The Friends of St Fittick’s Park (FoSFP) have been fighting for over two years.
The campaign to prevent the “corporate land grab” of a park in Aberdeen will see volunteers take to the capital on Thursday.
Those behind the efforts to save St Fittick’s Park in Torry will be travelling down to the Scottish Parliament for a rally to demand that the Scottish Government live up to its policies and commitments on social equality, health and biodiversity.
The Rally will take place outside the Scottish Parliament from 1.30pm on Thursday 12th January.
The Friends of St Fittick’s Park (FoSFP) have been fighting for over two years to prevent the destruction of the award winning and thriving greenspace in Torry.
However the present and past administrations of Aberdeen City Council have let the community down by creating a local development plan backed by corporate interests that will pave the way for St Fittick’s Park to be destroyed to make way for a so-called ‘Energy Transition Zone’.
These destructive plans have zero consent from the local community but are backed by a powerful consortium led by oil billionaire Ian Wood’s non accountable development agency Opportunity North East, ETZ Ltd and Aberdeen Harbour Board.
Given that city planners and local democracy has failed the people of Torry, campaigners have now called upon the Scottish Government and in particular planning minister Tom Arthur to intervene.
The Friends of St Fittick’s Park will be joined by supporters outside the parliament to demand that the Minister uses his powers to direct Aberdeen City Council to keep St Fittick’s Park as a greenspace in the local development plan.
On the 21st December, FoSFP wrote to Mr Arthur demanding action and detailing a catalogue of bad practice and highlighting how the proposed destruction of a thriving biodiverse greenspace in one of the most socially deprived areas of Aberdeen goes against current Government policy and targets on Health, Biodiversity and tacking structural inequalities.
Campaigners will tell Mr Arthur the choice is clear, either use this opportunity to live up to your commitments and stop the destruction, or instead render the meaning of your policies and commitments as “Hee Haw”.
Friends of the St Fittick’s Park campaigner, Lesley Anne Mulholland, said: “The Scottish Government say they care about inequality, peoples health, especially in the poorest communities, and halting biodiversity loss, but this will mean hee haw if they don’t stop the land grab and destruction of our cherished greenspace of St Fittick’s Park.
“We lost the Bay of Nigg to the new Aberdeen South Harbour, but folk in Torry were assured our park was protected.
"Our message is clear to the Scottish Government, use your powers to ensure St Fittick’s Park remains a thriving greenspace and wetland that meets the needs of nature and the people you’re supposed to represent”
Dr Adrian Crofton, clinical lead at Torry Medical Practice, said: “St Fittick's Park has become a tremendous and cost-effective health investment for the population of Torry, an area which has suffered from lower life expectancy and poorer health outcomes compared with the rest of the country.
“It provides an accessible greenspace where people can exercise or sit in peace and quiet in contact with nature. It is greatly valued by our patients, a park the city should be proud of, and any loss will permanently undermine efforts to tackle the health inequalities that they continue to experience.”