AFC Consultation image of stadium

Kingswells Community Council Response to AFC Consultation

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Kingswells Community Council
Response to AFC Consultation

 

Kingswells Community Council is maintaining a neutral stance about the stadium and associated facilities until we see more detail in the plans.

In the meantime here are KCC’s concerns:

  • AFC must be able to prove that there will be real local benefits to the people of Kingswells, many of whom will not have much interest in football.

  • We are concerned that the public consultation events were carried out during the summer holiday period when fewer people would have been around. Also, there was little information to be consulted about, other than an outline proposal.

  • All of the Kingsford site is designated in the draft 2016 Aberdeen Local Development Plan as Greenbelt (NE2). This is the plan that went to the Scottish Government Reporter after extensive public consultation. This designation would need to be overturned.

  • It has generally been an accepted planning principle that the coalescence of communities should be avoided in order to preserve their individual identities. Drum Group already has planning permission to extend its developments at Prime Four along the A944 towards the AWPR. We are very concerned that AFC’s plans will contribute further to the coalescence of Westhill and Kingswells. Floodlit pitches, especially 3G pitches, are not the same as green space.

  • Traffic congestion on the A944 and surrounding roads on match/event days is a real concern for us. This is likely to be especially problematic during mid-week fixtures. How will AFC finance the road improvements that are going to be necessary ?

  • Most fans will arrive/depart via the Kingswells South Junction of the AWPR. The AWPR was specially designed to keep traffic moving and minimise delays. The junction and its roundabout were not designed to take the traffic flows that will be experienced on match/event days and this will lead to tailbacks on the AWPR and A944. AFC will need to finance improvements to the roads network to negate these effects.

  • Public safety and security concerns us and we will need firm assurance that effective policing will be in place to deal with any anti-social behaviour in and around Kingswells and Westhill. Unlike the city centre and the area around Pittodrie, Kingswells and Westhill have no CCTV to help the Police monitor crowd behaviour. Areas of special concern include the Kingswells park-and-ride and the shopping area at Westhill. How will these concerns be addressed and how will AFC pay for the additional security infrastructure required ?

  • Kingswells is still a semi-rural area and people here enjoy the peace and quiet. The nearest area of housing in Kingswells is just over a mile from the stadium and the majority of the time Kingswells will be down-wind from Kingsford. How will noise from the stadium and the other facilities be minimised ? At the detailed planning stage, only the highest possible environmental standards of noise control will be acceptable.

  • Being semi-rural, Kingswells still benefits from having fairly dark skies at night. How will AFC deal with light pollution from the stadium and other facilities ? At the detailed planning stage, only the highest possible environmental standards for minimising light pollution would be acceptable.

  • Parking will be a key issue. The on-site parking provision of 1300 car spaces is likely to be totally insufficient. Plans to turn away cars with fewer than 3 passengers are likely to result is cars being parked randomly in local streets. Provision for coach parking on-site also looks to be too limited. So where will the overspill parking of cars and coaches be accommodated ? The Kingswells park-and ride could be used for a coach shuttle service to and from the stadium. However, the space available there has limitations, particularly for coaches. Under no circumstances should the park-and-ride car park become so congested that normal travellers (for whom it was constructed) are disadvantaged. Fans parking their cars randomly in streets or in public areas like shopping centres in Kingswells or Westhill would be unacceptable.

  • Some fans may choose to walk to/from the stadium along the pavement beside the busy A944. The pavement is actually a designated core path that also takes cyclists. The walk from the Kingswells park-and-ride to the stadium is over 1.5 miles and will probably take about 30 minutes. This route is potentially dangerous for fans because of the narrowness of the pavement in places. Traffic will be passing them at 40+ mph. If the pavement/cycleway is crowded with fans, normal users will be unable to use it. The only safe alternative is for all fans using the park-and-ride to be shuttled to/from the stadium by coach. It is unclear whether the current roads setup around the park-and-ride will be able to cope with this.

  • If the park-and-ride is used by fans then improvements will be necessary to ensure that ‘rapid exit’ is possible. If this doesn’t happen, then local streets will be used for parking instead of the park-and-ride. This practice would be unacceptable.

  • Closing the A944 to allow ‘rapid exit’ from the stadium would also be unacceptable as the A944 is the only access road for Kingswells and Westhill residents travelling west/east.

  • We are proud of our community and do our best to ensure that it is kept clean and tidy. A large amount of litter could be dropped in the park-and-ride and possibly along the A944. This will have to be cleaned up immediately after matches to prevent it blowing into the surrounding green areas. AFC will have to take responsibility for cleaning up litter immediately after matches/events.

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