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The delivery of a major sports facility and 1,000 capacity stadium at Calder Park has moved a step closer with the announcement that a revised planning application has been lodged with Aberdeen City Council by Cove Rangers Football Club and Aberdeen Football Club.


As Cove Rangers Chairman Keith Moorhouse explains, the main changes now proposed will result in greatly enhanced facilities for the local community. "While there has undoubtedly been something of a hiatus in recent months, this has been due to the fact we believed better use could be made of the available site and the revised application includes the addition of the all weather indoor football structure which will be very much a community facility.


"The extent and quality of the facilities on offer to the general public has been greatly improved, compared to the original concept, and this has taken much time and work to redevelop the plan which Aberdeen Football Club, our partners, and Cove Rangers believe will be for the benefit of everyone."


The other significant change that will occur as a result of the revised application will be a reduction on the timescales before the project is completed as Keith outlines.


"Originally the plan allowed for the complete facilities to be delivered over a four year period. However, this new application envisages a start date of early next year with the completion of all the facilities within a twelve month period of commencement, which will tie in nicely to the timescale of the new AFC stadium at Loirston."


A key part of Cove Rangers' development strategy has been relocation to Calder Park due to the massive restrictions within their current home at Allan Park.


After narrowly missing out on membership of the SFL in 2008, the Highland League side recognised they required a new stadium to guarantee a role in any future re-organisation of the national game.


The club had reached agreement on a long term lease on land at Calder Park with Aberdeen City Council some time ago but this was conditional on them delivering a viable business plan and being able to demonstrate that funding was in place to deliver the new facility, which already has detailed planning permission.


Until the early summer of 2010, the club had been unable to meet those conditions. However, talks with Aberdeen Football Club led to a solution which would provide a new, purpose-built stadium for Cove Rangers, new sports facilities for the community and state-of-the-art football training facilities for AFC.


Aberdeen Football Club chief executive, Duncan Fraser commented: "This will enable Aberdeen Football Club to develop the long established aim of delivering first-class training facilities. The massive bonus is that they can be fully integrated with the new stadium at Loirston, resulting in Aberdeen City and Shire being able to boast one of the best football and sports centres in Europe. This development is critical in order to further enhance our youth development program, to enable us to attract top players and will bring greatly enhanced community facilities to people living and working on the south side of the city"

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