Proposed Kingsford Stadium
KCC Newsletter Article
Proposed Kingsford Stadium is a major development. KCC encourage everyone to identify concerns early in the process as this is the most effective way to take part.
You will know by now that Aberdeen Football Club (AFC) wants to leave Pittodrie and build a new 20,000 seat stadium, football academy and training facilities at Kingsford on the A944 between the AWPR flyover and Westhill. At this stage, AFC has been floating the idea and has not yet applied formally for planning permission. All we have to go on at this stage is an artist’s impression of what the facility might look like. Needless to say, the local press and AFC officials have been highly excited about the move although views amongst Dons fans appear to be more mixed.
In the current and upcoming Aberdeen Local Development Plans, the site in question is shown as green belt with no plans for development.
The proposed Kingsford stadium would be 1.1 miles as the crow flies from the nearest residential area of Kingswells but much closer to Westhill. The fields in question were formerly used as a landfill site for building waste. Since then they have been grassed over and used as grazing land. They have little nature conservation value although in winter hundreds of migrating geese often gather there to feed. That said, the area in question is green belt and building on it could pave the way to the eventual merging of Kingswells with Westhill.
The site would be well served by the AWPR for fans arriving by coach or car from north and south. Fans coming from central Aberdeen would probably travel via the Lang Stracht or Skene Road and the A944. On match days, heavy traffic on the A944 seems inevitable and suitable road and junction improvements would be required.
Facilities in our area for visiting fans are clearly much more limited than around Pittodrie where there is plenty of access to eateries and bars in the city centre. However, our two licensed premises at Fourmile House and the Village Hotel in Prime Four are reacting positively to the prospect of additional custom from fans.
Drum Group, who manage Prime Four, is taking a neutral stance about the proposed Kingsford stadium.
Members of Kingswells Community Council have had a useful initial meeting with members of Westhill and Elrick Community Council to discuss the proposals. We hope to work in partnership with them. At this stage, both community councils are adopting a neutral stance until we have more detail about AFC’s plans and the views of residents become clearer. By the time you read this, the two community councils will have attended an initial meeting called by AFC to give us more information about their proposals .
Points to Highlight
As always, KCC will try its best to act in best interests of the local community. We are unlikely to support the development at Kingsford unless a number of conditions are met:
AFC will have to convince us that there will be real benefits to the local community.
Parking facilities within the Kingsford site itself should be designed to cater for ALL vehicles during match days, including cars and buses. Parking by fans in neighbouring streets in Kingswells and Westhill would be completely unacceptable.
The Kingswells park-and-ride could be identified as an overspill parking area for cars. However, any such move should not be allowed to inconvenience normal users of the park-and-ride. The footpath/cycle lane along the A944 towards Westhill is potentially dangerous for large numbers of fans continuing to the stadium on foot. A coach shuttle service should be funded by AFC to transfer fans safely from the park-and-ride to the stadium.
AFC will need to improve roads and junctions in the area to ensure that traffic on match days is no worse than currently experienced. The area affected would likely extend well beyond Kingswells and Westhill.
Additional bus stops and pedestrian crossing points will be required on the A944.
AFC will have to provide adequate funding to Aberdeen City Council for clearing up any litter generated by fans in and around the park-and-ride.
Unlike most football stadiums, this one would be located in a semi-rural area. Light pollution from the stadium and floodlit pitches should be kept to an absolute minimum. Acoustics in the stadium should be such that the out-spilling of noise into the surrounding area is also kept to an absolute minimum. (Although the stadium is over a mile from Kingswells, the prevailing wind is towards us and will carry the sound).
Aberdeen Football Club has promised a period of public consultation. KCC would strongly urge you to attend one of these sessions, regardless of whether you support or object to the development.