Jul 012011
 

Calling all groups in Seaton, Tillydrone, Bucksburn, Danestone, Bridge of Don, Middlefield, Dyce, Woodside, Bucksburn, Muggiemoss, Stoneywood….Aberdeen City Council is offering you a chance to air your views on the Don.

Over July and August the Sustainable Urban Fringes (SURF) Aberdeen project is keen to hear your views on the quality of the environment along the River Don.
Do you use the paths?
What about signage?
What do you like or not like about community woodlands, parks, playing fields or other open spaces?

How could they be better and better used?
What are the barriers to use?
How would you like to be involved in improving your local environment and open spaces?

If you would like Stephen Bly, Community Woodland Ranger, to come to one of your meetings, events or informal get-togethers to have a chat about your views and suggestions, then give him a ring on 07824 626303, or email him, StephenBly@aberdeencity.gov.uk.  Stephen can come along with maps and aerial photos of the area and you can tell him a thing or two.

The Aberdeen SURF project is working to improve the environment and open spaces along the River Don so that they can make a positive contribution to the quality of life of residents, businesses and recreational users. The project recognises that urban fringes – the areas on the edges of towns and cities – need as much attention as urban centres.

SURF Aberdeen is being managed by a partnership Steering Group which brings together officers from the City Council, SEPA, Aberdeen Greenspace, Forestry Commission Scotland and the River Don Trust.

Following on from initial consultation the SURF Aberdeen project will work to deliver a series of improvement projects in the project area.

So, why not take this opportunity to tell us what’s important to you?

For more information on SURF and SURF Aberdeen, visit the website at www.sustainablefringes.eu, or contact Sinclair Laing, email SiLaing@aberdeencity.gov.uk, tel (01224) 522725.

Notes :

•           The Sustainable Urban Fringes (SURF) Project Partners are:-

UK: Aberdeen City Council (lead partner), School of the Built Environment at Leeds Metropolitan University, City of Bradford and Norfolk County Council;

Netherlands: City of Enschede, Saxion University, City of Almelo and City of Hengelo;

Belgium: Province of East Flanders, Province of West Flanders and Province of Antwerp;

Germany: City of Hamburg; and Sweden: Municipality of Harryda.

•           The project is part of the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme, which promotes trans-national co-operation through four priorities. The SURF project was approved in 2009 under the “Delivers Sustainable and Competitive Communities” category. http://www.northsearegion.eu/ivb/home/.

Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme is part of the European Territorial Co-operation Programme which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This programme is designed to encourage cross-border, trans-national and interregional co-operation and balanced development of the European territory.

For more information visit: europeanregionaldevelopment

Sep 032010
 

A few weeks back, we carried a short piece on the proposed and controversial Third Don Crossing.

Voice’s David Innes has been in contact with Tillydrone Community Council’s chairman Ross Grant to gauge opinion on the city side of the river.

It’s been well-reported that Tillydrone Community Council is opposed to a development that many see as being of benefit to commuters on the north side of the city. Community Council Chairman Ross Grant explains:

“We’re vehemently opposed to the Third Don Crossing proposal not just because of the massive detrimental impact it would have on our own community, but because we’re convinced it won’t alleviate traffic congestion, only encourage traffic further into the city causing even greater jams and increased air and noise pollution. It does nothing to increase use of alternative modes of transport.

“These aren’t just our views – they’re shared by the community councils of Old Aberdeen, Rosemount and Mile End, Froghall and George Street. Parent councils, the Aberdeen University Student Council, the Grandholm Village Residents’ Association and an increasing number of Danestone and Bridge of Don residents feel the same way.”

To the accusation that Tillydrone’s opposition is mere NIMBYism, Ross bristles visibly:

“I hate reference to cases like this as NIMBYism. Nobody denies that this proposal would ravage Tillydrone most, but it would have a significant detrimental impact on communities further afield, including Bridge of Don and Danestone.

The City Council hasn’t displayed best judgement on a growing number of issues, so why should we trust their judgement on this proposal?

“Our argument has always remained consistent – dual Persley Bridge, the Parkway and Mugiemoss Road. Most importantly, first address the Haudagain roundabout situation by constructing a flyover. These measures would allow a far smoother traffic flow to, from and through Bridge of Don and from the A96 and A947. Furthermore, if the City Council committed itself more to alternative modes of transport, including reliable, affordable and user-friendly bus services, car-sharing, cycling, rail and walking, these would reduce traffic levels. That’s the right way to address the problem and few people would argue against it. It’s not NIMBY; it’s a sensible and practical response which the City Council seems unable to understand. Put simply, Councillors – address the current problems, don’t add to them by building a Third Don Crossing.”

This is all very well-argued, Voice agrees, but how does Tillydrone Community Council and other supporters spread awareness of this well-founded viewpoint to those who are unsure about the proposal or who have already swallowed the pro-Crossing propaganda?

“Don Crossing Communities Alliance members have never hidden away from engaging in the debate. We recognise that there’s a problem with traffic congestion, and sympathise with the residents north of the Don, but this proposal isn’t the answer, no matter what some people think. We’ve worked hard over the past year to raise awareness of our campaign and have an increasing number of sympathisers. The City Council hasn’t displayed best judgement on a growing number of issues, so why should we trust their judgement on this proposal?

“We’re always happy to hear from people, and welcome correspondence with anyone interested. Our website is www.donsidecommunities.com and we often organise public events to involve people.

“On the bright side, I do think that publicity for our case in Voice has come at a relevant time considering that the Council has called a special public hearing into the proposal and it’s a hot topic of debate as a result”

Sep 032010
 

The Don Crossing Communities Alliance, whose members are opposed to the proposal to build a third bridge over the Don between the Parkway, Danestone and Tillydrone, is holding a Riverside Picnic on Saturday September 4 at Tillydrone Community Centre, Gordon’s Mills Road.

http://www.touchaberdeen.com/business/map

The number 19 bus service passes close by.

Ross Grant, Tillydrone Community Council Chairman has urged all sympathetic citizens, or those who would like to visit an area not often included among the city’s beauty spots, to “feel free to come along and see Tillydrone’s best kept secret in the beautiful Don Valley”. Bring your own food and refreshments and visit anytime between 10am and 2pm. Local experts will be on hand to answer questions and to show picnickers around the area, currently under threat due to the Council’s controversial proposal.

More info re. 3rd Don Crossing – Click here.

Jul 232010
 

By Dave Innes.

It has been an intention, since Voice first elbowed its way out of cyberspace, to run a feature on the Third Don Crossing planned to span the river between Danestone and Tillydrone. This long-mooted construction seems to have been almost forgotten as the higher profile planning issues of Union Terrace Gardens, Menie and the Western Peripheral Route have taken centre stage in recent times. As a Bridge of Don resident, I’m arguably in the minority in being unconvinced of the virtues of this proposal.

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