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Blow for rugby World Cup hopes as planning permission for Casement Park redevelopment unlawful

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A general view of Casement Park. Casement Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim

A general view of Casement Park. Casement Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim

A general view of Casement Park. Casement Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim

A decision to grant planning permission for a 38,000-seat stadium in the heart of West Belfast was unlawful, a judge has ruled.

However Mr Justice Horner has not yet quashed the decision to extend the GAA's Casement Park.

A packed Belfast High Court heard that the decision-making process deployed by Northern Ireland Environment Minister Mark H Durkan had been "inadequate and unlawful", but the judge stopped short of overturning the decision to give permission for the £77 million redevelopment.

Instead Mr Justice Horner adjourned the case until later this week and has invited further submissions from the GAA and residents' legal representatives about a way forward.

Mr Justice Horner said: "The department was wrong legally and factually to make the decision."

A residents' group had taken legal proceedings against Mark H Durkan's decision to approve the £77 million redevelopment.

The Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents' Association contested that their homes would be dwarfed by the new stadium.


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