Almost 9,000 people (!) sent their support/objection for the new stadium and both groups ale almost even in numbers. Now all the letters need to be analysed.
The proposed stadium in Kingsford, western outskirts of Aberdeen, enjoyed huge interest during the public consultation period. Deadline for submissions had to be extended to cope with the number of people wishing to be heard. It passed yesterday at midnight. In total a massive number of 8,941 letters from local communities were received.
George Yule, executive vice chairman of AFC, said: “Our proposals represent a £50 million private investment in major sporting and community infrastructure. […] We are pleased that the statutory consultation period, which ended at midnight, has seen a very strong and positive response from the public and a wide range of stakeholders.”
Strong support is the right phrase, but only if paired with strong opposition. As it turns out, 4,498 letters are in favour of the planned 20,000-seat stadium, while 4,443 oppose the plan. The difference is almost as thin as can be, just 55 letters.
While detailed evaluation will follow at a later date, it’s clear that fears of hooliganism and expansion of large infrastructure into the green belt are among key reasons for people to stand against the stadium.
Alistair McKelvie, spokesman for the campaign group No Kingsford Stadium, told the Evening Express the number of people objecting to the plans showed the strength of local feeling and “the clear desire of the community to protect the Green Belt and prevent coalescence between the two communities”.
He added: “A development of this size and scale on the only Green Belt area between Westhill and Kingswells on the north side of the A944 will have a significantly negative effect on the area, fundamentally changing its nature and perception.”