Junior football club to get long-term ground lease

The Cloverhill new council housing site

BRIDGE of Don Thistle Junior Football Club are to get a new long-term lease for a 3G sports pitch at the new council house site at Cloverhill.

Aberdeen City Council’s Finance and Resources Committee approved the move at a meeting earlier this week which will involve the junior club paying an annual peppercorn rent of £1.

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Committee Convener Councillor Alex McLellan said: “I am pleased that Aberdeen City Council has agreed a long-term lease for the sport pitch at Cloverhill with Bridge of Don Thistle Junior Football Club.

“The lease will provide the football club with a new facilities, but also provide the community with use of the pitches within certain hours as well.”

The report to committee said the Council’s development site at Cloverhill on Ellon Road was given planning consent for 536 residential units, three retail units, a community hall and a 3G sports pitch. The property was purchased on 12 January 2022.

The development was purchased as a design-and-build contract which means that effectively at the date of purchase, the site benefitted from full planning consent.

As part of the purchase agreement, there was an agreement that within three years of the start of the Cloverhill site build, the Council would ‘make reasonable endeavour’ to enter into an agreement with Bridge of Don Thistle Junior Football Club for the provision of a 3G sports pitch with associated facilities within the development.

Bridge of Don Thistle would be offered a long ground lease at a nominal rent for the use of the pitch and provide access for public use.

The 3G pitch forms part of Phase 4A of the development and completion is expected to be in October 2025. Bridge of Don Thistle have agreed a 125- year ground lease for an annual rent of £1.

Barry Park, chairman of Bridge of Don Thistle, said: “Bridge of Don Thistle JFC would like to thank Cognito Oak, Aberdeen City Council, and all those involved in achieving the outcome.  The facility has been a major requirement for the Bridge of Don area for many years and it’s great to see all the hard work have a fantastic result.

“Being able to support the community is our goal.  The plans for the pavilion are underway as part of the commitments by the club and we are excited to see things progress in the coming year.”

Bridge of Don Thistle have agreed to deliver at their own cost a suitable permanent changing facility for the sports pitch which will include appropriate changing rooms, shower facilities, storage space, and toilet facilities. the football club will also take on the responsibility for the ongoing maintenance works for the facility.

The junior club have also agreed to allow public use of the facilities and will allow Aberdeen City Council’s sports development team use of the facilities between 9am and 4.30pm during school term time.

There will also be availability during the school holiday periods for Council or supported coaching programmes. Timetables and any cost associated with this use will be subject to regular review.

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