Plans for a £50 million stadium have taken a step forward.

Aberdeen FC has applied for a building warrant for the first stage of its work at Kingsford.

The application, if given approval, means work could start on the community and sports facilities near Westhill.

Halliday Fraser Munro has submitted the proposals on behalf of the Aberdeen FC Community Trust.

The club wants to start work on the foundations and drainage at the site – but needs the building warrant approval.

It would pave the way for work to start on the football academy, outdoor pitches, pavilion and access roads.

The drainage and foundation work would cost £3.3m to complete and could begin next month if Aberdeen City Council give it the go-ahead.

Raymond Edgar, project director for the Kingsford Stadium, said: “Aberdeen Football Club has now submitted the building warrant application with Aberdeen City Council. On approval this will allow us to move forward with phase one of our plan, the community and training facilities which includes the construction of the training pavilion, groundsman’s accommodation, grass training pitches plus 3G and grass pitches for community use.

“The granting of this warrant will enable us to progress the first stage of this exciting development, which we are committed to delivering for the benefit of the club and the wider region. The first series of contracts is expected to be awarded in this month, with construction beginning on-site in June.”

The Dons got approval last month for its stadium plans. Aberdeen City Council announced planning permission had been granted after the Scottish Government said ministers would not be reviewing the local authority’s decision for the 20,000-seat stadium and training complex.

Before the club can start phase two – including construction of the stadium – it must resolve issues around parking and pedestrian safety, including a possible planning application to Aberdeenshire Council for a footbridge over the A944.

Campaign group No Kingsford Stadium is pushing ahead with its plans for a judicial review into the process.

The group needs to lodge its appeal within 90 days of the application approval.

A spokeswoman for No Kingsford said it had no comment to make regarding the building warrant application.

Aberdeen City Council has set a target of May 24 for the decision on the application.

Originally published – Evening Express – 2 May 2018