20/12/2013

Casement Park Development Approved

A new stadium at Casement Park in west Belfast has been given the go-ahead.

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) will now build a new 38,000 capacity stadium on the existing site on the Andersonstown Road.

She described the announcement as a "key milestone" in the development of her department's regional sports stadiums programme.

The Executive has pledged up to £110m of government funding for the redevelopment of three sports stadiums at Ravenhill, Windsor Park and Casement Park.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "This is a tremendous boost for Gaelic games and for sport here. Planning approval will now lead to the creation of a modern sports stadium with improved facilities and increased spectator comfort. The new stadium is a high quality design which will be a recognised landmark building which will assist with the ongoing regeneration of the Andersonstown Road and boost the city of Belfast.

"This stadium will have the potential to host cross-provincial matches usually played at Croke Park or Clones. This will boost sports tourism and the economy in the North. Jobs during the construction phase and additional jobs for the daily management are to be welcomed."

Minister Ní Chuilín said: "Having planning approval granted for Casement Park is the final part of the jigsaw in the regional sports stadium programme. Not only is this a tremendous boost for the GAA in Ulster, the re-development of Casement will bring many benefits to the community in West Belfast through construction jobs and a catalyst for regeneration in the area around the stadium."

The development proposals had been met with opposition from local residents, who fear the new stadium will cause issues such as the blocking of light and limiting car parking spaces for those living nearby.

(IT)

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