Kingsford Stadium ‘will change people’s lives for the better’ say Dons

A new Dons stadium at Kingsford would change people’s lives for the better, a public hearing into the controversial plans was told today.

Councillors were getting the chance to question council officers and Aberdeen FC on the club’s proposed £50 million development at Kingsford, near Westhill.

Live: Kingsford Stadium pre-determination hearing

Dons manager Derek McInnes was among the speakers who gave their opinion on the proposed development today.

This will change people’s lives for the better.

Ally Prockter, chief executive of AFC Community Trust, said the new development will provide facilities which will be available to the public including a gymnasium.

He said: “This can generate income to the trust and benefit its communities.”

He added: “This will be a game changer for the trust and this will change people’s lives for the better.”

Manager Derek McInnes told the hearing: “We can all find reasons not to do something, to put something off to another day.

Now, I wasn’t born in Aberdeen or brought up an Aberdeen supporter, but I love this club.

“But not this decision. It is too important, not only to me, but it will impact on so many people and future generations of Aberdonians.

“We cannot be sitting here in 10 years time still trying to get this done.

“Now, I wasn’t born in Aberdeen or brought up an Aberdeen supporter, but I love this club.

“We are a brilliant club to work for, to be part of.

“Full of brilliant people with energy and passion, who only want the club to be successful.

“We are just not as brilliant as we can be currently.

“But with these new facilities, we most definitely can be.

“As I see it, the whole of Aberdeen and the North-east region are deserving of top class facilities which we can be proud of.

“Our supporters are deserving of a full match day experience in a modern stadium catering for all.

“All my players, and future generations of youngsters, are deserving of conditions conducive to learning, and developing the skills to be the best they can be.

“We are ‘all for Aberdeen’. Please help us deliver an ‘Aberdeen for all’ sporting arena fit for the 21st century.”

Aberdeen City Council’s roads team today said they do not object to the proposals but did raise concerns and insisted a pedestrian footbridge and controlled parking zone (CPZ) would have to be implemented.

Senior engineer Mark Wilkie said: “Should either of these elements be undeliverable then our stance would change to one of refusal.”

Mr Wilkie also said two thirds of people would be faster parking in Kingswells and walking from the Park and Ride, rather than queuing for a shuttle bus.

Convener of the city council’s planning committee Marie Boulton today said the report before members does not provide an assessment of the merits of the application.

She added: “I know today is an emotional day for many people but if I could ask you all to remain respectful.”

A decision on the application will be made in October.

Pre-determination hearings are required for national and major developments or when a large level of representations have been made in relation to an application.