Dons chairman Stewart Milne has today welcomed formal permission for the £50 million Kingsford stadium to progress – and believes nothing will stop the scheme.

Aberdeen City Council’s announcement that final planning permission has been granted, comes after the Scottish Government said ministers would not review the local authority’s decision to provisionally approve the 20,000-capacity stadium and training ground complex.

Mr Milne told the Evening Express: “This is yet another piece of good news in our long-running saga to secure badly needed training and community facilities.

“We are really excited about letting contracts to local companies for the work and getting started on site.”

The club can now start phase one of work.

Construction will start on several buildings and seven pitches in June.

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.

A spokesman for No Kingsford Stadium, which opposes the project, today said: “We have already been working with our legal team but the work starts in earnest now to move to initiate a judicial review within the 90-day period.”

Mr Milne said: “Despite claims by the objectors, we will be going ahead as we are confident that our plans have gone through the proper channels and democratic process.

“It’s now clear from planning and legal experts that the objectors cannot stop the project going ahead.

“At best, they could hold them up for a matter of months but ultimately the project will be delivered.

“The courts won’t entertain a challenge that is just based on the development being in the Green Belt, or any other planning issue.

“The objectors need to argue that the process of permitting the development was flawed and, even in the unlikely event that is upheld, the club and the council will simply go through the planning process again, correcting any procedural error and the outcome will be the same.”

Originally published – Evening Express – 24 April 2018