All indications say today’s decision by the Lausanne Federal Court ends the saga of stadium opposition in Aarau. One person had halted the 10,000-stadium for several years.
First renderings of the stadium design for Aarau were presented in 2012, though announcements of a new stadium were known since 2009. Already at that point the project was subject to conflict between investors (HRS Real Estate) and residents of the industrial Torfeld Süd district. Locals expressed fears of excessive traffic and pollution, among others.
One of those residents attempted to block the development as long as it was possible. When the stadium was granted planning permission in 2014, he appealed against it. When his complaint was rejected by administrative court, he went to the federal court only to see the same outcome.
It got as far as the supreme court, which in November of last year stated that the stadium should move forward regardless of the protesting citizen. Still, HRS decided not to break ground with risk of the development being halted at some stage. Instead, they waited for a final outcome of the protests.
Finally today, the Lausanne Federal Court rejected the resident’s fears of traffic and noise caused by the stadium. The federal environment bureau evaluated that there will be no significant increase in those. Furthermore, the court stated that any further claims by that plaintiff would be rejected as well.
Today, surely, FC Aarau are celebrating. But it remains unclear when construction of the 10,000-capacity stadium would begin. HRS Real Estate have 2 years until the planning permission runs out.