Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

£76m Casement Park revamp plan 'a monstrosity'

Victoria Campbell and fellow protesters after Casement Park was given planning approval to become a modern 38,000-seat stadium

Some outraged residents have branded the planned construction of the new £76m Casement Park a "monstrosity", claiming that the high walls will dwarf their homes.

The residents' group from the Andersonstown Road area of west Belfast also argue that sunlight will not get through to their homes once the revamped 38,000-seat venue is completed.

A handful of angry protesters disrupted an announcement made by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan yesterday, which gave the green light for the new stadium.

One of the protesters, Anne-Marie Hughes, was outraged residents were not directly informed about yesterday's announcement. She said: "We don't object to Casement getting a certain amount of money and upgrading... but we are objecting to the height of it."

Another resident whose house will be affected by the new stadium is Victoria Campbell. She said: "I'm 25 at the end of January – this is all I've known, and all I've known is problems with Casement.

"Nobody is going to stand for someone walking into their area and just destroying it."

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said she was willing to listen to residents' concerns but said the stadium was a great investment.

SDLP minister Mr Durkan said he recognised the issues that local people had with the stadium, but argued it would boost local tourism and the economy.

Work on the new stadium is due to begin early next year and the GAA hopes the first matches can be played as early as 2016.

Tom Daly, chairman of the Casement Park Redevelopment Project Board, said: "We did make significant changes to the design in order to please the residents."

BACKGROUND

"I'm 25 at the end of January – this is all I've known, and all I've known is problems with Casement. Nobody is going to stand for someone walking into their area and just destroying it."

Victoria Campbell, who lives near Casement Park

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