The Irish Football Association (Irish FA) has secured approval from the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland to redevelop the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park at a cost of £29.2m.
As per the plans, the Irish FA will expand the seating capacity of the stadium to 18,000 seats and construct new stands.
The redevelopment project will include demolition of the south stand, replacement of both south and east stands with new stands, and refurbishment of the west and north stands.
Plans also include the replacement of high mast flood lights with lower level lighting and the creation of a temporary construction access route to Boucher Road.
The project will include development of new office accommodation to provide new headquarters for the Irish FA and an appropriate level of conference as well as community facilities.
The Irish FA submitted the planning application in December 2012 and the design team was led by Hamilton Architects, with RPS as the planning consultant.
Irish FA President Jim Shaw said, "Receiving planning permission from DOE Planning is another major step in the Windsor Park redevelopment project and a great step forward for football in Northern Ireland."
Work on the project is expected to start in September 2013 and complete by the summer of 2015.
Ireland sports minister Caral Ni Chuilin said that securing approval is an important milestone in the development of the regional sports stadiums programme ,which follows the Executive pledge of about £110m of government funding for the redevelopment of three sports stadiums at Ravenhill, Windsor Park and Casement Park.
"The Irish Football Association is now able to move to the next stage of their ambition to create a modern stadium to cater for the needs of the whole football community," Ni Chuilin added.
Image: The redevelopment of Windsor Park stadium includes expanding the seating capacity of the facility to 18,000 seats. Photo: Irish Football Association.