03/08/2007

Ormeau Residents Oppose Stadium Plans

South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has again stressed his opposition to proposals to site a new football stadium in Ormeau Park.

Residents in the Ormeau area of south Belfast met on Thursday night to oppose any plans for a new national stadium being built there.

Plans have been drawn up for a 35,000-seater facility at the Maze site, near Lisburn in County Antrim, however, there have been repeated calls for the new stadium to be built in Belfast.

The South Belfast MLA said: “Proposals to site the new stadium in Ormeau Park have resurfaced once again. The calls to site the stadium in Ormeau Park fly in the face of the wishes of almost all of the residents living in the area that I have spoken to. Of all of my dealings with residents and residents groups where this issue was raised I have only heard one person express the view that they would like to see the stadium sited at Ormeau Park.”

One developer interested in building on the site said that local concerns were misplaced.

Mr Maskey added: “What we would see in such a scenario is thousands of people descending on Ormeau Park on a regular basis, creating massive parking problems in an area which does not have the infrastructure to service such a stadium; not to mention the removal of a vital public, green space which is well used by the local community.”

Peter Holmes, of the Sheridan Group, one of the consortiums with proposals for Ormeau Park said they plan to preserve much of the park and Paul Durnian, of City of Belfast Stadium, said not one tree in the park would be removed.

(SB/SP)

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