but they will be available to everyone where ever the stadium is built, or the community side is located. The only downside Kingswells people will have is that they may need to travel a little further to go to the stadium, or community facilities.

As I say it is really up to the community to express their own views. Many of the supporters have very personal reasons for their support, and only they can truly represent themselves.

The people in opposition to the proposal have to present argument in planning terms, and this is much harder than providing support. There is a bigger picture to look at and most people who have not taken the time to read most of the documentation will not have the skills or the information to do this for themselves. That is the reason KCC has to take a view, and help the members of the community who cannot prepare a technical representation for themselves.

While there is no doubt that there are a considerable number of people in Kingswells who oppose the application, I know for a fact that there are also a considerable number of people who support it. A ratio of 8 - 1 against is NOT representative of the view of Kingswells

One other thing - the 5000 or so (now approaching 7000) "comments" on the ACC site are a mixture of support & objections. They are not all "objections" as suggested above.  

I know that there are representations for and against the proposal in the 7,000; and that is a good thing. People are expressing their own views. That's the system working properly. 

The 8-1 figure is just for information. It does not represent the strength of the views in the community. Within the representation we will argue the planning points, it will only count as one point of view.

The planners will have to weigh up the views of all 7,000 people who have sent in their views. They will summarise all the views, and present them to the Councillors who will make their decision. Many have no appreciation of planning issues, and will vote for what ever they think is right, or good for the City.

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pbruce9393
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February 23, 2017 - 7:28 pm
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Does being a statutory consultee mean that you HAVE to take one side or the other ?? This application has been on the table for 6 weeks now, and yet 7 days before the close of the consultation period we are told that you are going to object on our behalf, and that there is now no time to consult anyone. I agree that any sort of consultation is simply not feasible in the timeframe left, but that being the case - why should the personal views of 9 members of KCC be put forward instead ? The correct morale thing to do here would be to abstain !!!

While there is no doubt that there are a considerable number of people in Kingswells who oppose the application, I know for a fact that there are also a considerable number of people who support it. A ratio of 8 - 1 against is NOT representative of the view of Kingswells

One other thing - the 5000 or so (now approaching 7000) "comments" on the ACC site are a mixture of support & objections. They are not all "objections" as suggested above.

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IanC
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February 22, 2017 - 1:18 am
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noremac0273 said

Ian said
We have had the following feedback from a member of the public, and there may be others with similar views:

"Hi, Can you please confirm when & how you gathered the feedback from Kingswells residents that enables you as a community council to object to the stadium development on the communities behalf? If individuals on a personal level wish to object, then do so as individuals, please do not pretend to represent the views of an entire community especially when you have not even had the courtesy to even ask the residents." 

KCC response:

Thanks for your feedback.

It is impossible to do what you ask in a meaningful way in the timescale of a planning application. That is why we have tried to present the information in an unbiased way to allow residents to represent their own views.

In the circumstances we look at the community council members as representatives of the community, and after considering the content of the documents, we form a view. In this application there have also been over 5,000 views expressed to the planners, and of those from Kingswells there were about 75% against the proposal. We have had several meetings since the stadium was first discussed, and to date no Kingswells resident has voiced an opinion one was or the other.

Considering all of the above we have done the best we can, but if you can suggest ways we can improve then we are willing to listen.

Thanks again,

If anyone can suggest a better way to handle large planning applications then please let us know.  

Have you verified in anyway the comments as actually those from Kingswells? I would see this as a vital pillar where by you can robustly defend the position of objection? is there any governance structure you can evidence to arriving at this decision to represent Kingswells residents in this way? if not, I would suggest that any submission be it for or against is invalid and should be retracted.

noremac0273,

Please note that these are my own personal views and not those of KCC.

I assume you are referring to the 5000 objections lodge with ACC . .  no I have not gone into all of these, but someone from the No Group did. This was not considered for KCC's objection. I only used it for information to provide further justification.

I have already said it is impossible to represent the whole of Kingswells, and I asked for suggestions on how we could achieve what you want. To date no one has suggested anything.

Are you saying KCC can only represent the views of Kingswells residents if we ask all residents what their views are? What would we need to do?

  1. This is not something that has a Yes / No answer. To get something useful we have to:
    • read all 165 documents,
    • summarise all this in a questionaire with 100, or more points
    • print it out
    • deliver it to your home
    • give residents time to process and fill in the questionaire. (Would you fill out a questionnaire like this?)
    • collect all the views
    • collate and summarise
      • What do we do with the results?
      • How many views do we need before we can say we have a representative view?
      • What do we do if we have a 50/50 result.
    • write a representation that truely reflects everyones view
    • send to ACC within 4 weeks of the application going live
  2. How many people do you think we would need to do all this?

So, I hope you agree its not possible to ask everyone their views in a meaningful way within the time available.

Does this mean that KCC can never represent the views of Kingswells?

KCC is a statutory consultee and we have to give our views on things we think are important for Kingswells.

How is it possible to do this?

Rightly, or wrongly; the only viable option we have is to use the members of KCC as a representative sample of the community  . . . and go with that

Far from perfect, but the best we can do . . .  unless you can suggest something more.

I hope you see that asking questions is easier than providing answers.

 

One last question . . . .

Councillors will make the final decision on the approval of the planning application . . . .

what do they need to do to represent your view?

Andy Said

"KCC will be preparing a response that objects to the stadium" - That response does NOT reflect the opinion of the entire community of Kingswells, and I agree with the suggestions above that this course of action should not be followed without some sort of community consultation having taken place. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this issue, and that includes the 8 members who voted, but KCC has no mandate to take a stance on this either way. This should be a matter for individuals to support or object as they see fit, not for 8 individuals to act as they see fit and badge it as being in the name of the community.  

Andy,

Hope the above answers your questions.

KCC is a statutory consultee.

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IanC
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February 21, 2017 - 11:11 pm
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Brian thanks for your comments, and for using this forum. It is a much easier platform to have serious discussion. I would like to address some of the points below. Please note that these are my own personal views and not those of KCC.

Brian said
Regarding your published views on the proposed Kingsford stadium. I appreciate the work you’ve done presenting the KCC's members views but I do feel these are coloured by an underlying bias against the development. 

We have tried to be as unbiased as possible. We have provided views for and against the stadium.

Obviously, the section expressing the Cons was written as an objection, and will appear negative. The section on the Pros was written by one of our members who is a supporter of the football club and he was assisted by a prospective member who is a volunteer with the Football Trust . .  is that not written in a supportive manner?

If you have further points to make in support of the stadium I would be happy to add these to the Pros section. 

On the Green Belt issue “development the size of the proposed stadium will have created coalescence between Westhill and Kingswells” – the AWPR provides barrier enough against a perceived coalescence, fact, never mind Prime4 and the Park and Ride. “The resulting ribbon development will set a precedence, and create development corridor along the A944.” Prime4 set a precedent here, along with the Kingshill and Arnhall Business Parks, and the Park and Ride.

The AWPR has been a barrier to development for as long as I can remember, it was considered acceptable to build up to it but not beyond. This is reflected in the Local Development Plan. The Prime Four development has been been on  the go for many years and KCC have been working with Drum since the beginning to ensure that the development was as acceptable as possible to the community.

KCC is not against all development, as has been suggested elsewhere, only inappropriate development. In comparison to times before Prime Four, KCC made relatively few objections to the Prime Four development. We were concerned about the effects on the landscape, and objected to having the tallest buildings on the highest points of the site. We suggested that the layout be changed so any tall buildings were built on lower lying ground within the development site. Unfortunately, we were not successful in these objections.

The greenbelt to the west of the AWPR is the buffer of green space that prevents to coalescence between the two communities. The proposed development almost fills the gap, and the bit that would be left would not be sufficient to prevent coalescence.

The AWPR is a structure and does not contribute to the green space required to prevent coalescence, but represents the boundary for Aberdeen City developments.

What we have is Arnhall with its own natural boundary, and the green space between, and the City development This configuration offers each community its own identity - no coalescence.

On the Choice of Site –AFC did not choose this site to annoy a few residents of Kingswells and Westhill, it is the best site based on their requirements. It is their decision whether the require training facilities next to stadium or not, not KCCs, or anyone else’s. “Although there are very significant commercial developments at Westhill and Prime Four, this fact has been ignored to help justify Kingsford.” Therefore, the stadium build will not set a precedent here.

I think the point here is that AFC have engineered the site selection by making their requirements unrealistic. Very few clubs have all their facilities on one site. I was at a Shire Council meeting today where AFC said that they needed to have all facilities together so they didn't need to duplicate things like 1st team changing and physio facilities etc. This is purely an economic justification, a cost saving for AFC; but who pays for that?  

KCC do not presume to tell AFC where to build its facilities. The planning system require AFC to go through a sequential process for the assessment of alternative sites. Generally, sites located nearer the City Centre should be given preference to out of centre locations. In its assessment of the possible sites AFC have dismissed all the other sites because they cannot accommodate all the facilities on one site. A rigorous assessment of sites would have gone through another cycle of assessments where the stadium and training facilities were considered on separate sites. KCC is only asking AFC to conduct their assessment in a proper manner. 

The SDP and LDP set out areas within Aberdeen and the Shire where development is permitted, so that development takes place in a controlled manner. The proposed development site is excluded for development so that it can create a pleasant area in which people can live.

If the proposed stadium were to be approved then the setting would be destroyed, and this would set a precedent for further development on both sides of the A944. Without the stadium, development along the A944 would be difficult to justify.  

AFC has been an important contributor to the city for over 100 years, long before the Shells and Apaches appeared here, and I hazard they will be here long after the Nexens and Transoceans have gone to seek profits elsewhere, a future that will probably see even more local fathers doing the Westhill and Kingswells school drop-offs/pickups. As such I feel AFC deserve a little more help from the community, considering they are looking to spend £50 million of their own money nearby. I can’t recall seeing 70,000 locals out cheering any of the oil and gas majors down Union Street on winning a new contract. The ability for AFC to achieve this should not be taken lightly. AFC and the Community Trust can generate a real community spirit on a week by week basis across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for decades to come. I'd hope that local community councils aren't too small minded to see the big picture. The future of North Sea oil recovery is not looking great, more thought should be taken on this before promoting petty arguments, short term thinking and negative opinions against a new 'non oil & gas' development of this significance. There will be challenges, but there’s no doubt we can solve them. Stay positive.  

I think the main beneficiary of the investment in this move would be AFC.

The benefits of the Trust can be achieved where ever they are located, and the argument is that they should be located nearer the deprived communities that will benefit most. The folks from Kingswells and Westhill will still have access to all these facilities, they just need to travel a little further.

The benefit of a stadium will be the same where ever it is built.

I think KCC is looking at the bigger picture, and can see what is likely to happen if the stadium is built in this location. 

When assessing a planning application there are three outcomes:

  • approve
  • object
  • approve subject to certain qualifications which would mitigate any concerns.

The loss of the greenbelt in this case would have such a significant impact that mitigation is not possible. The only option we have is to object. 

I know we are probably are never going to agree, but I hope this gives a better idea of where we are coming from.

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noremac0273
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February 21, 2017 - 1:57 pm
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Ian said
We have had the following feedback from a member of the public, and there may be others with similar views:

"Hi, Can you please confirm when & how you gathered the feedback from Kingswells residents that enables you as a community council to object to the stadium development on the communities behalf? If individuals on a personal level wish to object, then do so as individuals, please do not pretend to represent the views of an entire community especially when you have not even had the courtesy to even ask the residents." 

KCC response:

 

Thanks for your feedback.

It is impossible to do what you ask in a meaningful way in the timescale of a planning application. That is why we have tried to present the information in an unbiased way to allow residents to represent their own views.

In the circumstances we look at the community council members as representatives of the community, and after considering the content of the documents, we form a view. In this application there have also been over 5,000 views expressed to the planners, and of those from Kingswells there were about 75% against the proposal. We have had several meetings since the stadium was first discussed, and to date no Kingswells resident has voiced an opinion one was or the other.

Considering all of the above we have done the best we can, but if you can suggest ways we can improve then we are willing to listen.

Thanks again,

If anyone can suggest a better way to handle large planning applications then please let us know.  

Have you verified in anyway the comments as actually those from Kingswells? I would see this as a vital pillar where by you can robustly defend the position of objection? is there any governance structure you can evidence to arriving at this decision to represent Kingswells residents in this way? if not, I would suggest that any submission be it for or against is invalid and should be retracted.

"KCC will be preparing a response that objects to the stadium" - That response does NOT reflect the opinion of the entire community of Kingswells, and I agree with the suggestions above that this course of action should not be followed without some sort of community consultation having taken place. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this issue, and that includes the 8 members who voted, but KCC has no mandate to take a stance on this either way. This should be a matter for individuals to support or object as they see fit, not for 8 individuals to act as they see fit and badge it as being in the name of the community.

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Brian
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February 21, 2017 - 10:25 am
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Regarding your published views on the proposed Kingsford stadium. I appreciate the work you’ve done presenting the KCC's members views but I do feel these are coloured by an underlying bias against the development. 

On the Green Belt issue “development the size of the proposed stadium will have created coalescence between Westhill and Kingswells” – the AWPR provides barrier enough against a perceived coalescence, fact, never mind Prime4 and the Park and Ride. “The resulting ribbon development will set a precedence, and create development corridor along the A944.” Prime4 set a precedent here, along with the Kingshill and Arnhall Business Parks, and the Park and Ride.

On the Choice of Site –AFC did not choose this site to annoy a few residents of Kingswells and Westhill, it is the best site based on their requirements. It is their decision whether the require training facilities next to stadium or not, not KCCs, or anyone else’s. “Although there are very significant commercial developments at Westhill and Prime Four, this fact has been ignored to help justify Kingsford.” Therefore, the stadium build will not set a precedent here.

AFC has been an important contributor to the city for over 100 years, long before the Shells and Apaches appeared here, and I hazard they will be here long after the Nexens and Transoceans have gone to seek profits elsewhere, a future that will probably see even more local fathers doing the Westhill and Kingswells school drop-offs/pickups. As such I feel AFC deserve a little more help from the community, considering they are looking to spend £50 million of their own money nearby. I can’t recall seeing 70,000 locals out cheering any of the oil and gas majors down Union Street on winning a new contract. The ability for AFC to achieve this should not be taken lightly. AFC and the Community Trust can generate a real community spirit on a week by week basis across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for decades to come. I'd hope that local community councils aren't too small minded to see the big picture. The future of North Sea oil recovery is not looking great, more thought should be taken on this before promoting petty arguments, short term thinking and negative opinions against a new 'non oil & gas' development of this significance. There will be challenges, but there’s no doubt we can solve them. Stay positive.

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Ian
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February 20, 2017 - 4:21 pm
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We have had the following feedback from a member of the public, and there may be others with similar views:

"Hi, Can you please confirm when & how you gathered the feedback from Kingswells residents that enables you as a community council to object to the stadium development on the communities behalf? If individuals on a personal level wish to object, then do so as individuals, please do not pretend to represent the views of an entire community especially when you have not even had the courtesy to even ask the residents." 

KCC response:

 

Thanks for your feedback.

It is impossible to do what you ask in a meaningful way in the timescale of a planning application. That is why we have tried to present the information in an unbiased way to allow residents to represent their own views.

In the circumstances we look at the community council members as representatives of the community, and after considering the content of the documents, we form a view. In this application there have also been over 5,000 views expressed to the planners, and of those from Kingswells there were about 75% against the proposal. We have had several meetings since the stadium was first discussed, and to date no Kingswells resident has voiced an opinion one was or the other.

Considering all of the above we have done the best we can, but if you can suggest ways we can improve then we are willing to listen.

Thanks again,

If anyone can suggest a better way to handle large planning applications then please let us know.

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Ian
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February 20, 2017 - 4:12 pm
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Proposed Stadium at Kingsford

The following pages represent Kingswells Community Councils assessment of the plans for a stadium at Kingsford. The topic is complex and it is our intention to present the pros and cons and allow you to make your own representation to planners by 27th February.

That being said KCC will be preparing a response that objects to the stadium. The community council had a vote  of 8 against the stadium and 1 for.

The information here was prepared by two members of the planning sub group after consideration of the 164 documents in the planning application, and various meetings organised by Westhill and Elrick Community Council. The section on the pros was prepared by a member of the planning sub group and a prospective member of KCC.

These pages will have information added in the coming days, so please come back, or ask questions if you have concerns that have not been addressed.

To make you views known please send an Send email to ACC or go onto their planning page and make a comment on line.

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Proposed Stadium at Kingsford

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