Belfast Telegraph

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Officials promise extensive Casement Park stadium consultation

Published 28/04/2016

Twenty weeks have been set aside to gauge the views of residents and others interested in the project
Twenty weeks have been set aside to gauge the views of residents and others interested in the project

The consultation on the GAA's new Casement Park stadium will be one of the most extensive ever, sporting officials said.

Twenty weeks have been set aside to gauge the views of residents and others interested in the project in West Belfast.

In 2014 a High Court judge quashed a ministerial decision to grant planning approval for the redevelopment after local people objected. The GAA has gone back to the drawing board and even before detailed designs are produced, is seeking public views.

Tom Daly, chairman of the Casement Park Project Board, said: "This is a 20-week process, which is in excess of what is required from us under the statutes.

"It was a recommendation in the Cabinet Office review report that there would be a 20-week consultation process."

He said the purpose of such a lengthy series of events throughout Ulster was to obtain the views of residents and the wider community.

"Because this is a new process we are going to do a thorough process with a number of different dimensions to it.

"It will provide an opportunity for everyone to put their views forward.

"What we want to achieve through the consultation process is that we end up with the optimum design for the site so that it will meet the requirements of a provincial stadium."

A series of events will be held in West Belfast next month at Conway Mill, Andersonstown Leisure Centre and Glen Community Complex to outline the vision of a redeveloped Casement Park. By the autumn detailed plans and an environmental assessment will be available.

The handling of the project was previously criticised and Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin intervened, with independent experts brought in to give advice.

Rory Miskelly, project director, said: "Casement Park promises to be another landmark facility in the heart of Belfast and one which we are all looking forward to.

"The project remains a Programme for Government commitment and a key part of the regional stadium programme.

"There is a clear road map for the project in place and the consultation forms a key part of this."

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