Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced planning approval for a new leisure complex within the new Windsor Park stadium development.
This new development, led by Belfast City Council, will replace the existing Olympia Leisure Centre and will be incorporated within the West Stand of the new Windsor Park stadium development.
It will provide enhanced leisure facilities for the local community and will include a pool, learner pool, cafe, health and fitness suites, sports hall, spin studio, multi-purpose room and ancillary accommodation.
Mark H Durkan said: “This significant new development scheme is welcome news for the local area bringing new and improved leisure facilities for the community to enjoy.
“This state of the art facility will enhance the already approved Windsor Park stadium development and provide a boost for the southwest of Belfast.
“The application was turned around in just over four months which demonstrates that changes are ensuring a fast, fair and fit for purpose planning system.”
Meanwhile, Graham Craig, Ulster Unionist candidate and representative in Botanic, has welcomed the announcement that planning permission has been granted for the new facility.
“This is great news and much welcome investment for the new, state of the art Windsor Stadium. This is also a huge investment for the people of South Belfast – which is also very welcome, providing new leisure facilities for the people of the Donegall Road and beyond.
“This development will add to the benefits that the new Windsor Park Stadium will bring, putting the community at the centre of it.
“This area of Belfast suffers from under investment in monetary terms let alone investment in health and well-being. The leisure facilities currently available at the Olympia site have served the people of South Belfast well since it’s outset, providing a community hub as well as employment opportunities for the local area.
“I have no doubt that these facilities will be put to good use and with its positioning within the new Windsor Stadium it will no doubt go on to promote health and wellbeing for all the community, but future generations of football players for Northern Ireland and Linfield FC.”
DOE Planning consulted Belfast City Council on 17 April 2014 who raised no objections to the proposal.