Residents protest over Casement plan

Residents protest over Casement plan

Residents opposed to the scale of the redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast have staged a protest against the plans.

Last month, permission was granted for a multi-million pound refurb of the GAA grounds despite over 1,000 residents objecting to the proposals.They are concerned about the size of stands being built at the 38,000-seater stadium and the extra traffic and footfall it is expected to attract to the Andersonstown Road.Around 100 residents took part in a demonstration on Saturday afternoon. They say they are now considering taking legal action.One woman said: "The main thing is the height of it, it's going to be about 129ft and right around the whole outskirts of the houses."A man said: "It's an absolute monstrosity. The residents are not going away - we were here before the GAA and we'll be here after."Another woman said: "We've seen people power in other aspects of the community over the years and we're fighting for our neighbourhood. The next step will be talking to our solicitors and looking at ways to take a judicial review over the planning application."Plans for the £80m stadium redevelopment were given the green light by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan in Decemeber.The SDLP minister said the move will give the area a boost and create jobs.Mr Durkan added: "The new stadium is a high quality design which will be a recognised landmark building which will assist with the ongoing regeneration of the Andersonstown Road and boost the city of Belfast."This will boost sports tourism and the economy in the north. Jobs during the construction phase and additional jobs for the daily management are to be welcomed."Meanwhile some local residents living near the stadium have welcomed the plans.A woman said: "I think it's a wonderful development, with the regeneration that's been going on in west Belfast it will just totally clean the whole area up. We may lose a bit of light but it's not like we're living in the sunny Mediterranean."

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