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20 Feb 2013

Northern Ireland's Windsor Park stadium gets green light
BY Jessica Tasman-Jones



Planning permission has been granted for an 18,000-capacity stadium at Windsor Park in Northern Ireland, in the fastest turnaround ever for a major planning application.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) submitted the application for two new stands and an extension of the north and west stands in early December and permission was granted in 11 weeks.

The project is part of a £110m pledge by Northern Ireland sports minister Caral Ni Chuilin to develop new sports venues at Windsor Park, Ravenhill and Casement Park.

She said: "All of the stadium projects will bring benefits to local communities in terms of job opportunities during and post construction as well as providing wider social benefits in areas such as health and well-being."

Environment minister Alex Attwood, who granted permission, said his officials worked with the project team and key consultees for months before the application was submitted to clear any hurdles and ensure a speedy planning application."

Attwood said the IFA had consulted extensively with the local community regarding the development and the Department received no objections to the application.



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