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‘Residents have been fully kept up to speed’

GAA rejects claims they’re not engaging

Casement Park in the middle of Andersonstown Casement Park in the middle of Andersonstown
By Staff Reporter

THE Casement Park Stadium Project Board (CPSPB) have rejected claims by the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents’ Association (MORA) that they have been ignoring their concerns, stating they have been engaging with them and other stakeholders since April last year.

A CPSPB spokesman said the  process has been led by a senior Ulster GAA official who has met with the MORA group on a monthly basis and provided the group with ongoing information in relation to the design concept.

“The design team for the stadium was appointed in September 2012 and the team held its first meeting with MORA on the day of its appointment,” he said. “Since then we have listened to all the concerns tabled by the residents’ group and other stakeholders and as a result the project team have substantially changed the design of the stadium concept by reducing the capacity from 40,000 to 38,000 to reduce the height. We have also developed a truss system, again to lower the height of the building substantially.

“We have changed the Andersonstown Road section of the stadium to leave it uncovered and we have also ensured that the stadium cloud is made of a translucent material.

“The GAA has also held five open night events in Belfast, three of which were in held in the Andersonstown Leisure Centre, and additionally the project team conducted a door-knock exercise with 280 homes on Saturday, April 13 to get direct feedback and input from residents neighbouring Casement Park.

“We have also attended two open residents meetings organised by MORA to provide updates on the project and get feedback on their concerns.”

And the spokesman revealed the GAA  are planning further consultation events in the coming weeks.

“Ulster GAA continues to be in constant contact with the local residents, political representatives, community groups and other relevant stakeholders regarding the design of this project,” he added.

“Regarding traffic management, these proposals are in draft form at present and we have already offered the MORA group representation on the event management team which will develop the proposals for match days.

“Any proposal for traffic control will be developed in partnership with the local residents and the statutory authorities.

“At the centre of this plan will be to ensure that residents are not adversely impacted by match day traffic.

“A full environmental statement will be submitted with the planning application and we have already conducted several studies on-site and the local area as part of the environmental statement.

“Ulster GAA will ensure that Casement Park is a significant social and economic driver for the entire province of Ulster, the city of Belfast and in particular West Belfast and we will continue to consult and engage with the local residents to ensure that this new development has a positive impact on them and their locality.

“The new Casement project will potentially bring £15 million a year to the local economy and will also see a £76.4 million boost for the local construction industry.

“Ulster GAA remains committed to the development of GAA in Ireland’s second city and the promotion of economic and social regeneration in the city through the development of our games and activities,” he added.

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