Windsor Park redevelopment given green light in record time
Published on Wed, 20 Feb 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood today granted planning permission for a new stadium at Windsor Park.As a result the Irish Football Association (Irish FA) can now build an 18,000 capacity stadium and two new stands to the south and east of the ground. The north and west stands will also be extended and refurbished.
Planning permission was granted within 11 weeks of receiving the application which is the fastest ever turnaround of an Article 31 (major) planning application.
Sports Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín described the announcement as a key milestone in the development of her regional sports stadiums programme which follows the Executive pledge of up to £110million of government funding for the redevelopment of three sports stadiums at Ravenhill, Windsor Park and Casement Park.
Alex Attwood said: “This is a tremendous boost for football and for sport here. Planning approval will now lead to the creation of a stadium that is fit for the 21st century.
“This ambitious, exciting project is important in sporting terms to everyone in Northern Ireland and will also create employment opportunities for local people, particularly during the construction process. This is why I made sure that we were in a position to turn it around quickly. My officials worked with the project team and key consultees for months before the application was submitted, clearing any hurdles. This ensured a quality application and therefore a speedy process.
“The local community were also very much involved before I made my decision. I asked the Irish FA to extensively engage with the local community before they submitted their planning application. This they did meaning that local people had a say in the design of the stadium.”
Welcoming the announcement Minister Ní Chuilín said: “Today marks another important step in the re-development of Windsor Park. The Irish FA are now able to move to the next stage of their ambition to create a modern stadium to cater for the needs of the whole football community.
“While the modernisation of Windsor Park represents a huge boost for football fans, this project and the others at Ravenhill and Casement are also about building community foundations and providing a catalyst for the regeneration of the areas around the stadiums. 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.
“The granting of planning permission today highlights the excellent progress being made by the Irish FA but also with the Stadium Development programme in general, but more importantly shows how government working across Departments with a common objective can deliver for the people here.”
Notes to editors:
1. Planning application Z/2012/1359/F was submitted to DOE Planning and Local Government Group on 6 December 2012.
2. The applicants are the Irish Football Association.
3. The application was for the redevelopment of Windsor Park to an 18,000 seated capacity National Football Stadium including the erection of two new stands and the refurbishment of existing north and west stands with associated internal accommodation including corporate facilities and concession areas.
4. The Department received no objections to the application.
5. The application was designated one of major importance under Article 31 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991.
6. Images are available from the DOE or DCAL press offices.
7. For media enquiries please contact the DOE Press Office 028 9025 6058 or DCAL press office on 028 9051 5047. Out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.