North East MSP Mike Rumbles and Westhill and District Councillor Iris Walker have raised their concerns over the decision, today, to plough forward with plans for a new AFC stadium and training grounds at Kingsford.
The decision to approve plans for the £50 million project was taken in a meeting of Aberdeen City Council, this afternoon. However, Aberdeenshire planning officers and local councillors, members of the City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority, and hundreds of local residents have objected to the proposal which will see development of the green belt, west of the city.
Mr Rumbles, who had previously raised concerns with traffic management, said: “I’m afraid that today’s decision will only serve to undermine the relationship between the two local authorities and the communities on either side of this debate.
“I am not satisfied that my initial doubts around traffic management and the impact on local residents have been addressed. People have the right to object to these plans and the Club and Aberdeen City Council have a responsibility to listen to their concerns and work to mitigate them.”
Cllr Walker added: “While I respect the democratic decision, I do wonder how two professional planning authorities can judge planning policy so differently. Both City and Shire have worked hard to deliver a Local Development Plan that is beneficial for both communities but I’m sorry to say that today’s decision has damaged that relationship.
“I am also worried by the effect of such a long drawn out process on the local community. There are still many challenges ahead, not least the footbridge over the A944 and over traffic management in the area. It is absolutely essential that constructive and meaningful engagement with local residents continues through this process.”