Casement Park: Decision on development project expected this summer

A computer-generated image of the Casement Park project
The return of the Northern Ireland Executive has boosted hopes that the Casement Park project may move beyond computer-generated images

The Department of Infrastructure is "working at pace" to progress the application for the redevelopment of Casement Park in Belfast.

There have been renewed calls on Infrastructure Minster Nicola Mallon to make a decision on the project.

A spokesperson said "officials will make a recommendation to the Minister for her consideration in the summer.

"The Minister has stressed the need for progress of this application and she won't be distracted from her job."

The project is part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, which was presented by the UK and Irish governments in January.

The initial proposals for the redevelopment of the stadium collapsed in 2014 under a legal challenge brought by a group of residents.

Waiting game

A fresh planning application was submitted in February 2017 and is now awaiting a decision from the Department for Infrastructure

Planning delays have seen the project's estimated total cost rise sharply from £77m to £100m while the GAA said in January it hoped for a decision on the application this spring.

"As the Department has stated publicly on a number of occasions, DfI is working at pace to progress this application so it can be brought to the Minister for a decision," the spokesperson added.

"This is a statutory process which must complete before it comes to the Minister for a decision. The Department anticipates all necessary responses will be received soon.

"After three years of no Government, the Minister hopes now she is in office, progress across the board can be made as we look to development as a key part of recovery for our communities and our economy."

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