Ulster GAA have unveiled its proposed designs for a new provincial stadium in West Belfast.
The new Casement Park has been mired in controversial since being first mooted. In December 2014 a High Court judge quashed a ministerial decision to grant planning approval for the redevelopment of the stadium on the Andersonstown Road with a capacity for 38,000 spectators.
While many residents living in the vicinity of the ground welcomed the decision, the GAA was left reeling. In recent months Ireland’s largest sporting organization has begun a consultation with the wider West Belfast community ahead of a new planning application.
The new stadium design sees the new capacity reduced to 34,500, incorporating 8,500 terracing. The highest point of the new stadium is 12 metres lower than the highest point of the original plan.
Speaking at the design unveiling, Tom Daly, Chairman of the Casement Park Project Board, said the new design unveiling demonstrates Ulster GAA’s willingness to “engage, listen and evolve our plans for a new Casement Park stadium”.
“In the new scheme we have reduced the scale, mass, size and capacity of the stadium whilst at the same time creating a first class atmosphere for GAA supporters through the bowl design and up-close spectator experience.
"We are also committed to delivering a travel culture change within the GAA with a sustainable transport strategy inclusive of coach travel, park and ride and integrated travel choices with ticket sales. This strategy is good for ease of access to and from the stadium, is cognisant of the needs and views of the local community and is good for the wider environment.”
Michael Hasson, Ulster GAA President, added: "GAA members, supporters as well as people across the local community are looking forward to an exciting new beginning for Antrim and a provincial stadium for Ulster. We want to create a positive sporting legacy and iconic stadium that will be a beacon to inspire young GAA players throughout, West Belfast, Antrim and across Ulster.”