Volunteer vegetable growers have voiced their frustration at plans for a 15,000-seater football stadium beside Camperdown Park.
The stadium will replace Dundee FC’s current venue of Dens Park.
Consultants, Dark Blue Property Holdings, shared the latest plans with the public in September.
But volunteers from the Campy Growers group believe the stadium would impact the “haven” of the park.
Josie Dearsley volunteers at the community garden within Camperdown Park.
She said: “The community loves coming to Camperdown. They enjoy the peace and quiet – it’s therapeutic.
“It’s nice to have a place that you can escape to that isn’t full of cars and noise.”
“Right now, you feel like you’re outside of the city at Camperdown,” said Josie, 21.
“With this development, it will feel like you’re being pushed right back into Dundee.”
Camperdown is a ‘gift for the city’
The plans indicate that a chunk of Camperdown Park could be replaced by training pitches for the club.
Dark Blue Property Holdings are exploring the possibility of reducing the intended four pitches to three, to minimise the impact on the park and protect trees.
A large unused area between Camperdown Park and Camperdown Leisure Park would accommodate the rest of the development.
Campy Growers volunteers will be disheartened if Dundee loses this green space.
Green spaces improve air quality and increase biodiversity.
Leslie Martin is another volunteer with the initiative.
“Camperdown is a gift for the city, providing peaceful green space to walk around and enjoy with family and friends,” said Leslie, 75.
“To locate a sports stadium here with all the attendant noise will disturb this peace.”
Although the proposed stadium wouldn’t encroach on their community garden, volunteers at Campy Growers believe it would harm the surrounding area.
Another main concern for volunteers is air pollution.
Leslie said: “Air pollution from a massive increase in cars accessing the park will be a serious health hazard to drivers, football fans and to those enjoying the no-longer-green-space around the pitch.”
“There will be far too many cars belching out fumes in a green space,” she said.
In an online consultation, the planners said they are in talks with noise and air quality consultants.
What are the Dundee FC plans?
The latest plans for the development include the stadium, training pitches and a crematorium:
- 100-bedroom hotel
- Car park with over 1,000 spaces
Recent talks also indicate that the stadium could be stretched to 25,000 seats as a concert venue.
This use of land could be ‘bad news for human health’
The land taken from Camperdown Park could be used for more community gardens, say volunteers at the growing initiative.
“The old horse field, where they plan to put training pitches, is well manured agricultural land,” Leslie said.
“In an ideal world, Campy Growers would love to grow food there.”
Bridget Cooper, 73, another passionate member of the community initiative, said: “They’re going to be taking what looks like wasteland, but is actually very biodiverse.”
Soil health can impact human health.
Leslie explained that the “no-dig” cultivation method used by Campy Growers protects the living things in the soil.
She said: “There is a huge community of small insects and animals living unseen beneath the soil, even under grass fields, as well as mycelium (type of fungi) connecting trees and other plants and keeping them healthy.
“Each time such a field is destroyed, it is bad news for human health, bad news for Dundee.”
Planners ‘recognise importance of environmental studies’
Mark O’Connor is one of the lead architects working on the development.
He said they are still in the planning stages.
“Issues including environmental concerns raised during this period must be considered and where relevant addressed in studies undertaken by the applicant and their team,” he said.
Following talks with Dundee City Council Planning Department and other public bodies, “multiple investigations have been set up and are currently underway”.
“Dark Blue Property Holdings recognise the importance of the environmental and other studies both to demonstrate which aspects of the proposals work well and which
aspects need refinement informed by the information gathered,” he added.