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Cree demands answers following Casement Park planning debacle

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Sports spokesperson Leslie Cree has said that both DCAL and the DoE have serious questions to answer following today’s Court decision to quash planning approval for the redevelopment of Casement Park.

Mr Cree said;

"Both DCAL and the DoE have serious questions to answer following Judge Justice Horner’s decision to quash planning permission for the redevelopment of Casement Park GAA stadium in west Belfast.

“DCAL were contributing £62.5m of the £77m cost of redevelopment, whereas the DoE had granted planning permission.

“There should be an independent review of all the processes with a particular focus on health and safety, specifically looking at whether the provision of emergency exits was sufficient to ensure a capacity crowd could be safely cleared within recommended time frames.

“As well as basic traffic management issues being considered, people should be mindful of the lessons learned from the tragedies at football grounds in England in the 1980s - including Bradford and Hillsborough. The proposal for Casement Park needed a clear plan as to how 38,000 people were going to be promptly and efficiently evacuated from the redeveloped site in the event of an emergency.

“The DoE and DCAL Ministers need to explain just how much public money has already been expended on this project, and who is going to take responsibility for what can only be described as a debacle.”

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