Northern Ireland

Casement Park redevelopment in Belfast has cost £9.2m

Latest proposed design for redeveloped Casement Park Image copyright GAA
Image caption The latest proposed design for a redeveloped Casement Park stadium was displayed at the weekend

The Casement Park redevelopment in west Belfast has cost £9.2m, before any construction work has started, it has been revealed.

Revised plans for the new provincial stadium were submitted by the Ulster GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) in February.

A decision is expected later this year.

A video of the proposed stadium was shown on a big screen at the Ulster Football Final at Clones on Sunday.

Its capacity would be 34,186 - down by almost 4,000 on the original plan.

It is the latest planning application after the multi-million pound project was beset with problems and delays.

The Department for Communities confirmed that over £9m had been spent on the project to date.

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Media captionProposed Casement Park design displayed at Ulster Final

A residents' group had objected to the new plans and said the lower capacity was "not a significant reduction".

Ulster GAA said the planning application came after an "unprecedented" 32-week consultation.

Planning permission for the sports stadium was overturned in 2014 after objections by local residents.

The GAA unveiled fresh plans for the stadium last October.

Image caption An aerial view of the old Casement Park stadium

It said height, scale and capacity were all reduced from the previous design and that it was aiming to work within the original budget of £76m.

In confirming the latest planning application, Ulster GAA said it had received 95% approval from about 3,000 people who responded to the stadium consultation.

The original plans for the stadium were embroiled in controversy when Paul Scott, then head of the STG, claimed he was bullied after he raised concerns that the stadium could not be evacuated safely in emergencies.

Mr Scott was replaced as head of the STG by former Omagh District Council chief executive Danny McSorley.

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