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Sunday School and Youth Fellowship Group will be taking part in the Nativity. To be held on December 16th at 11:00am, at Kingswells Church of Scotland. This year the Youth are doing a play surrounding the Nativity from the Angels view point. I think it will be funny and will be just the start to the Christmas festivities some people, who do not normally come to church,would find enjoyable.


Kingswells Residents protested peacefully at a Stewart Milne show home in Kingswells on a cold Sunday afternoon. Information on the proposed stadium development was offered to site visitors. The effort was welcomed by most prospective purchasers. Many people said that they had not been made aware of the stadium proposal either now or, in some cases, prior to purchasing houses. One couple came back in their car to ask a second question ! (Posted 28.11.2001
Bad Timing For Stadium Proposal, Inquiry Told: A planning application to build a new football stadium at Kingswells was lodged at the worst possible time for the proposed sports complex on the outskirts of the village, it was claimed yesterday.

The claim was made on the first day of a public inquiry into the plans for a £12million sports and leisure centre at nearby East Middlefield.

Gordon MacCallum, of Glasgow-based Keppie Planning, asked if the proposal for Aberdeen Football Club to relocate its facilities to the site surrounding the proposed leisure development posed a further danger to the green belt area around Kingswells.

Baxter Allan, also of Keppie Planning - which submitted the proposal on behalf of developers the Queens Road Development Company - replied: "I don't see it that way.

"I suppose you could say that from the point of view of this inquiry, the timing of that proposal could not have been worse, but there's no link between the proposal and Aberdeen Football Club's proposal.

"I understand the concern of the people of the Kingswells area that suddenly this development for an urban sports centre has suddenly gone global. I think that's behind a lot of the objections to my clients' proposal."

However, Mr Allan said he did not know much about the Dons' proposal and declined to speculate on it.

He said each proposal should be assessed on its own merits according to the criteria set down by Aberdeen City Council.

Mr Allan also rejected suggestions that building the complex on the disused farm land breached council green belt policies.

He said the policies ruled that land could be used for sport and recreational development in exceptional circumstances.

This, he said, qualified as an exceptional circumstance, because SportsScotland had reported the city was crying out for such a facility and there were no suitable sites for the development in the city centre or in any urban areas.

Under cross-examination by planning consultant Alistair Stark, representing the Kingswells Infrastructure First Group (KIFG), which opposed the application, Mr Allan said in his opinion the term 'exceptional circumstances' meant it was recognised that in Aberdeen it is difficult to find a site on which to build a sports complex and in special cases, where it could be justified, the possibility of building a sports facility on green belt land could be considered. He believed this was such a case.

He added the East Middlefield site could be interpreted by some as a brown field site because it is derelict, unused land.

Mr Stark quizzed Mr Allan about each of the alternative sites which had been examined and refused for a variety of reasons, including size, location and roads provision surrounding the sites.

When Mr Allan said the Sunnyside Farm site in Cults had been discounted because of poor road access, the KIFG representative said the situation would be similar if the development went ahead at Kingswells and that the roads leading from Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber to the site were also poor.

The Kingswells site remained the best option because it was easily accessible and in a desirable location for Next Generation, the operator of the proposed complex, he said.

Mr Allan confirmed the building would be large, but said landscaping work would be carried out to lessen its impact. It would be set back from the A944 Aberdeen-Westhill road.

He admitted the firm had not looked at the Robert Gordon University Kepplestone site or the Fire Brigade headquarters on Anderson Drive, for which retailers had recently been refused planning permission.

The council had not made the company aware of the sites, he said, but it was unlikely that a sports operator could outbid a retail firm for property.

The inquiry at the Westhill Hotel, chaired by David Russell, also heard from civil engineer Graham Christie.

He said he did not anticipate any transport difficulties as road improvements would be made if the development went ahead.

The Scottish Executive called the scheme in for further scrutiny and opted to hold the full public inquiry, which was attended by less than ten members of the public yesterday, after city councillors backed plans for the development, which could create 100 jobs, by 27-15 in May.

The four-day hearing is due to continue today.

A decision on whether the scheme can go ahead is expected in February or March next year.

By ANGELA TAYLOR 29 November 2001 (http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk)


Centre Hope For Tennis Hopefuls: Budding Tim Henmans in the North-east could get professional coaching and financial help if a sports centre on the outskirts of Kingswells gets the go-ahead, it has been claimed.

Scott Lloyd, managing director of Next Generation Clubs, which is behind the proposal, was giving evidence at

a public inquiry into the plans for a £12 million sports and leisure centre, at nearby East Middlefield.

He said the main aim of the complex was to increase the number of places where tennis could be played as an all-year sport and increase the level of playing ability and the UK's representation in international competitions.

Architect Joseph Dagen, who was called to give evidence by Aberdeen City Council, said the proposal by Queen's Road Development Company, was labelled a bad neighbour development under national planning policy guidance.

29 November 2001 (http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk)


Inquiry Into Kingswells Sports Scheme To Get Underway: A PUBLIC inquiry into a proposed £12million sports and leisure development for Kingswells is to get underway next week.

The Scottish Executive called the scheme in for further scrutiny and opted to hold the full public inquiry after Aberdeen City Council backed plans for the development by the Queen's Road Development Company, which could create 100 jobs.

The planned development would be constructed near the favoured site of Aberdeen's proposed new 30,000-seater football stadium at Kingswells.

City council planning chiefs advised against the plan to build a sports and leisure centre on land off the A944 Westhill-Aberdeen road east of Kingswells, telling councillors green belt land earmarked for the scheme was suitable for sports developments - but not for the massive building and car park which QRDC wanted to create.

However, city councillors voted the plans through by 27-15 at a meeting in May this year.

The scheme is the brainchild of QRDC director and Aberdeen businessman Stuart Clarkson.

The centre would be 25% bigger than a sizeable superstore and would include tennis, badminton and squash courts, swimming pools, a restaurant and a bar.

He has lined up the leisure giant Next Generation, run by former tennis star David Lloyd, to run the operation.

Unlike the Dons stadium, the proposed leisure development was largely welcomed by Kingswells residents.

However, it came under fire from the Scottish Society from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which recently had its own green belt planning application in the area refused on appeal.

Planning officials also claimed it breached policies on green belt.

The Dons want to build a 30,000-seater stadium near Kingswells and re-locate from Pittodrie.

The stadium, which would also include a sport-and-leisure village and hotel complex, competition swimming pool and soccer academy, is to be built as part of Scotland's bid to host the European football Championship finals in 2008.

The inquiry, being held at the Westhill Hotel, gets underway on Tuesday, when supporters and opponents of the development will be invited to state their case.

The inquiry, which is expected to last four days, is due to continue on Wednesday and Thursday and then on Monday, December 3.

See next week's Press and Journal for full reports from the inquiry. By SCOTT MACNAB, 24 November 2001 (http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk)


Kingswells Protest Wins Support Of Westhill: Westhill residents have joined the ranks of opposition to Aberdeen FC's proposed stadium at Kingswells.

The latest move emerged last night as campaigners in Kingswells issued a statement denying reports of a split in their ranks.

The Kingswells protesters were hitting back at claims from one local community councillor that the protesters represented a lunatic fringe.

They were joined by a Westhill residents' group, which listed a series of objections to the Dons' plans.

Kingswells Community councillor Ian Cox reportedly had claimed that views of the protesters were not representative of the Kingswells community at large.

The campaigners hit back in a statement issued jointly by Derek Martin, chairman of Kingswells Infrastructure First Group and Mrs Barrie Buchan, secretary of Kingswells Community Council.

The statement read: "Kingswells Community Council and the Kingswells Infrastructure First Group are pleased to jointly confirm that they continue to work towards a common objective to protect the village from the commercial development and stadium which threatens Aberdeen's green belt.

"We are wholly united and committed to this aim and will not be undermined by the attempts of others to deflect attention away from this fundamental issue."

Both Mr Martin and Mrs Buchan also expressed their encouragement at a statement released by the Westhill and District Residents' Association opposing the stadium proposal.

In the statement, Ray Hetherington, vice-chairman of the association's committee, said: "Please record the formal objection of the Westhill and District Residents' Association to the Aberdeen Football Club proposal to site a sports development at, or near, Kingswells."

Among the Westhill residents' objections are: lack of infrastructure; breach of green belt; violation of Hazlehead Policies and the surrounding natural wildlife habitat.

They also claim it is an insensitive development, given the adjacent crematorium and gardens of remembrance at Hazlehead, and believe more suitable sites exist at Charlestown, to the south of Aberdeen. The 24-acre site chosen for the development is at Bellfield Farm and lies immediately to the south-east of the Kingswells roundabout.

It is bounded on one side by the A944 Aberdeen-Westhill road and on the other by the minor Kingswells-Cults road.

The entire complex would feature a sport-and-leisure village and hotel as well as the new 30,000-seat stadium, competition swimming pool and football academy.

The stadium facilities would include a museum and hall of fame and cost about £30million.

The Scottish Football Association chose Aberdeen Football Club as part of its bid to host the 2008 European chanpionships, but needs a 30,000-seat stadium to stand a chance.

Keith Wyness, chief executive of Aberdeen, said that it was very important for all the community's views be represented by a single voice to avoid a breakdown in the process.

He said: "We are listening to the concerns of Kingswells residents but in order to work together it is important that there is one voice which can honestly represent those for and against the stadium.

"Without a single voice it becomes impossible to sit down and hold discussions."

By SCOTT MACNAB AND CAROLINE PAGE 23 November 2001 (http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk)

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