Casement Park: New community consultation launched for redevelopment
The Ulster GAA has announced details of a fresh community consultation on plans for the redevelopment of the Provincial Stadium at Casement Park in west Belfast.
The document, which the GAA has described as a "robust engagement framework", has been launched in advance of the submission of its planning application towards a redeveloped Provincial Stadium at Casement Park.
Sports Minister Caral Ní Chuilin has welcomed the announcement by the GAA.
It comes a week after Ms Ni Chuilin walked out of a Stormont committee meeting investigating safety issues at Casement Park.
The minister was requested to appear again at the committee after it had heard claims in January that she had been briefed on safety concerns as far back as 2012.
The GAA's hope to build a new stadium on its existing grounds at Casement Park has been beset with problems and delays. Its planning permission was overturned last year.
Launching the start of the new planning application process on Wednesday Tom Daly, Chairman of the Casement Park Project Board said they want to hear the views of all.
"We wish to thank everyone for their support as we look forward to a new stadium at Casement Park," he said.
"Essentially what we are announcing today is the launch of an entirely new process that will inform the design and build of a new stadium.
"There will be two phases to the engagement framework, phase 1 forms the technical scoping exercise.
"During the second phase, a 20 week community consultation period, we are looking forward to hearing from local residents and interested members of the community, businesses, arts and cultural organisations and sporting bodies on our proposals."
Mr Daly said they are in the early stages of the process.
"We are still in the early stages, with the consultation and technical evaluations set to inform the stadium design at a later stage," he said.
"The GAA is a proud community organisation, embedded in communities and open to everyone.
"The GAA is volunteer driven and thrives on community spirit, the Casement Park project therefore represents for us an opportunity to invest in a community which we are proud to be a part of. It has been the home of Antrim GAA since 1953 and we are excited at the prospect of it also becoming the home of Ulster GAA. This will be a facility everyone in the local area, all of Belfast, Antrim and Ulster can be proud of."
Mr Daly added that the capacity for the new stadium is not pre-determined and will be informed in consultation with the public, statutory consultees, key stakeholders such as the Safety Technical Group, PSNI and others.
"The first phase in the process is developing and agreeing a scoping exercise with the Belfast City Council," he said.
"An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed redevelopment will identify key topics for assessment as well as other reports and information with an Environmental Statement being submitted to Belfast City Council in support of the proposals and to assist in the determination of the application.
"Following the environmental scoping the GAA will launch phase two - a comprehensive 20 week Pre-Application Community Consultation (PACC) programme to seek views across all elements of the new Provincial Stadium with local stakeholders, interest groups, local residents, the wider GAA and other relevant stakeholder groups such as business, arts, social and sporting bodies."
Rory Miskelly has been appointed Project Director for Casement Park. He has previously been involved in major capital projects including the delivery of Titanic Belfast and the new stadia at Ravenhill and Windsor Park.
To obtain a copy of the working document please email: email@example.com