Plans submitted for the £29.2m redevelopment of the National Football Stadium in Windsor Park, Belfast by RPS on behalf of the Irish FA have been granted permission by Environment Minister Alex Attwood, in the quickest ever approval to be secured for a Major Planning Application (Article 31) in Northern Ireland.
RPS provided the planning services for the project – leading the project’s planning and design team, and additionally conducted the environmental impact assessment, and provided landscape design and traffic consultancy services.
The success of the RPS-led detailed community consultation strategy was a major contributing factor to the quick turnaround of the application, ensuring the full involvement of all parties and allowing the careful consideration of all feedback regarding the plans – in turn reducing the potential number of objections. This accompanied and fed into close work between the project team on behalf of the IFA, government and key consultees to anticipate and address all potential concerns and hurdles to achieve the optimal outcome for the stadium, Irish football into the future and the local community.
Northern Ireland’s Sports Minister Caral Ní Chuilin said “While the modernisation of Windsor Park represents a huge boost for football fans this project [is] also about building community foundations and providing a catalyst for the regeneration of the areas around the stadium. ...bring[ing] benefits to local communities in terms of job opportunities during and post-construction as well as providing wider social benefits such as health and well-being.
The granting of planning permission today highlights the excellent progress being made by the IFA [and] 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.”