Plans for the 18,000 seat redevelopment of the National Football Stadium Windsor Park in Belfast have been submitted to the Department of the Environment’s Strategic Planning Division by the Irish FA. RPS led the design team and submitted the plans with the Environmental Assessments for the comprehensive project worth £29.2m.
The application provides for refurbishment and extension of the north and west stands and full replacement of the south and east stands alongside a complete delivery of new hard and soft landscaping with associated lighting and display installations, coach and car parking, and player accommodation and welfare facilities. Existing pedestrian access will be upgraded and new office, conference, training and community facilities will be provided. A key focus of the redevelopment plan is a reduction in noise and light pollution to benefit the local area.
RPS has worked closely with the IFA and the DOE Planning NI and consulted with the local community on the scheme’s design, to ensure the efficient delivery of the proposals within a tight timescale to realise construction commencement on site by September 2013.
The plan is part of the Government’s £110m pledge to inject funding into football, rugby and the Gaelic Athletic Association and itself benefits from £25m of the funding. Environment Minister Alex Attwood has spoken on his ambitions for the project as a testament to improvements within the planning system to give more focus to environmental protection and better develop the economy.
Speaking on the application, Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive of the Irish FA explained "We have made it a key target to have our planning application submitted by this date... The design for our redeveloped National Stadium truly is impressive, and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to give their thoughts and ideas to us… I know that the new Windsor Park will be a stadium that we will all be proud of."
Raymond Holbeach, leading the planning team for RPS said "The planning application has been submitted following an intensive period of community and statutory body consultation as well as completion of environmental and transport assessments that influenced the development of the design for the Stadium."