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Kingswells Old News 3

Updated: 10 June 2002

DATE SET FOR ABERDEEN FOOTBALL CLUB PUBLIC HEARING: Aberdeen City Council today announced the date of the Development Plan departure hearing into the application by Aberdeen Football Club for outline planning approval for a regional centre for sporting and leisure excellence at Bellfield Farm, Kingswells.
The hearing will take place on Thursday, June 27 in the Town and County Hall at the Town House and it is anticipated that it will last all day.
The football club and objectors will be able to give evidence. This will be evaluated with a report being drawn up recommending whether or not the project should be approved to the Planning Committee which meets on August 8.
The application is to create a centre of excellence incorporating a 30,000 seat football stadium, soccer academy, competition swimming pool, sports hall and ancillary community and sporting facilities.
The community and commercial developments are likely to include a golf academy including driving range, curling facilities, indoor bowling, 10-pin bowling, go-karting, 5-a-side football, sports science facilities, hotel and fast food establishments.
The football club has recently submitted a further submission relating to transport and environment issues. This has been advertised allowing residents to make representations.
Before that the City Council had received 1,459 letters of objection.

The objections relate to:

  • Increased traffic congestion including problems on the wider road network.
  • Inadequate road network to cope with additional traffic.
  • New junction on A944 will impede the free flow of traffic.
  • During match times access for emergency vehicles to surrounding area will be impeded.
  • The Western Peripheral Route may never be built.
  • Insufficient parking will result in overspill into Kingswells and the park and ride site.
  • The use of other park and ride sites by spectators will be at the expense of other users.
  • The proposal is contrary to the Council's objective of reducing traffic.
  • The development is not accessible by rail or readily accessible by bus, cycle or on foot.
  • Noise and nuisance arising from crowds, PA systems and light pollution.
  • The impact on the landscape setting of and the approach to the city.
  • Introduction of urban development, particularly the size of the stadium.
  • The impact on wildlife and birds in the area and the loss of trees and field boundaries.
  • The proximity of the development to the crematorium.
  • Impact on air quality.
  • Impact on drainage and sewage systems.
  • The facilities will not be convenient to the residents of Kingswells.
  • It will encourage social exclusion and not social inclusion.
  • Retail elements will affect viability of Kingswells and Westhill centres.
  • The proposal is contrary to the Development Plan and National Planning Policy Guidance.
  • Difficulty in policing fans in and around stadium for concerts.
  • Disturbance from possible use of stadium for concerts.
  • Problems resulting from the amount of snow in the Kingswells area.
  • There is no need for a 30,000 stadium capacity.
  • The proposed modification to the Structure Plan is for a stadium only.
  • Insufficient facilities on site, such as pubs for fans.
  • Impact on recreation value of the area.
  • Impact on property values.
  • Kingswells has been chosen for financial reasons only.
  • An undesirable precedent for development in the green belt.
  • There is a better alternative site at Charleston which has been identified for development, not in the green belt, has easy access to the A90, has potential for a rail halt and would enhance the landscape.

The objectors include Kingswells Community Council; Braeside and Mannofield Community Council; Bucksburn and Newhills Community Council; Kingswells Infrastructure First Group; Aberdeen Civic Society; Friends of the Earth; the Protection of Rural Scotland and TRANSform Scotland.
In their recent submission the football club has attempted to allay fears over transport issues.

They say that:

  • There would be a maximum of 2,000 on site parking spaces which would be controlled by the football club. It is envisaged that car parking provision would require being a member of a car share club requiring high occupancy car travel and 'travel spreading' characteristics of its members to promote a phased access and egress of traffic flow to minimise the effect on the surrounding road network.
  • Promotion of 'home supporter coach clubs' using season ticket information to promote sustainable transport with preferential on-site parking to encourage the concept.
  • Control of off-site parking potential in adjacent areas by implementation of a 'match day' Traffic Regulation Order and associated enforcement.
  • Provision of drop-off facilities for taxis, mini-buses and private cars.
  • Additional pedestrian and cycle facilities.

The football club also propose to modify the following road junction - A944 Kingswells Roundabout; A944 Lang Stracht/Skene Road Roundabout; A944 Westhill Roundabout. Two new access roundabouts on the A944 and on the C128 have been designed to cater for the full impact of development traffic.
Papers for the hearing on June 27 will be issued nearer the time.

CLUBS' UNITED EFFORT PAYS OFF TO WIN MINIBUS: Community groups in the North-east are jumping for joy after picking up the keys to their own £25,000 minibus.
Two communities on the outskirts of Aberdeen banded together to ensure they collected most tokens in the Press and Journal's fabulous Win A Minibus competition and yesterday the spirit of co-operation paid off when they collected their prize.
The vehicle will be shared between the two groups.
The Kingswells Breakfast and After School clubs will use it to ferry youngsters to and from school in the mornings and afternoons.
In the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays, it will be available to any of the 30 community groups in Westhill who helped to collect a staggering 65,000 tokens.
Our competition ran throughout March and attracted a fantastic response with more than 350,000 tokens cut out from copies of the Press and Journal and sent in by community groups across the North and North-east.
On Saturday, delighted youngsters and parents got their first look at their new minibus.
The vehicle is a top-of-the-range LDV Convoy minibus, which boasts 17 seats, power-assisted steering, five-speed gearbox and a radio cassette. It is also fitted with a reverse signal and ABS braking as well as secure overhead storage.
The winners can now nominate three people to receive Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents driver training as part of the winning package.
Westhill mum Gillian Smith was thrilled with the new bus as two of her sons, Jamie, 7, and Callum, 5, helped to collect the many tokens at Westhill Primary School.
She said: "It is a fantastic boost to the community. Everybody was collecting the tokens and it was great to see Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire working together. It is excellent for the people living here. It will be well-appreciated."
Carolyn Tanner, whose son, Ross, 9, attends Kingswells After School Club, said it had been a real community effort to win the bus.
"The children were really motivated. They would come home from school and tell us to buy the Press and Journal and tell all their friends. Everyone is just chuffed to bits."
Parents also paid tribute to Jackie Steel, who runs both of the Kingswells clubs and organised teaming up with their Westhill neighbours.
Mrs Tanner added: "Jackie has so much enthusiasm and dedication. She is always doing something for the community. We could not have done it without her."
"I still can't believe we've won," said David Ritchie, of the Westhill Residents' Association, who masterminded the collection.
"All we did was contact all the clubs and organisations that we thought could help us collect tokens. We sent fliers round all the houses and put collection boxes into the shops. In total, there were about 30 different groups and all their members helped get the message out to their friends and families."
The Westhill community were well on their way to collecting a mountain of tokens when they heard that the Kingswells Breakfast and After School Club were also taking part in the competition.
When the Kingswells group realised that they hadn't a chance of matching the Westhill residents' total, they agreed to join forces.
The Press and Journal organised the minibus competition in conjunction with health and safety training specialists RGIT Montrose.
Group managing director Murray Strachan said: "RGIT Montrose is delighted to be involved with this highly successful project.
"Obviously it has captured the imagination of the North-east community. The approach adopted by the community groups shows real innovation and imagination."
Press and Journal promotions manager Susan Blair said she had been overwhelmed with the response.
"We received more than 350,000 tokens," she said. "It's the first time we've ever run a competition like this and it obviously captured the public's imagination in a big way. We're hoping to do it again in the future.
"There was a lot of community effort going on and it really seemed to bring people together."
The charity Blythswood Care in Evanton was runner-up with over 55,000 tokens. Its supporters had teamed up with Alness Academy in the hope of winning the prize.
Other community groups who deserve a mention for coming close to the honours included Ellon Parish Church, Huntly Mental Health, Portsoy Junior Football Club, Banff Scouts, Dornoch Academy, 2nd Turriff Boys' Brigade, Muir of Ord Rovers GC, Peterhead Salvation Army, Keith Community Bus Group, Oldmeldrum Primary, Auldearn Primary and St Andrew's Primary in Inverurie.
MORAG LINDSAY AND LEAH WILLIAMSON 29 April 2002
http://www.thisinorthscotland.co.uk

STADIUM OPPONENTS LAUNCH LEGAL FUNDS DRIVE: The protest group campaigning against Aberdeen Football Clubs plans to build a new stadium in Kingswells last night launched an appeal for funds to take its battle through the courts if necessary.

At a meeting of the Kingswells Infrastructure First Group (KIFG) last night spokesman Mike Dunbar appealed for the public to donate funds by standing order to the group to help with its work.

He said: "We've been running this campaign for nine months now and I offer my thanks to those who have given to enable us to get that far. We cannot maintain our momentum at the current rate."

Standing order mandates were passed out at the meeting.

Mr Dunbar said the group did not have the funds needed to be able to pay specialists to carry out litigation work.

Mr Dunbar warned that could result in the collapse of the campaign against the bid to build a new 30,000 seater stadium and sports complex on the outskirts of the village.

He said: "Right now we don't have the option to go to litigation because of a lack of funding. It could result in this being waved through by Aberdeen City Council."

The meeting, which was attended by about 150 people, also heard KIFG chairman Derek Martin argue that the way the people of Kingswells live their lives would be largely controlled by the Dons and the city council every time the stadium was in use.

Mr Martin also said he had contacted various politicians but found no support for KIFG.

Conservationist Bruce Stevens criticised much of the Don's environmental assessment document. He argued that Kingswells was the wrong place for the stadium. The quality of life of the residents would be affected by noise and light, their view of the surrounding countryside would be affected, he said.

"I would argue the valuation process in the environmental statement is largely subjective and the preferred outcome is that the stadium is built here in Kingswells. It's a well known principal clause that the person who pays the bill will tell the consultant what he wants to hear - essentially what you see in this report."

Dons chief executive Keith Wyness, who was not at the meeting, said the club stood by all its recent statements on the supplementary information provided in support of its planning application.

He said: "AFC employed the UK's leading consultants who, in turn, used some of the top experts in the country to compile the information."

The traffic and environmental impact assessments were robust and demonstrated that the best site had been chosen for the development, he said.

Mr Stevens had also argued that a proper wildlife survey had not been carried out, but Mr Wyness said: "The only wildlife to be worried about in Kingswells are the red herrings."

Planning agent John Agnew told last night's meeting that the football club would have to prove there were very special circumstances for building on the green belt site at Bellfield Farm.

If Scotland and Ireland won the joint Euro 2008 bid that might constitute very special circumstances, he said. But the bid should not be a consideration when the application is being looked at unless the bid was successful.

Members of the public raised questions about the level of transport, children's road safety, whether the Bellfield Farm site could be developed in some other way if planning permission were granted but the Euro 2008 bid fell through, and where excess water would be drained off if the proposal did go ahead.

ANGELA TAYLOR 23 April 2002 http://www.thisinorthscotland.co.uk

KINGSWELLS FOLK RESTORE POND IN SPRING CLEAN Kingswells Community Council and the Aberdeen Countryside Project joined forces yesterday to organise a Kingswells clean-up.

The public were asked to take part in the annual event - this time helping work on the restoration of the village pond.

This year, more than 15 groups have so far organised clean-ups for their local areas as part of Aberdeen City Council's annual Spring Clean Aberdeen campaign.

Ian Hay, co-ordinator of Aberdeen Spring Clean, said: "The work that is done by the volunteers in Kingswells is fantastic. However, it must be said that if those people who drop litter would show more consideration, this work would not be needed.

"Its everybody's responsibility to keep Aberdeen tidy."

A clean-up event was also held by the Marine Conservation Society, at Nigg Bay, yesterday, in an attempt to clean up Aberdeen's coastline.

This year's drive to tidy up the city has been given added weight by Aberdeen's civic pride campaign, launched in March.

It aims to involve all sections of the community in maintaining and enhancing the local environment.

Anyone wishing to organise a clean-up can do so by contacting Mr Hay, on 01224 522767. by MARK DREVER http://www.thisinorthscotland.co.uk

NEW DONS STADIUM MAY LEAD TO PARKING CURBS: Parking restrictions might be introduced across much of the western fringes of Aberdeen if Dons bosses get the go-ahead for their proposed stadium at Kingswells.

The parking orders would aim to prevent fans clogging up residential streets on match days.

The rules would apply not just to Kingswells but also to the Sheddocksley and Hazlehead housing estates and surrounding areas. Cars would also be banned from parking on the A944 Kingswells-Westhill road as far west as the Westhill town roundabout, and the C128 Kingswells-Cults road as far south as the Loanhead junction.

These zones would be patrolled by Grampian Police, although Aberdeen Football Club has offered to appoint a traffic co-ordinator to help officers iron out any problems. If the proposals are approved, residents will be issued with permits to display on their cars. Cars without permits would risk being towed away.

The club also says it would set up a parking hotline so that residents could report any complaints to the police.

The information has come to light in the submissions which the club gave the council this week to support its planning application for a £30million stadium and sports complex at Bellfield Farm, Kingswells.

Kingswells Community Council now intends to alert community councils in the affected areas. Its vice-chairman, Alan Stott, said: "At the moment, it might just be people in Kingswells who think they need to see these submissions and comment on their contents, but these measures will affect people in a much wider area.

"It's going to be an expensive operation and how many thousands of people is it going to inconvenience?

"What if people in those areas have people visiting on a Saturday? Will they not be allowed to park either - and how will traffic wardens be able to tell the difference between visitors' cars and football supporters' cars?"

John Lawrence, chairman of Sheddocksley Community Council, wasn't aware of the implications for him and his neighbours. He said members were likely to share Mr Stott's concerns and the issue will be discussed at the group's meeting on Wednesday.

"I'm not against the idea of them introducing orders to stop people parking," he said. "The only drawback is that it might be inconvenient for residents who have people coming to visit.

"If there was some way of identifying whether cars belonged to people who were visiting residents or football supporters, it might work but I don't know whether there's anything that can be done about that. It's definitely something that's going to have to be looked into further."

Similar match-day parking restrictions are in place around the club's present home at Pittodrie. Michael Heaney, chairman of Pittodrie and Castlehill Community Council, said he hadn't been alerted to any problems by residents.

A spokesperson for the club stressed that the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) would be implemented by Aberdeen City Council and monitored by Grampian Police and that the areas being put forward were simply recommendations at this stage.

Dons chief executive Keith Wyness added: "Parking is obviously an issue of concern for local residents and has been thoroughly examined, with some innovative methods of controlling illegal parking put forward.

"The measures enforced to prevent illegal parking could include temporary no-parking zones on match days," he confirmed. "The TRO will prevent parking within designated areas, such as the village of Kingswells, during specified times on match days.

"However, in a proactive move, and probably one of the first of its kind in Scotland, Aberdeen Football Club would offer to set up a residents parking hotline whereby residents encountering illegal parking would phone in their complaint to the club, who would then take appropriate action to ensure that the problem is resolved by the police. In addition to this, we could have a parking co-ordinator who would meet residents on a regular basis to address ongoing situations."

Referring to the submissions which were requested by Aberdeen City Council planners, he said: "Aberdeen Football Club appointed the UK's leading environmental and planning consultants to undertake the research into the traffic and environmental impact studies for the proposed development at Bellfield and we are more than satisfied that the information provided to the city council is robust and examines all the issues of concern in a thorough and responsible manner." MORAG LINDSAY Posted 12.4.2002 http://www.thisinorthscotland.co.uk

KIFG MEANS BUSINES:Kingswells Infrastructure First Group has demonstrated the strength of its commitment to opposing the stadium proposal in the long term by using the planning process delay to become a legally constituted body with a framework designed to protect the area from damaging commercial developments.  In preparation for the forthcoming departure hearing and any public inquiry and litigation to follow the group has formally appointed Derek Martin as chairman and Mike Dunbar as chief executive.

Newly appointed CEO Mike Dunbar said, "When we started our actions to defend Kingswells in June 2001, some people said 'You're wasting your time, it's all been decided, the stadium is going to Kingswells anyway.'  No one says that any more because of the flaws which have been exposed in the crude plan to open up a corridor of land for commercial development and pass it off as works for the North East.  There are better sites in the North East for this development, if and when it is demonstrated that there is any need for Aberdeen Football Club plc to increase its ground capacity."

KIFG is authorised by object to raise funds to achieve its goals and a public meeting in Kingswells has been organised for April 22nd at which a multi media presentation which will be given by KIFG scientific adviser Dr Bruce Stevens.  Planning and local inquiry expert John Agnew, who will lead for the group at the departure hearing, will also deliver an outline of the likely processes issues to be followed and the prospects for success.  Also on display will be material showing the visual impact stretching from Rubislaw to Skene and an analysis of the noise intrusion.

Grampian Police have been made aware of the meeting to ensure that public order is maintained.  Those opposed to the stadium proposal are invited to attend at 8pm on April 22nd at Kingswells Community Centre. (Posted 12.4.2002)

FOOTBALL CLUB MAKES FURTHER SUBMISSION FOR KINGSWELLS CENTRE OF SPORTING EXCELLENCE: Aberdeen City Council has today (8.4.2002) received further submissions from Aberdeen Football Club in support of their planning application for a centre for sporting excellence at Bellfield Farm, Kingswells.

The further information relating to transport and the Environment Statement was requested by the City Council.

The Football Club want to create the centre of excellence incorporating a 30,000 seat football stadium, soccer academy, competition swimming pool, sports hall and ancillary community and sporting facilities.

The receipt of the new information will be advertised later this week in the local media and the Edinburgh Gazette and residents will be given 28 days to make representations.

The executive summary of the transport statement says that it is planned to have 2,000 car parking spaces for the football stadium and 500 for the ancillary sporting/leisure facilities.

It goes on to say that the transport plan is as follows:

* A transport strategy encouraging access principally by public transport linked to significant use of peripheral park and ride sites and public transport priority schemes, This strategy would encompass existing facilities as well as a significant enhancement implemented in the intervening years as part of Aberdeen City Council's Transport Strategy.

* A Green Transport Plan for Aberdeen Football Club which promotes and encourages more sustainable transport strategies.

* A maximum of 2,000 on site parking spaces which would be controlled by Aberdeen Football Club. It is envisaged that car parking provision would require being a member of car share club requiring high occupancy car travel and 'travel spreading' characteristics of its members to promote a phased access and egress of traffic flow to minimise the effect on the surrounding road network.

* Promotion of 'home supporter coach clubs' using season ticket information to promote sustainable transport with preferential on-site parking to encourage the concept.

* Further promotion of 'travel time spreading' before and after games by the inclusion of ancillary on site facilities to minimise the surrounding road network and to control the opening and closing periods of the off-site park and ride shuttle car parks.

* Control of off-site parking potential in adjacent areas by implementation of a 'match day' Traffic regulation Order and associated enforcement.

* Provision of drop-off facilities for taxis, mini-buses and private cars.

* Additional pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Also the Football Club propose to modify the following road junctions:

* A 944 Kingswells Roundabout.

* A 944 LangStracht/ Skene Road Roundabout

* A944 Westhill Roundabout.

Two new access roundabouts, on the A944 and the other on the C128 have been designed to cater for the full impact of development traffic.

The Environment Statement says that the site as "no acknowledged historic or cultural value". In deals with landscaping, ecology, badgers, noise, lighting and drainage.

* The City Council received 1,459 letters of objection and one of support when the original application was advertised.

* The Planning Committee has decided to hold a public hearing later this year into the application.

* Planning officers will evaluate the new information and take into account additional representations from the public. (Posted 9.4.2002)

ABERDEEN TO BID FOR FUNDING FOR WASTE AND RECYCLING: Aberdeen City Council is set to bid for more than £3.5 million from the Scottish Executive to implement its waste reduction and recycling strategy.

A report to be presented to the City Council's Policy and Strategy Committee, which meets on April 16, sets out the targets which have been set in the council's Aberdeen Futures programme.

They are:

* Reduce household waste by one per cent each year.

* Reduce the amount of household waste going to landfill by 40 per cent by 2005.

* A minimum of 25 per cent of domestic waste to be composted or recycled by 2005.

The report says that the Scottish Executive will be making available £50 million over the next three years for Scottish local authorities to tackle the problem - and Aberdeen will be looking for a substantial share.

The report to the committee says: "At the heart of any sustainable waste management strategy has to be the aim of reducing waste at source. "Whilst this is very difficult to achieve it does present the greatest environmental benefits.

"The reduction of household waste is an extremely challenging target for a local authority to adopt as many of the factors contributing to household waste are outwith direct control of the local authority. Central Government will have the greatest influence on household waste arising through legislation changes such as the Packaging Regulations.

"Practical methods of reducing waste will include continuing promotion of a range of initiatives for example home composting and working with other organisations to promote the use of real nappies.

"Whilst practical solutions can produce some waste reduction, substantial changes require a change in attitude and perception. Intensive education, campaigns and encouraging people to think about the waste that they produce are required to change people's attitude."

The report spells out the following plans in Aberdeen:

HOME COMPOSTING

The City Council will continue to promote home composting through the discounted purchasing scheme. This has so far sold 1,400 compost bins and the target is to increase this by 200 per cent by 2005.

REUSE AND REFURBISHMENT

This activity has declined in recent years as the cost of replacing consumer durables has fallen in relation to the cost of repair.

However, the Council will continue to promote reuse and refurbishment through a range of initiatives for example Instant Neighbour which involves the collection and repair of used furniture, electrical goods, childcare items to be redistributed free of charge to the most needy in the community.

RECYCLING

There are currently 29 publicly accessible recycling sites in Aberdeen for a population of 212,650 - and this is not enough.

It is intended that no member of the community in the urban area of Aberdeen will need to travel more than 1km to access their nearest recycling site. This will require the provision of approximately 35 to 40 additional public recycling sites by 2005.

A green waste collection trial is also planned for Kingswells, Kincorth and Deeside. The aim of the trial is to find the best method of collecting household kitchen and garden waste. These results will shape a future city-wide strategy.

Also the current kerbside collection of waste paper will be re-launched to encourage increased participation throughout the city. (Posted 9.4.2002)

KINGSWELLS.COM SEEKS A SPONSORSHIP DEAL FOR IT'S FIRST BIRTHDAY - The community web site Kingswells.com will be one year-old in April and it is exploring the possibility of allowing a local business to sponsor the whole web-site.

The web site has become an important focus for community activity and involvement and has received more 190,000 in its first year. Commercial sponsorship will allow the site to develop and expand while affording a potential sponsor an excellent opportunity to reach a wide range of people living in the Aberdeen area.

Web hits from April 2001 to Februay 2002

Kingswells.com envisages a potential sponsor paying an annual fixed fee that will be used to develop the site and generate greater publicity for the site through an awareness campaign.

In return, part of the sponsorship fee will be used to put up signs on each web page identifying the sponsor and linking it to the sponsors own web site.

Involving businesses will help the site provide a stronger publicity focus and allow for the introduction of a data-base of news items and a regular email newsletter.

Kingswells.com is now inviting private companies and other parties interested in this exciting sponsorship opportunity to email their interests to info@kingswells.com

Web mistress Claire Burt said: "The web site has been very successful with involvement from local residents, the school, the community council, action groups, the local churches and community organisations.

"Due to its own success it needs to be expanded, but there are financial limitations to what I can do as an individual. I hope a local businesses will see the potential in being associated with this active community web site and help in the development of this very popular and regularly re-visited web-site."

Business interested in this type of sponsorship should write to Claire first instance faxing details to (01224) 746859 or e-mail her on info@kingswells.com (Posted 8.4.2002)

 

Wendy Alexander To Visit Kingswells Park And Ride

Talks with NESTRANS over future transport plans

Wendy Alexander, Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, will visit Aberdeen's new park and ride service at Kingswells next Tuesday (March 19).

After the early morning visit she will travel by bus to Woodhill House to meet members of the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership, chaired by City Council Leader Len Ironside.

NESTRANS has drawn up plans for a £247 Million Modern Transport System for the area - which includes a new Western Peripheral Bypass - which it believes has the potential to indirectly create thousands of new jobs, significantly reduce accidents and pollution, and halve congestion problems.

The Kingswells Park and Ride, which links with the established Bridge of Don Park and Ride, opened on September 17, 2001 and a six month review will be presented to the City Council's Environment and Infrastructure Committee on Monday (March 18).

The report says that the Kingswells service has links to Foresterhill, Union Street and Bridge of Don operating from Monday to Saturday from approximately 7.20am to 6.20pm.

The level of usage on the Kingswells service has seen a rise to around 140 cars a day, and the number of passengers at around 200 per day.

During the run up to Christmas the usage at Kingswells and Bridge of Don rose to the level where they were effectively out of town car parks. At the Kingswells site 8,000 cars used the site over the five week period and at Bridge of Don there were 20,000. This equates to around 60,000 car based trips removed from the city centre during this period.

Dave Gordon, the Director of Environment and Infrastructure, says: "The level of usage for both sites, also considering the recent opening of the Kingswells site, is extremely encouraging as a tool to reduce city centre traffic.

Mr Gordon says that customer surveys have been carried out at both sites and the information has been used to improve the service to the public. New ticketing initiatives introduced include pedestrians and cyclists using CityRide passes as they board a P & R bus at the sites and anyone boarding at any of the dedicated stops can use a CityRide pass. Also as a request of local residents new bus stops have been introduced on the service at Albert Street and Woodend Hospital on the Lang Stracht.

Negotiations continue with FirstAberdeen over other ticketing initiatives that City Council would like to see introduced. There are:

* Customers can be dropped off at a park and ride site and are then able to purchase up to five tickets for £2 with the same entitlements as a car user.

* An individual customer can purchase more tickets than the number of individuals than in the car so that more people can return to the site with them on the return journey.

* The 60 minute limit from which the onward journey must be taken on a park and ride ticket be extended. This will allow more flexibility of use of the network, for example visitors to Foresterhill can also travel into the city centre and return to the park and ride site.

FirstAberdeen has indicated that they are prepared to continue to operate the service for a further six months on a commercial basis.

* The North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (NESTRANS) is a cross-sector group whose members are: Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Enterprise Grampian and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. (Posted 14.3.2002)

UPDATE ON MAJOR PLANNING APPLICATIONS: Aberdeen City Council officials have given an update on progress dealing with two major planning applications.

These are the application by Aberdeen Football Club for a regional centre of sporting excellence including a 30,000-seat football stadium at Bellfield Farm, Kingswells and one by Sita Holdings for an environmental park at Minto Drive, Altens.

Bob Reid, Assistant Planning Director, reports that more work is required to take place on both applications and there will be further newspaper advertising and consultation with the public leading to a probable delay of two months before public hearings are held.

It is now likely that the Aberdeen Football Club application will not be determined until August 8 and the Sita application on August 8, or September 5, 2002.

Mr Reid said: "With both of these major applications it is vital that the highest levels of public scrutiny is brought to bear. The legal requirement for Environmental Assessment brings with it a set of extra procedures. These effectively mean that any additional material required to supplement the Assessments will have to be advertised for comment as well.

"The sort of extra material sought is typically the result of consultation responses which have already been received. It is incumbent on the planning authority to seek answers from the applicants prior to the matter being taken through to its decision stages, including public hearing.

"The implication here is that the anticipated dates for the public hearings for these applications will have to go back by two months."

The full report is as follows:

APPLICATION BY ABERDEEN FOOTBALL CLUB

"The original consultation and advertisement period for the Environmental Statement relating to the planning application has been concluded.

"From and analysis of the Environmental Statement (which incorporates the Transport Assessment) and analysis of the comments made by consultees and those contained within representations of the proposed development, a number of issues require to be clarified and several rectified. Aberdeen Football Club are currently addressing these matters.

"On receipt of the additional information the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 require this to be publicised and consulted in a similar way to the original submission. Accordingly, notice of the additional information will be advertised in the local press and Edinburgh Gazette allowing a further 28 day period for representations to be lodged on this information.

"As a consequence, it will no longer be possible to hold a Development Plan Departure Hearing in late March or early April, as originally anticipated. It is likely that a Hearing will now take place during the second half of June with a report on the detailed evaluation of the proposal referred to the Planning Committee on August 8, 2002. Dates will be advised in due course."

APPLICATION BY SITA HOLDINGS

"The consultation and advert period of this application and its associated Environmental Statement ended on December 6, 2001. The proposal attracted 450 letters of objection and a petition of 2,780 names. The application and Environmental Statement are currently being assessed.

"An independent evaluation of the air quality assessment contained in the Environmental Statement is being commissioned from an independent expert consultant and the results of this evaluation will be used to inform the consideration of the application.

"The applicant is to be asked to submit further information in support of the information contained in the Environmental Statement and enable a recommendation to be made.

"Any further information submitted would have to be publicised and consulted in similar way to the original submission and members of the public and consultees would have the opportunity to submit further representations at the time. The further information would be advertised in the press for a period of 28 days.

"In the meantime it is intended to report to the committee on April 18 to seek the committee's views whether a Departure Hearing should be held after the submission and advertising of the further information. It is likely, therefore, that the hearing will now take place in late June or early July with a report on the detailed evaluation of the proposal referred to the Planning Committee of August 8, or September 5, 2002." (Posted28.2.2002)

PARK AND RIDE FIGURES: Park and Ride figures for the period January 28th 2002 to February 2nd 2002 have remained steady.

In Bridge of Don 2497 cars and 4024 passengers utilised the service. While in Kingswells during the same period a total of 818 cars and 1290 passengers took advantage of Park and Ride. (Posted 5.2.2002)


If you can provide assistance or information with any of the above please contact me at: info@kingswells.com A credit will be given to anyone submitting articles and photos used on web site. Claire Burt Web mistress

 
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Getting chatting on the Bulletin Board

OLD NEWS

DONS' OFFICIALS SAY BADGERS WON'T AFFECT KINGSWELLS PLANS: 5.2.2002

BADGERS COULD SINK STADIUM -4.2.2002

FIGURES FOR NEW BUS SERVICE SHOW SLUMP: 22.1.2002

FOOTBALL PLAN STATEMENT - VIEWS SOUGHT: 15.1.2002

Plans provided by kind permission of Aberdeen Football Club (11.1.2002)

GLOSSY BROCHURE FAILS TO WIN KINGSWELLS COUNCIL'S SUPPORT: 11.1.2002

PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR PROBE INTO STADIUM PLAN:10.1.2002

PROPOSALS FOR TENNIS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE: 10.1.2002

HEARING PROPOSED FOR KINGSWELLS FOOTBALL STADIUM PROPOSALS COUNCIL RECEIVES 1,459 LETTERS OF OBJECTION

KINGSWELLS COUNCILLOR DENIES CONFLICT OF INTEREST ON PRIMARY: 9.1.2002

UPMARKET DEVELOPMENT LEFT OUT IN THE COLD:

December Park And Ride Figures:

FOR: "I WANT THE DUNCAN SHEARER MOMENTS BACK AND I'LL DO WHAT I HAVE TO TO GET THEM" 27.11.2001

A GAINST: "PEOPLE IN THE TOWN ARE TALKING ABOUT LITTLE ELSE AND NONE ARE IN FAVOUR" 27.11.2002

Public Inquiry To Be Held Into Plans For £12 Million Sports And Leisure Centre: 23.7.2001

Kingswells move bad for Dons, says planner: 24.7.2001

Executive calls public inquiry over leisure project. 16.7.2001


 

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