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Kingswells Opinion and Comment Extra

Updated: 20 MAY 2004

Welcome to this special page dedicated to your views about the proposed football stadium.
Please note this is a very long web page, so remember to use your scroll bars.

AFC Statement in Response to Public Enquiry Announcement
AFC Chief Executive, Keith Wyness today (16/10/02) says : "The club is surprised that the Scottish Executive has called in our planning application for Bellfield as we believe it is a local issue which has already received local backing. But we remain confident that the plans will still get the go-ahead.

"The plans have been subject to the utmost public scrutiny already and we are therefore confident that the outcome will be in our favour and the favour of the many, many people in the North-east who want to see the development proceed.

"We will participate fully in any presentations to or discussions with the Scottish Executive Inquiry Reporter as we firmly believe this is the right location for a development which has significant long-term benefits for the city. We can also demonstrate that we have examined all the issues in a responsible and respectful manner and can put forward solutions to the challenges the development poses.

"Our plans are robust and meet all the regulations and criteria stipulated by planning legislation.

"Whilst the Scotland/Ireland bid committee believe that Aberdeen could still be included in the bid despite the timescale involved in a public inquiry, it does give us cause for concern. Aberdeen could miss out on the opportunity to be involved in Euro 2008 and this would be more than just a missed opportunity for our city &endash; it would be a travesty. Not only do we lose out financially, we also lose out on the sports front as the next generation of sportsmen and women will not be able to benefit from world-class facilities.

"I urge everyone in the region who backs Bellfield to demonstrate their support by writing to the club. The silent majority must now drown out the vocal minority."

CHIN UP!: Following the decision of the planning department to abandon planning considerations and the decision of the planning committee to accept this excellent and most welcome recommendation (ludicrously misdirecting themselves in law on whether they could consider the application in part) we now have to push in the wider community for a public inquiry. It is quite obvious that the process is being nobbled at both ends to avoid scrutiny.

If we can achieve this we have get the chance to test the curious claims made by the applicants and their apologists. It's vital therefore that we all write in our own words to our MSP, to Jack McConnell, the national press, our MP and perhaps also to Michael Meacher, the government's Environmental Minister who is currently creating some noise about the failings in this respect. And that we encourage as many others as possible to do the same

It's been suggested that we might need another meeting and I'm happy to arrange one if there is sufficient demand but I would want to know the proposed agenda first because, other than the above, I don't really have much to add to what was said at the last meeting just a few weeks ago.

I know the applicants are already celebrating but I can assure you that it is very premature. If we can force a public inquiry we still have a very good chance of winning.

I certainly remain completely committed to this cause and I hope that every continues to feel the same way. From Mike Dunbar (Posted 13.8.2002)

KEEP KINGSWELLS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE: In a development which may be regarded by many as an unforgivable act of treachery, the man who was elected to represent the interests of Kingswells residents has voted for the football stadium which threatens to blight the lives of everyone who may have to live with it. Elected in 1999 on a wafer thin majority of 27, Councillor David Maitland claimed, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, that support for the proposal in Kingswells now equalled opposition, bringing gasps of disbelief from members of the audience at the meeting of the planning committee which convened to consider the application for the first time. 

Maitland spoke at length in favour of the application, telling the committee that even if property prices were to be adversely affected by the development, this was not a planning consideration.  It is unlikely that the councillor, who has rarely been far from controversy in his brief tenure in Newhills, will be forgiven by residents who have had no alternative but to rely on him as their only source of representation at local level and who may now feel that they have been sold out to finance a stadium to which they are bitterly opposed.  Following the meeting several residents angrily expressed the feeling that May 2003 elections are urgently required in order to secure true representation of their interests in the stadium debate within the city council.  Maitland seconded Convenor Brian Rutherford 's motion to approve the application and the vote was carried by ten votes to four in spite of an amendment proposed by Liberal Councillor Kate Dean that the application be refused.  A further motion by Councillor Dean was approved that the matter be referred to full council and it is expected that this will take place on 22nd August. 

From here, the application must by law be submitted to Scottish Ministers and it is thought likely that this will be accompanied by a memorandum from the council stating that they are "minded" to approve.  Scottish Minister have the right to commission a public inquiry, as they did with the much more modest proposal at East Middlefield.  There is concern in some quarters however that the recommendation by the city planners for approval of the proposal may provide ministers with the chance to pass the application back to Aberdeen City Council for final determination.  Councillors Maitland, Dempsey, Irons, Graham, Jaffray, McIntosh, Hall, Traynor, McLean and Rutherford supported the motion for approval.  Only Councillors, Dean, Cormack, Cassie and Clyne voted against. BY KIFG (Posted 9.8.2002)

Kingswells Infrastructure First Group: Now that the dust has settled from the public hearing, what planning issues emerge ?  Quite simple really : 

* There is no provision in the Local Plan for such a development

* It breaches a raft of planning policies and guidelines

* Alternative sites exist which do not breach greenbelt policy

* No national need would be served by the development

* It does not accord with sustainable transport policy

The public hearing may have coincidentally identified why Aberdeen has no integrated transport system worth mentioning.  Principal roads engineer Andrew Smith calmly announced that he had not surveyed the effects of the development on the Bridge of Dee because he doesn't have to look that far !  So the development might have gone ahead, traffic across the bridge reaching meltdown and we would later see the familiar introduction of "measures" and "initiatives" to "mitigate" an unmitigated disaster because the principal route from the south to the site had not been surveyed prior to approval being granted.  Is it any wonder we have transport problems ?

We will continue to hear the chief executive of Aberdeen Football Club plc trying to create distractions on the perceived benefits of this proposal.  You can see his problem - the last thing he needs is for this planning application to be considered on planning grounds ! support@kifg.co.uk

Hello,
Here is a copy of a preformatted letter embedded in a newsletter to all subscribers to the AFC web site. Attached is an "adjusted" version which provides an alternative perspective. See what you think.
Regards, Mark Williams Kingswells Resident

Subject: Stadium Planning Application.

Dear BDR,

AFC has submitted a planning application for a new stadium, with training facilities, soccer academy and state of the art sports & leisure complex at Bellfield.

If the planning application succeeds, we are on track for being one of the host venues should the SFA's bid for Euro 2008 be successful. This is an ambitious project, but one which could seriously improve AFC's long-term future as well as bringing significant benefits to the people of the North-east.

With the challenges facing other Scottish clubs and us at this time, it is more important than ever that we are able to move the plans for the new stadium forward.

If you wish to support the application, please fill in your name and address on the template letter below, copy and paste it to afc@bwscotnet.com or download it and send to the Planning Department at Aberdeen City Council.

You can also help by completing our on-line survey, which can be accessed

from the front page of the site, or by visiting the following link.

http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?XG5KA7MHHXE6Y3JY6CBLY45W

Sender's address

Planning Department
Aberdeen City Council
St Nicholas House
Broad Street Aberdeen

Dear Sirs,

I fully support Aberdeen Football Club's planning application to build a world-class sports and leisure complex at Bellfield.

This complex would offer numerous benefits to the region and provide much needed sports facilities as well as a new stadium and soccer academy.

Improved traffic measures should be put in place before the complex is completed but I believe this is part of the planning application submitted by the club.

If this application does not succeed, I believe Aberdeen will not only have missed out on Euro 2008 but on a huge opportunity for business, sport and the community in the Northeast.

Yours faithfully,

Print name

Subject: Stadium Planning Application.

Dear Sirs,

I fully condone Aberdeen Football Club's planning application to build a world-class sports and leisure complex at Bellfield.

This complex would offer numerous benefits to the region and provide much needed sports facilities as well as a new stadium and soccer academy. However, such would be provided wherever the location is finalised and frankly believe that there should be consideration for a location nearby those who need it most. Deprived areas peripheral to the city would be appropriate. Greenbelt in a relatively affluent area is nonsensical.

Improved traffic measures that should be put in place before the complex is completed are farcical. This will not happen. I believe this is part of the planning application submitted by the club but the reality is that this is a simple formality on the behalf of the planners because they know that the certain traffic congestion at the proposed site is a fundamental flaw in their proposal.

If this application does not succeed, I do not believe Aberdeen will not have missed out on Euro 2008, there are other sites available and fundamentally the whole proposal is governed by the ability of the host nation(s) to provide at least eight worthy stadia. Scotland has only existing stadia at Hampden, Murrayfield, Celtic Park and Ibrox. Proposal for the two further in Scotland plus two in Ireland (from the failed joint bid) highlights Scotland's shortfall of three stadia even if this proposal goes ahead.

Opportunity for business, sport and the community in the Northeast will be unaffected if an alternative site is chosen in any other part of Aberdeenshire.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Williams

 

A meeting of those opposed to the proposal to build a football stadium in green belt land in Kingswells will be held on Monday 22nd April 2002 in Kingswells Community Centre at 8pm.  The purpose of the meeting will be to :

* Provide information on the progress of the application

* Offer membership of a formally constituted Kingswells Infrastructure First Group

* Present a technical analysis of the EA

* Display illustrations of the noise intrusion and visual impact

* Advise on representations to any further submissions of the applicants

This being an issue affecting the whole of Aberdeen, invitation will not be confined to residents of Kingswells.  We are anticipating that this will form a platform for sustained opposition through the departure hearing, council decision, call in, appeal, public inquiry and any litigation to follow.

Congratulations on yr web-site, which I have come across for the first time. Yr fellow Kingswellers might like to check out the web-site of Aberdeen Civic Society, on the Beehive Community Web under "Clubs & Societies" at http://beehive.thisisnorthscotland, which includes our submission on the proposed new football stadium at Kingswells.( Posted 15.2.2002) Alex Mitchell

URGENT HELP REQUIRED: A special edition of the Kingswells News is being issued containing a pro forma letter of objection to the Environmental & Traffic Assessments produced by Barton Willmore on behalf of Aberdeen Football Club.

Volunteers are urgently required to assist in distributing these in Kingswells as early as possible this week, to provide sufficient time for the pro forma to be signed and posted to Aberdeen City Council before the deadline of 15th February (Friday).

A block delivery is being made to Barrie Buchan's house on Monday evening. Would anyone who is willing to deliver in their street on Monday or Tuesday evening please make contact with Mark Cullen (publisher of the Kingswells News) at markpcullen@netscapeonline.co.uk who will allocate delivery areas from his mast list if Kingswells Streets. (Posted 10.2.2002)

I know that many of us have already submitted such instructions but for anyone who hasn't yet done so, there is now a facility on the web site to send an email to our "representative" instructing him how to represent our interests.

Subject: WHAT IS THE TRUTH ......??? Todays Scotsman (16.1.2002) carries an article by Hamish Macdonell , which would appear to raise some points for discussion -

1. The 30,00 stadium at Kingswells is critical to the success of Scotland's bid.......

A couple of months ago the Sunday Times carried a statement from David Taylor of the SFA , stating that this was not the case , and that the proposal could proceed , in the light of opposition to any part of the 'plan' , using any of the other stadium options ???

2.'Kingswells Stadium' would retain its 30,00 capacity after the tournament ....

Since the initial AFC 'roadshows' Messers Milne & Wyness have stressed that the capacity is to be reduced after the tournament ???.

3.In the face of objections , Quote ...' a new road may have to be built linking the stadium to a new ring road..'

On the proposed 'Master Plan ' issued by AFC and their paid consultants last week , I cannot see any 'New Ring Road ' or the commitment to finance such a necessary part of the 'plan' ???.

It should also be considered that estimates state 10 years to build a 'bypass' , a little too late to be of any use in 2008 ....

The same article states that Hearts proposal to move in Edinburgh , has been put on the reserve list due to ...quote ...'planning problems with Edinburgh City Council because of planning restrictions on green belt sites'...

Interesting that Aberdeen City Council appear to be 'bending over backwards ' to accomodate plans , whilst Edinburgh City Council are displaying the necessary integrity to stand firm...???

Radio Scotland also state that 60% of the people questioned for a survey , were against the use of potentially £100 million of public money for the scheme , when other issues would appear to be more deserving ...???

What is the truth....???? Regards C Scott (Posted16.1.2002)


The P & J , states that AFC'S proposed solution to the potential traffic chaos & congestion of a Kingswells stadium is to quote ...'encourage supporters to to join a car-sharing club or home supporters coach clubs ,use park & ride sites around the city and stagger journey times to and from the ground '.

The lack of 'nouse' displayed by these suggestions , the arrogance , and the contempt shown for the intelligence of the people of Aberdeen is amazing . Walt Disney would have been able to come up with more credible options.

The local council has for years been trying to provide a solution to' peak time ' traffic problems ,on the A944 , which those caused by the proposed relocation are compared , without success. With regard to the proposed development we are offered ' no worse' thus increasing the number of occasions on which this scale of traffic occurs , an offer which must surely directly contravene the stated wishes ofour City council.

The solutions proposed by the football club and their 'consultants' are infantile in their naivety , and positively contemptuous. In the wake of sizeable expenditure and study ,if this is the quality of proposed 'solution' then I'm surprised the project has even got this far.

Regards C Scott. Kingswells. (Posted 15.1.2002)

http://www.kifg.co.uk We can do this by keeping it high profile, unpredictable, outside the process. Hang in there. MD (Posted 6.12.2001


KIFG Stadium Objection Letter (Posted 2.11.2001)

Dear Charlie, I noted your response to my e-mail.

It was as expected.It merely underlined my point about the "hick" town mentality.Petty, self interested and pathetic.NIMBYism at its worst!

Your small village is not worthy of further comment. Happy New Year Mark (Posted 5.1.2002)

Dear Mark , In response to your unprompted tirade against the residenat of Kingswells regarding the relocation of Pittodrie , I would suggest that you remove your 'Red Tinted Specs' , put away your 'life-long dreams' of soccer glory and consider the real issues .

The main issue regarding relocation of the football stadium is the disembowelling of our existing Green Belt Policy , with no consideration of improved infrastructure ( ... access roads etc ...) , to facilitate profit making schemes for a few at the expense , and to the detriment ,of many .

Most other projects of a similar nature around the country have been proposed , and approved , on Brownfield sites , or involving redevelopment of existing facilities eg , Wembley , Arsenal's new stadium etc .

The construction of any large project within the 'Green Belt' should be refused , or we will soon have no 'Green Belt' ......

I agree on the subject of crowd sizes , Aberdeen do not and never will attract crowds in the order of 30,000 ; football as a spectator sport is hardly a growth leisure activity , therefore why proceed with the destruction of 'Green Belt' to accomodate a few games in 2008 - the prospect of , for example 'Austria vs Ukraine ' is hardly likely to captivate the imagination of the majority of the North -East .

If the AFC Board are truly , which I would doubt , interested in only the footballing future of the Club , would it not make sense to redevelop Pittodrie , creating a stadium of appropriate size , which would create some atmosphere , rather than a vast cauldron , in which the crowds of 12000 , on a good day , will rattle around ....???

Of course it would , but that would not generate the required 'return' ; not to the club , but to the pockets of those hiding their own agendas.

It is also disappointing that those elected to represent the people of city , have so far ,in the face of vast public opposition , failed to act appropriately in dismissing the proposed relocation .

Disappointing , but not surprising , as representing the wishes of constituents would appear to be well down the list of priorities in the 'City Councillors Handbook' ...so far down that a local MSP has requested that the Scottish Executive investigate the inmternal operation of the council with regard to another highly emotive planning issue for the Bridge of Don,.

On the subject of 'hick' towns , and the Central Belts' perception of the North-East , I would suggest that Mark Youngson needs to 'brush the chips from his shoulder' , untie his 'Nicky-Tams' , and realise that there is much more to life in the and around Aberdeen than merely a mediocre football club....

GET A LIFE !!! ....Consider the following-

... Appreciate that not everyone would be happy to live in '...anice house in Woodside...' .

...Appreciate that not everyone would regard the destruction of

Green Belt to facilitate any construction, never mind a white elephant of a stadium ,as 'progress'...

...Appreciate that not everyone in the North-East shares your passion or cares about football , preferring to try enjoy the quality of life offered by other means...

...Appreciate that not everyone in the Central Belt or North-East would consider the area or the population 'hick'...

Regards Charlie Scott Currently residing in '...a nice house in Kingswells ; without the drug related , housing scheme , football stadium problems encountered elsewhere...YET!!!!' (Posted 19.12.2001)


I cannot believe some of the stuff on this website!I found out about it by reading the Dons fans comments on the AFC website.

I saw something about 20,000 cars being parked round or about the stadium on matchdays?How can that be if you keep on banging on about the Reds' average attendance "only" (3rd highest crowds in Scotland) being around 12,000?Total mince basically.Remember the capacity is to be reduced following the championships from 30,000 to 25,000-the old capacity held by dear old Pittodrie up until around 10 years ago.

Another is the perception that football fans are a bunch of drunken louts.Not only is this a disgraceful slur on Dons fans but on the 99% of all fans who have never caused trouble in their lives!Sure a lot have a drink on matchdays,including myself, but to suggest some of the stuff appearing on here betrays a lack of common sense and knowledge among those who wrote it.In fact I know of quite a lot of people who are laughing at the stuff on here.Not all are football fans I can assure you.Small minded,petty,ill-informed are just some of the nicer words being used.Posting that article about the so-called fighting with Rangers fans was particularly daft considering I was there at the time and didn't witness any stuff like that.

To say that the quality of life will be affected adversely may be true but then I live in a nice house - but cos it is in Woodside I have lots of housing estates around and my mother and father bought the house before drugs became a big issue in society.This affects my quality of life but I have to live with it.Its called progress.I complain about the drugs etc but basically it is just tough- I have to live with it.I would much rather have a football stadium near me.

If Scotland even get Euro 2008- and I hope to God they do-then this City must have a Stadium to support it.The West of Scotland gets unfair and biased funding and coverage of virtually everything and must not be allowed to walk off with all the spoils of something like this.

It is time for Aberdeen to be stopped being called a "hick" town as it is looked on as being from our Weegie "pals".Kingswells residents objections make it look thus.

The Championships are not till 2008 so that gives the City and the Club around 6 years to put in place the Stadium and some infrastructure to support it.

Lets stop looking like a bunch of country cousins and help win a place in this tournament and also to give our famous old football club a shot in the arm and a chance to be great again. Thanks Mark Youngston (Posted14.12.2001)


The hearing due on 21 January which has now been 'sisted ' was to decide exactly what ...??? The SFA has to decide by the end of February whether to proceed with its bid for 2008 or not .

'Sisting' this hearing , and postponing it for 2 months surely goes beyond the 'End of Feb' deadline set by UEFA and the SFA.

Does this not therefore eliminate the AFC proposal from the SFA bid on the basis that in the face of such vocal , and hopefully legal opposition, the club will not be in a position to guarantee anything with regard to the relocation to Kingswells... ???

I will be delighted to see 'People Power' via concerted efforts on political , and when required legal , fronts create every possible obstacle to prevent this unnecessary intrusion onto our already shrinking countryside. (Posted29.11.2001) Charlie Scott


Facts about the Sunderland Stadium: I noticed in 'The Independant' a reference to the club (A.F.C.) pointing to the success of new out of town stadia in England - most notably, Sunderland - very interesting, I thought (as a lifelong Sunderland fan). Well here are some facts :

1. The Sunderland Stadium of Light is actually closer to the city centre of Sunderland than Roker Park (the previous ground).
2. The new stadium was built on a brownfield site (an old colliery working) - not greenbelt land adjoining residential suburbs.
3. It is within 5 minutes walk from an existing railway station.
4. It is on a main dual carrigeway linking Sunderland to the main A1 motorway.
5. It is served by a free 'Park and Ride' service on matchdays.

Of these, only the last could be applied to the proposed Kingswells development (and even then I doubt it would be free).

Incidentally there were previous plans to develop an out of town site to the west of Sunderland but they were rejected in part due to concerns of the supporters that it was too far from the city and therefore more difficult to access for a large urban based section of the supporters. (Posted 22.11.2001) Richard Collinson


"Pot calling the kettle black" As usual, the residents of commuter settlements risk a charge of "pot calling the kettle black" being levelled at them.....one could argue that what could be a bigger blight on the greenbelt close to western Aberdeen than the sprawl of Stewartie Milne boxes known as Kingswells ?

Let's just keep a sense of perspective in all of this, because at the moment the residents of Kingswells are making a fool of themselves in their hyprocritical protestations. (Posted 27.10.2001) Doug


Fail to see the logic: Like I suspect most people in Kingswells, I would support Aberdeen hosting part of Euro 2008, but like most people, completely fail to see the logic of putting such an edifice at the site in Kingswells (with its total lack of supporting infrastructure) proposed by Stewart Milne and the assorted collection of scumbags collectively known as Aberdeen District Council. My feelings on this bunch date back to when I lived in Cove Bay and found out to my horror of their behind the scenes machinations in inflicting a huge incinerator on the population of Cove, Torry and Altens, with no consultations and through meetings closed to the public in 1999; only finding out when articles started appearing in the press. That they are trying something similar in Kingswells does not surprise me at all. I guess like a lot of people, if you don't vote you get what you deserve, and until now I have never voted in a council election, something I will remedy in the future.

The background machinations with respect to the Scottish Executive in trying to remove greenbelt status in the area from the crematorium to Kingswells are just one more indication of the despicable, devious nature of these vermin. I can almost understand where Stewart Milne is coming from, that with respect to his business interests, Kingswells makes sense, I don't like it, but I do understand his motives. The rationale and actions of our elected representatives, seem however to be suspect, to say the least.

Having got that off my chest, has anyone considered trying to "work" the larger Scottish press (tabloid and broadsheet), ie Daily Record, Scotsman, Herald etc to try and get this more out into the open. The fact that most people are not against the new stadium per se, but want it put in a more logical location (Charleston) and that local people in Portlethen seem to welcome this needs to be brought out into the open. Another good source for exposing dubious municipal practices is "Private Eye", perhaps this also might be an area worth exploring.

For what it's worth I forwarded the excellent letter of objection put together by the Kingswells infrastructure first group to the Scottish Executive and have forwarded the note to friends in the affected area. A rolling E mail campaign to push this may also be worth considering (ie people E mail or drop a note to a friend or neighbour, who hopefully does the same, with any luck this expands rapidly).

Good luck with the campaign. Regards, Les Taylor (Posted 6.10.2001)


Now that Kingswells Community Council is up and running, it is important that they should know the views of Kinmgswells residents on the stadium proposal. Everyone is therefore urged to to write to the Community Council Secretary, Mrs Barrie Buchan, as soon as possible to state how they feel about the stadium proposal for Kingswells. Ask her to tell the Community Council how you feel.

Email to Support@kifg.co.uk, to the Kingswells News or via the suggestion boxes at the Community Centre or the Post Office.

It's our Community Council. Tell them how you feel - they can't guess. (Posted 5.10.2001) KIFG


I'm sorry, in the adrenaline rush I didn't get your name.

Are you, or do you know, the lady who spoke to me after the public meeting on 29th August. You asked a question during the meeting; you are usually present at elections at Kingswells Polling Station. I need to talk to you URGENTLY.

If you are or know this lady, could you please arrange contact ? Thank you.


Reading the comments contained within this website it is clear that the residents of Kingswells , and other areas likely to be affected by the plans for a 'Superstadium ' (.. their word not mine !!!), are against any such construction.

The greed & arrogance allegedly exhibited by the Stewart Milne Group is unacceptable ; refusing to honour an existing promise for a community facility whilst 'rubbing hands ' at the thought of wasting taxpayers money on a 'Super White Elephant' of a stadium for a club whose home gate averages about 12000.....Who is most likely to benefit from such a project...???

  • The Football Club ...???
  • The Directors of the Football Club...??
  • The owners of the 'green belt' site ...???
  • Certainly not the 'local' population.

It would appear that there are far too many vested interests and hidden agendas for this project to proceed on any kind of 'even keel ' via proper consultation , discussion , and finally refusal of the application.

It is time for our 'elected representative' to listen and act upon the wishes of his constituents , rather than politically posturing for his own advantage .

The community clearly does not want this stadium , and should adopt every means at their disposal to prevent the project being 'railroaded ' through local , national approval.

I was particularly interested to note the comment regarding ...not alerting the SFA about the areas opposition....

We should alert all the parties potentially involved by every means available if that is what is required to prevent a few spoiling the enviroment for many. The more public this can become the better our prospects of success , as was the case with the proposed 'Tesco ' development for Kepplestone.

Keeping things quiet , as was the request , allegedly , will certainly not benefit the 'small' people. Regards Charlie Scott (Posted 26.9.2001)


Thanks for the fun: May I briefly deal with the delightfully ambiguous statements which David Maitland makes below ? I found them genuinely humorous and I do hope he retains this marvellous gift to entertain with them. In getting three laughs from one gag he has demonstrated the potential of a true comedian - readers of Kingswells News might recognise great swathes of deathly prose from Saturday's issue which in turn bore a striking resemblance to the letter I received on 13th September.

The secret public meeting on 29th August was confined to Kingswells residents, members of the public and other interested parties. The invitations were ingeniously distributed throughout Kingswells by hand, in broad daylight for added secrecy, encrypted in local newspapers, clandestine Radio Scotland frequencies capable of being received only by radios were hijacked and coded messages embedded within the KIFG internet site whose very existence was concealed from all but 500 million internet users worldwide. So David can be forgiven for having missed all this coverage in advance and I commiserate with him on it. Happily his luck seems to have picked up just after the meeting and he's been able to maintain a healthy contact with all media forms since. Just in case he has any more unfortunate communication problems may I extend a warm invitation to him to attend as a most welcome guest at any future public meetings ?

The dark, publicly stated purpose of we, the furtive conspirators, was to obtain the views of the people of Kingswells. So far as we were aware we could not obtain these views from any one living man, however powerful. The devilish tactics therefore employed were indeed a surprise to many ; We asked people likely to be most affected by a super stadium how they felt about it. It's a phenomenon not regularly encountered in Kingswells and it is only right that it should meet with some suspicion. And for the record they didn't feel hellish keen on it at all. Not one of them. It is not widely known in the Town House or political circles that political activists are involved for the disappointingly simple reason that however attractive David makes himself and his colleagues sound, I currently find the prospect wholly resistible. And I'm surmising here but I suspect I might well be the partner referred to "of the same political persuasion." And I'm persuaded, it's true. Persuaded by political actings not to believe a single word uttered by any of them. And not alone by the look of things. Sorry about that David, it's just the way I was governed. He doesn't actually seem to like the Liberals much either. It might have been quicker if he'd just told us who he does like.

Take the paragraph beginning ; "Having been contacted by more people than attended the meeting," Well, that's a lot of people, admittedly, when over 200 ghosted into our own secret séance. I was just about to reach for the democratic towel when political persuasion made me have another trawl through the sentence. I wonder where they were from ? It doesn't actually mention a place, not Kingswells, not anywhere. Or when, come to think of it. The period isn't actually stated. Enter the light. Could it possibly be true that in the 31 years David has blessed the earth he has been contacted by more than 200 people from anywhere ? I certainly wouldn't want to dispute it.

Or this little despatch box buster ; "The views, opinions, arguments and conclusions of everyone in Kingswells must be put before any other consideration. Anything less is totally unacceptable. This very important issue must be kept clear of political and personal agendas." That's OK then. What on earth were we worrying about ? Ah, just a deflating second though. It's that political persuasion again. What does "put" mean ? The Oxford has it as "move, place, position, state, express, submit" among others. So under the revealing UV it becomes, "The views, opinions, arguments and conclusions of everyone in Kingswells must be moved, placed, positioned, stated, expressed, submitted before any other consideration....." Now that's a pity. Whatever any of that might now mean it doesn't appear to mean they'll have to be met, satisfied, accommodated, agreed to, in place, delivered before anything else happens. Just put. And what is a consideration ? Also for the archivists, our open agenda, only disclosed to everyone, will be kept firmly in the path of this very important issue - Infrastructure First. And not words, if it's all the same to you David, we're a bit chary on them now. Deeds. Results. Things we can touch. Show us the colour of the infrastructure lads, then we can think about a stadium.

Tempus fugit. Just as he reached the crescendo of his rousing address and with the ringing words striking the fear of council into the reader, did he run out of time to say to the people of Kingswells that he has now been quoted as admitting, "And I used to work for a PR consultancy which did work for the Dons." ? The Dons, for those not familiar, is the team which would make any application to develop a super stadium here.

Could I just ask David the question which is exercising many minds in the village. How would a 30,000 seat super stadium benefit Kingswells ? (Posted 26.9.2001) Kingswells Infrastructure First Group


Alteration to their own Planning and Policy Guidelines There has been a very disturbing development in this matter. The Scottish Executive is attempting to introduce, at the very last minute, an alteration to their own Planning and Policy Guidelines which would permit them to delete the whole area between the Crematorium and the Kingswells roundabout from the city's green belt. That neatly sidesteps the national planning policy guidelines which would prevent a super stadium in green belt, without doing anything to provide the necessary infrastructure. I have all the documentation here from our planning consultant

Objections to this proposed change must be lodged with the Scottish Executive , who have extended the deadline for objections to the structure plan to Friday 2 November, and it will at least make it more difficult to oppose the stadium if this change goes through on the nod. I am writing to ask if you will also publicise this development on your site and possibly either include a downloadable letter of objection or link to one which I have on the KIFG site ?

I have included the letter of objection which also explains the timescale of the matter. (Posted 20.9.2001) Download letter of objection


Kingswells Infrastructure First Group can be found at: www.kifg.co.uk or email them at support@kifg.co.uk
Shame that the P&J deleted part of my letter prior to publication as I think that the reference to Stewart Milne not paying for the promised community centre is highly relevant to the reason why Kingswells residents are not keen on the stadium proposal.

Leaving aside some of the more ridiculous reasons that the AFC board have suggested for building a new stadium at Kingswells , it beggars belief that Stewart Milne believes his dream of a new stadium will be shattered because UEFA think that Aberdonians don't want to host three matches in a football tournament in2008. In fairness, the average football crowd of 12,000 is very small compared to the area's population of 280,000 and so it could be argued that most citizens do not really care about a new stadium. We do care about quality of life and a sensible transport and housing infrastructure, so why destroy the western area of our city without proper debate and consultation? Is this the same man who refuses to build a community centre in Kingswells despite promising to do so as part of a previous planning permisiion deal and then complains when the locals don't support his current get richer quicker campaign? Is this the same man who fronts a company selling house in the quiet and tranquill surroundings of Kingswells village : yet wants to disrupt his customers for a flawed dream?

We are not country yokels in Kingswells and we would appreciate being treated with some honesty and consistency. Perhaps Stewart Milne and his advisers could concentrate on the real task of creating a decent local team for us to watch. Michael J M Reid, 39 Coull Green, Kingswells (Posted 2/9.2001)


In response to Mr Wilson's letter of 20th Aug, may I say that the artist's impression is no worse than; and possibly more accurate - than the propaganda stunt currently being circulated by proponents of the stadium, one of which portrays a happy collection of string quartet lovers approaching the stadium in dinner suits without a policeman in sight ! The impression carried in Kingswells.com does at least contain the elements which commonly characterise mass attendance - hooliganism, traffic congestion, vandalism, increased policing and litter.

We do not know how any stadium might be linked to Kingswells because although the proposal has been submitted, the residents were not consulted in advance. But unless the existing road is to somehow be airbrushed out of existence it would seem likely that Kingswells will continue to be linked to the proposed site by the country roads which, in the absence of a western peripheral route, will be required to carry up to 10,000 additional cars on match days, concert days and exhibition days.

I wonder why so many of his friends have sold their houses recently ? Perhaps it is the prospect of a stadium ? And in response to his point about developers tripping over themselves to build houses in Kingswells, could I refer him to any of the sales literature produced by any of the developers ? He will discover the phenomenon of selective amnesia if he is not already familiar with it.

Football supporters would of course have every reason to venture into the village. Firstly, in this fine, free country they do not need permission to go anywhere or to park in any unrestricted area. Secondly, in the absence of alternative provision there will be no where else for them to obtain refreshments and sustenance. Has the Four Mile Inn moved ? Only yesterday it seemed adjacent to the residents of John Arthur Court. Are those people simply to be ignored ?

Has he ever been to Pittodrie ? Hampden Park, Reading, Wembley, Knebworth, Ibrox, Celtic Park ? The supporters routinely have to walk for miles from distant railway terminals and city centres. It remains to be seen if this will be the tear jerking facility for the young and old of Kingswells described by the proposers. Is the existing Pittodrie a facility for the young and old of King Street and Merkland Road ?(Posted 21.8.2001) DM


As a Kingswells resident I took a great deal of interest in reading your articles re the proposed new stadium for AFC. I would like to express my utter disbelief at the preposterous artists impression. This is clearly a propaganda stunt by disgruntled residents who do not wish a modern sports complex conveniently situated for Kingswells residents to access. It should be noted that the proposed complex would not be linked to the residential area of Kingswells in any way furthermore this scheme has been crying out for such amenities for as long as I have lived here.

As for the scare mongering over house prices it should be noted that several of my friends within the area have sold their houses recently very promptly and for a good price. If it were true that the proposed complex was having a detrimental effect on house sales why then would property developers be tripping over themselves to build houses in our village.

Lastly I would also point out that any football fan would have little or no reason to venture into the village. Having looked at the plans there is clearly some thought into the way in which travelling fans are transported to and from the ground and I cannot for the life of me see what a sleepy backwater like Kingswells would have to offer any Rangers, Celtic or otherwise fan on a Saturday afternoon. We do not have any pub in the main village of Kingswells the nearest being the Four Mile Inn which is approximately 2 1/2 miles from the foot of Kingswells. Quite a walk for even the most sober football fan.

Please, please, please ignore the scare mongering and the blatant propaganda of which Hitler would be proud. This is a glorious opportunity to provide amenities for the young and old of Kingswells. (Posted 20.8.2001) Stephen Wilson


The P&J is running a poll on locating the new Stadium at Kingswells. This is your first chance to voice your opinion. The current vote is 55% for, 45% against (@19/08/2001) but the poll is narrowing, why not vote now! www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk (Posted 19.8.2001) David Buchan
Outrageous!
That's what we think of Stewartie Milne's stadium plans. This is prime green belt, an area of scenic beauty, Aberdeen's west end, but I remember being told years ago that he had purchased land on the south side of the roundabout. you see the headlines now: 'Soccer casuals wreck country inn'. 'hooligans on rampage in garden suburb'. I feel a mass exodus out of Kingswells if it goes ahead. C&J Kingswood (Posted 10.8.2001)
In response to Heather Kelman's query I think that there is already a latent opposition locally but it just needs a vehicle to articulate it. I have already added my diatribe against the proposal but would be interested to see/hear other views. Community Council seems to be getting off the gound again but some sort of local action group would be more suitable. For inspiration we just need to look at the Stop Tesco campaign - perhaps they can add support and / or advice. Alan Graham (Posted 9.8.2001)
Astounded by the lies and half lies: I accessed the website hoping (or expecting) to see a large number of views either for or against the proposed football stadium at the edge of our village.

So far I have been astounded by the lies and half lies that have been put forward to support Stewart Milne's desire to build a new stadium here at Kingswells. The suggestion that the site is well placed for travel from the north, south and from the City was obviously made by someone who has not tried to drive home when there has been the least suggestion of roadworks anywhere to the west of the City. I am also astounded that the road to the Tyrebagger, or Bucksburn or Cults can be considered a good quality road for taking additional volumes of traffic on Saturday afternoons and evenings throughout the autumn, winter and spring. Of course there is always the positive side of things that the snow up here is much worse than at sea level and many of the matches may well have to be postponed due to adverse weather - but what am I saying that will just increase the number of midweek evening matches!!

I am still very confused about the statement about rail links and have searched in vain for a railway station within walking distance of the Kingswells Roundabout. I also thought that the park and ride car park was to take people in to the City by bus and not for people coming out of the City by car - wasn't the idea of park and ride to discourage people from driving! interestingly - the one time park and ride car parks are busy is during the run up to Christmas on Saturdays - when are many football matches played?

I believe our City Leaders (that is our Elected Councillors) are being tempted by the idea that if the Stadium is built there, this will in some way force the Scottish Executive to build the Western Peripheral Route. But Stewart Milne has made it quite clear that the decision to build the football stadium here will proceed whether or not the Western Peripheral Road goes ahead. Even if the road does proceed, if they plan to allow people to park in the park and ride car park we are going to need several pedestrian crossings over both Western Peripheral route and the Westhill Road to allow supporters and so forth to cross safely - yet more delays.

Am I the only person in Kingswells, Westhill, Cults, Bucksburn or Alford who is seriously concerned about the additional volume of traffic that will appear on our already crowded roads?

This doesn't even start to address my concerns about the breach of the green belt and what might follow. It is possible that the proposed sports centre at Middlefield could be landscaped, but how on earth do you hide a 30,000 seater stadium, with additional soccer academy and hockey pitches? What else will slip in? Will it be acceptable to then build an adjacent hotel to increase the popularity of the venue for pop concerts and other evening events? What about burger vans and other vendor licences to meet the needs of not only the home fans but visiting fans? It is important to remember that a modern stadium does not survive on football alone, there will be a range of other events and income sources essential to support the ongoing work of Aberdeen Football Club.

It is quite clear that the reason for proposing Kingswells is a financial one. Stewart Milne has an option to purchase large areas of land around Kingswells. It has been made clear that housing will not be readily approved on this land, therefore he has nothing to lose by proposing the land is used for a replacement Stadium, infact by breaching the Green Belt agreement it may make it easier to bring other developments to the area. On the other hand the Pittodrie site is worth £10million. Therefore to rebuild the stadium here costs about £15 million (£10 million from the sale of Pittodrie and a hoped for grant from the government of £5 million - a free stadium). However to rebuild at Pittodrie will still cost £15 million, but with no income from the sale of the site to offset this.

Does anyone else care enough about this to try and fight it? Would it be possible to start a petition against it? Do the rest of the Kingswells residents actually want a Stadium on our doorstep? If we do nothing now the end result will be inevitable and we can look forward to sitting in our cars for hours on end when Rangers are playing up here on a mid week match. Maybe I have this all wrong, but personally I value our green belt and the peace and quiet that living in Kingswells provides. I look forward to hearing if anyone out there is interested in joining me in a fight to prevent what is already being considered inevitable. Heather Kelman (Posted 3.8.2001)


Having just re-read the Kingswells Planning Guidance based on the "special direction by the Secretary of State", how on earth can the potential construction of a New Football Stadium (ostensibly an industrial site I would say) in this area be appropriate? (Posted 2.8.2001) PA (Cromar Gardens)


An artist's impression
of how Kingswells might look if Pitoddire Stadium relocated here without any supporting infrastructure (Posted 29.7.2001) MD

Further cause for alarm (Posted 29.7.2001) MD
Aberdeen FC
will unveil their plans for a new stadium to host Euro 2008 on Monday 30 July - the eve of the deadline set by the Scottish Football Association.

The SFA deadline for the submission of a formal proposal is 31 July - a target Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne says his club will meet.

IDear Kingswells Resident, If you have any relevant information or are attending this unveiling. Please forward any rdetails to the website. Thank you for your help. Claire Burt (Posted 27.7.2001)


POOR CROWDS: I think we should not be too worried about the prospect of a new stadium for AFC being built in Kingswells. Under UEFA rules the capacity must be at least 30,000. With current Pittodrie crowds just making it to 12,000, does AFC really want to televise matches that show a stadium filled to 1/3 capacity once the championship is over? DA (Posted 9.7.2001)
FOOTBALL STADIUM? Is anyone else appalled at the prospect of Kingswells being home to the 'new' Pittodrie Stadium?

I have been a Dons fan all my life and my family has long associations with the club but as a Kingswells resident I feel that this is proposal is ill conceived for a number of reasons. I am also more than slightly disappointed that this concept and location seems to be being presented as a 'fait accompli' in the media with a mania building up around the city's potential to host the 2008 championships. The rights, wrongs and due processes of that particular issue will debated elsewhere but the immediate concern must surely be to have a frank, honest and fair debate on this pressing local issue. May I highlight a few points to ponder?

1. The present road infrastructure is completely inadequate for a commercial development of this scale and talk of a western peripheral route is also premature and misleading. Try leaving St Johnstone's McDiarmid Park or Caley Stadium in Inverness following a match and see the traffic chaos that exists at these peripheral stadia when even modest crowds are in attendance. The choice of Kingswells would thus appear to be completely car-centric with little consideration for public transport and the distance from key hubs for coach and rail. Even proponents of the western peripheral route concede that time scales for completion would not correspond with the 2008 championships so this rationale for the Kingswells site could and should be discounted.

2. The site would see further erosion of green belt with corresponding malign environmental impacts through increased pollution. At the end of the day, this would be a commercial development by a private company (albeit with a huge injection of public finance). Does this not highlight that the proposed site is a vehicle for securing public finance on an almost unprecedented scale to subvent a private venture? (The club reported a record loss in the last financial year and many feel that things should be put right on the park first). I was also under the impression that current economic development and planning policy was to favour redevelopment of brownfield sites. Only lip service appears to be being given to possible redevelopment of Pittodrie and yet surely this is a more realistic opportunity - after all Rangers managed to remain on site at Ibrox in the 1980's during stadium redevelopment as have countless other clubs.

3. There has been talk of full consultation with the fans which is laudable but what about the local people who will be impacted upon? Perhaps our community should also bear in mind that Stewart Milne Construction is 'unable' to meet the full costs of a promised community facility. One could be forgiven for thinking that Stewart Milne is attempting to squeeze every last penny out of the Kingswells area and to hang with the people who have bought the company's homes and now live there.

4. Crowd control and movement should also be fully addressed. I am sure the residents of Kingswells, Cults, Bieldside, Countesswells, Hazlehead are relishing the prospect of visits by followers of the Old Firm, the Hibs casuals and, with Euro 2008 in mind, possibly even certain followers of 'Enger-lund' when they arrive to meet our own home grown neds. I may be accused of 'nimbyism' but so be it. However, I am sure that I am not the only local person that feels that a dangerous momentum is being built up around the proposal for Kingswells which should be checked. Our public agencies should also take a long hard look at themselves and seriously question the long-term impact of a venture of this scale and in this location and set aside obsessions with a ten day wonder economic quick fix of Euro 2008. Alan Graham (Posted 30.6.2001)


Aberdeen plan new stadium (BBC Scotland, Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK )

Aberdeen would like to move away from Pittodrie. Aberdeen Football Club have confirmed that they intend to play a part in the Scottish bid to host Euro 2008.

The club announced on Thursday that proposals would be drawn up with a view to building a new 30,000-seater stadium.

Those plans will focus on a move to a site in the Kingswells area on the outskirts of the city, but the redevelopment of Pittodrie or a move to a site in the Charleston area are also being considered.

Representatives from Dundee and Dundee United are meeting on Friday to discuss their city's role in the bid.

The possibility of a new stadium shared by both clubs will be on the agenda - Dundee chief executive Peter Marr has made no secret of the fact that he believes such a move would be beneficial.

The Scottish Football Association last week invited its 78 members to submit plans for new stadia, with two more grounds required to give Scotland a realistic chance of hosting the event.

Ibrox, Celtic Park, Hampden and Murrayfield currently meet Uefa's requirements.

It is understood that financial assistance from the Scottish Executive will be made available to clubs whose proposals are accepted by the SFA.

A statement released by Aberdeen read: "Aberdeen FC has teamed up with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Scottish Enterprise Grampian to draw up comprehensive proposals to ensure that the north-east is a crucial element of Scotland's Euro 2008 bid.

"The deadline for outline proposals requested by the SFA is 31 July and the organisations involved believe that, with a fully co-ordinated effort over the next few weeks, they can submit a proposal which will demonstrate that the north-east has a good case for hosting matches during Euro 2008."

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