The judicial review into the new Kingsford Stadium brought forward by the No Kingsford Stadium group vs Aberdeen City Council was concluded last Wednesday (30 January 2019), ahead of schedule.
James Findlay QC spoke on behalf of Aberdeen Football Club, which was listed as an “interested party” in the dispute between the protest group and the Council.
He argued that the objectors’ legal team failed establishing grounds upon which the court could overturn Aberdeen City Council’s decision to award planning permission.
Mr Findlay said: “It would be a serious step to quash this permission, and it is our submission that the case put forward comes nowhere close to establishing grounds for that.”
Mr Findlay took the step to ask Lord Tyre to speed up the process, he said: “The club would like to know the outcome of this challenge as soon as possible.”
Lord Tyre asked whether Mr Findlay was suggesting he “get on with it”.
The judge added: “It is somewhat unusual to say ‘hurry up and get a judgement out’, but I should be able to deal with this without any particular delay.”
Aberdeen City Council’s legal representative, Ruth Crawford QC, argued that the authority did not disregard the local development plan, a framework engineered to shape projects and inform decisions on planning applications, when recommending elected members approve the scheme.
She said: “It was decided that the public benefits of the stadium would outweigh the provisions of the development plan, it is incorrect to say the development plan was not taken into account or considered.
“The development accorded with its general social and economic policies.”
No Kingsford Stadium argued that the council’s planning department had breached its own guidelines so badly in recommending councillors rubber-stamp the proposal that the decision was unlawful.
Ailsa Wilson QC represented the group and listed specific concerns regarding a supposed insufficient investigation into the possibility of siting the stadium elsewhere, transport problems and the use of land upon which development had been restricted.
It is expected the decision from Lord Tyre will take about three months.