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Ulster GAA puts forward scaled-down stadium plan to appease defiant locals

By Matthew Campelli    25 Oct 2016
The scaled-down project is now 34,500-capacity, with 8,500 reserved for standing / GAA

New designs for the controversial Casement Park development in Belfast have been unveiled after opposition from local residents halted original plans.

Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has put forward designs for a reduced size arena to quell concerns raised by locals about the quality of their lives being impacted on matchdays.

The body has also put forward a “sustainable transport strategy”, which includes coach travel and park-and-ride options, to improve “ease of access” and reduce congestion in the wider community.

According to the Ulster GAA, stage one of the community consultation process received 91 per cent support following the proposal adaptations, however an Irish News report has suggested that the development has “not been signed off by key safety advisor”.

Tom Daly, chair of the Casement Park Project Board, said the changes demonstrated Ulster GAA’s “willingness to engage, listen and evolve plans”.

The Populous-designed stadium will now have a capacity of 34,500, down from the 38,000 that was originally proposed. Of the new capacity, 8,500 will be allocated to a standing terrace. The local residents association – Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association – had previously called for a 25,000-capacity limit.

Although the stadium has been reduced in size and mass, the design has incorporated a “bowl” effect to “enhance the atmosphere”.

The mixed-use facility will include: conference and banqueting facilities; handball courts; community space, including cafe; exhibition space/cultural centre; replacement social club; car parking for non-matchday use; enhanced public realm to the nearby Andersontown Road.

Ulster GAA will hold stage two of the public consultation over the next few days.

“GAA members, supporters, as well as people across the local community are looking forward to an exciting new beginning for Antrim and the Provincial Stadium for Ulster,” said Ulster GAA president Michael Hasson.

“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.”

Although the stadium has been reduced in size and mass, the design has incorporated a bowl effect to enhance the atmosphere / GAA
Ulster GAA  Belfast  Populous 
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