Ulster GAA has formally submitted a planning application and associated Environmental Statement for the redevelopment of Casement Park into a 38,000 capacity all-seated stadium. The planning application to Planning NI followed an intensive 15 month community consultation period during which statutory authorities, and members of the public, local stakeholders and members of the GAA throughout Ulster were encouraged to engage directly with the Ulster GAA and the stadium design team to present their views on the project and to influence the design process. When complete the redeveloped stadium will result in environmental benefits for the local community including improved traffic management during events, reduction in stadium noise pollution as well as a reduction in flood light pollution. The stadium will also bring significant economic benefits to the city of Belfast and wider Province.
The Planning submission application was lodged on 19th June 2013. The full planning application and supporting environmental reports are available to for view on the Planning NI web site, and at the Belfast offices of Planning NI. It is also hoped to put the scale model of the Stadium on display at a central location in the coming weeks.
Commenting on this milestone for the Project, Chairman of the Stadium Board Tom Daly said: “This development represents the third individual project of an overall strategic stadium programme sponsored by Northern Ireland Executive through the Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure. All three stadia are being redeveloped within the greater Belfast urban area and development involves a combination of new and modern design, increased capacity, and new and improved arrangements in relation to overall event management.
“The Stadium Project Board have been working closely with our Design Team to produce the impressive plans which will transform the current 12 acre site in West Belfast into an iconic stadium for Ulster Gaelic Games increasing the capacity of the stadium from its current figure of 32500 to 38000 all seater. All GAA codes and activities will be catered for in the modern stadium to include Hurling, Camogie Gaelic Football, Rounders, and Handball. The new building will also offer over 2000sq meters dedicated to community facilities. The stadium as well as servicing the needs of the Central GAA and Ulster GAA, will also continue to serve all the needs of Antrim GAA as the County’s home ground and will provide for all codes at all age levels. The aspiration of Ulster GAA is to have all school children with an interest in Gaelic Games to having the opportunity to play in the new stadium within five years of its completion.
“It is anticipated that this major Project will bring many benefits and opportunities for the local area and for Belfast and Ulster. During construction, it is predicted that local students will be interested in learning from the design and construction methodologies. Ulster GAA has also included social clauses in its contracts, which will focus on local employment needs. The project will, once commenced, sustain over 1500 jobs in the construction industry while the Stadium when complete will bring significant local economic benefits by attracting visitors from across Ireland to Belfast.
“I would like to sincerely thank the local stakeholders at community level for their continued engagement and feedback on the project. I would also like to thank the integrated design team in particular RPS for their work on the planning application and I would also recognise the continued input from the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Stadium Project team at DCAL. Finally I am grateful to the Ulster GAA Stadium Project Board who are supported by a dedicated and professional Stadium Project Executive Team under the leadership of Dr. Danny Murphy for their ongoing work and commitment to this flagship project.”
Photo caption: Artist impression of nighttime view of the new Casement Park.