Casement Park redevelopment gets planning approval
Casement Park's redevelopment has been granted final planning approval, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced.
The minister signed off today on plans for a new 34,500 seater GAA stadium to be built at Casement Park in west Belfast.
There have been years of delay and dispute over the major infrastructure project and costs have soared. Stormont will fund most of the project but the GAA has committed to contributing to the overall cost.
Ms Mallon said it was "an historic day for the GAA in Ulster and for Gaels across our island".
"Last October I announced my intention to grant planning approval and I am delighted that all the statutory processes have now been completed to make that decision official and allow the Ulster Council of the GAA to proceed with their development plans.
"This has been a long and complex process, predating my time as minister, however we must now move forward and see progress on the ground, progress that will bring many sporting, social and economic benefits not just to west Belfast but right across the city and beyond.
"This will be fantastic news for the GAA family across Ulster and Ireland, particularly with the Ulster Final taking place this Sunday.
"Here's to an exciting Ulster final and many memorable games to come in a new state-of-the-art stadium in Casement, now that the GAA is to finally have the home it deserves in Ulster."
Her department said it had received approximately 1,306 letters of objection and three petitions of objection along with 1,721 letters in support and one petition of support in respect of the Casement application.
CASEMENT APPROVED. Today I've granted final planning approval for Casement.— Nichola Mallon (@NicholaMallon) July 28, 2021
Here's to an exciting Ulster Final this weekend & many memorable games to come in a new & iconic Casement Park, now that @UlsterGAA is to finally have the home it deserves in Ulster. @officialgaa pic.twitter.com/wW4XtkrvQo
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said the stadium would support the development of Gaelic games "from the grassroots up".
"The Ulster Council of the GAA, Antrim GAA and the community of west Belfast will not be the only beneficiaries of this significant project; it will have far reaching economic, social and health impact for Belfast and beyond," she added.