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Derek McInnes: “I’m delighted” Kingsford Stadium given go-ahead by courts

Friday March 1st 2019 at 11:47 AM

Aberdeen FC’s new Kingsford Stadium has been given the go-ahead by courts after a legal challenge against it was dismissed.

The £50 million plans for a 20,000-seat stadium, training ground and community hub at Kingsford were approved by Aberdeen City councillors in January last year.

Opposition group No Kingsford Stadium launched a lengthy challenge against the proposals in the run-up to that decision and, when councillors passed the proposals, took their battle to the courts.

The group crowdfunded nearly £70,000 to finance the challenge, arguing proper consideration wasn’t given by elected members.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard evidence over a three-day hearing in January and announced today it had decided to back the city council.

In his decision, Judge Lord Tyre wrote : “In my opinion the petitioner has not identified an error of law in the approach of the Council that would entitle this court to interfere with its decision to grant planning permission for the proposed development.

“ was submitted that the Council’s conclusion was perverse in that it failed to attach sufficient weight to the development plan policies whose purpose was to protect the green belt from development.

“This amounts to no more than a disagreement with the Council’s assessment and does not in my view provide any justification for a finding of perversity or irrationality.”

Stewart Milne, chairman of Aberdeen Football Club: “The outcome of the judicial review is welcome news for the Club, the Council and the wider region. 

“We can now confidently complete phase one, the community sports hub and training facilities, and start moving towards delivery of phase two, AFC’s new stadium.

“We’ve already been engaging positively with local residents and community groups who support our plans. But, following today’s decision, we will reach out to the whole community, even those who have objected to the plans, so that we can work positively with them to deliver a community sports hub that meets their aspirations, best-in-class football training facilities and, ultimately, a stadium that the whole region can be proud of.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson said: “We note the outcome of the judicial review and welcome the court’s ruling that a robust planning process was followed in determining the application.”

A spokesperson for No Kingsford Stadium said: “We’re disappointed with the outcome of the Judicial Review of the Kingsford Stadium Planning Application.

“We will now take time to consider matters with our legal team before deciding on next best steps.

“Meantime we take this opportunity to thank our many supporters, from across the community, who have given their time and financial backing to the “No Kingsford Stadium Campaign”.

The group now has 21 days to appeal the decision.

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