Mon 04 Mar 2019

Aberdeen City Council Sees Off Challenge to new Aberdeen Football Club Stadium

Aberdeen City Council has successfully defended a challenge to their decision to grant planning permission for a new Aberdeen Football Club stadium at West Kingsford, Aberdeen.  The development value of the new stadium is around £50 million.

A challenge was raised by No Kingsford Stadium Limited, a company incorporated with objects including benefitting the community of Westhill, Kingswells and West Aberdeen.  They had participated in pre-determination hearings in respect of the application for planning permission and also submitted representations on the application.

In their petition for judicial review, they sought the reduction of the Council's decision to grant planning permission.  They submitted that the Council had made material errors of law in the interpretation and application of its own development plan policy; failed to take into account material considerations; and that the Council had failed to establish the necessary factual basis for concluding there were no alternative available sites (based on a sequential analysis).

The Court determined that there was no error of law which would entitle the Court to reduce the decision to grant planning permission and that no failure to take into account material considerations had been demonstrated.  Additionally, the Court determined that the Council fulfilled its duty to assess whether there was an available and sequentially preferable site for the development which had been proposed, adopting a flexible and realistic approach to what was needed for that development as opposed to a different, more flexible one.  Furthermore, the Council gave proper, adequate and intelligible reasons for its conclusions.

The challenge to the planning permission was therefore refused.

Morton Fraser were instructed on behalf of Aberdeen City Council in respect of this matter.

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