Marina plans skewed in favour of GAA, say residents

Plans for a massive public park in Cork City, which will wrap around the Páirc Uí Chaoimh, are skewed in favour of the GAA, residents have claimed.

The Save Marina Park group, which represents hundreds of people living in the suburban areas near the stadium, criticised the Marina Park masterplan after examining the draft proposals, which were unveiled last week.

The plan has incorporated Cork County Board’s decision to develop an all-weather pitch next to the GAA stadium, which is also poised for a €67m regeneration.

The Marina Park masterplan will be the subject of public consultation in the coming weeks.

Save Marina Park welcomed the publication of the draft plans, prepared by Okra Landscape Architects.

A residents’ spokesman said they looked forward to engaging in “meaningful consultation with the city council and other stakeholders” in the coming weeks.

However, he said from what residents have seen of the masterplan, Marina Park appears to have been designed exclusively with the needs of the stadium redevelopment in mind.

“The proposed Marina Park needs to cater for the recreat-ional needs of a broad spectrum of users, from the daily local user to the once-a-year GAA fan. However these proposals seem skewed towards the needs of the stadium, which lies idle for 93% of the year.

“Illustrating this is the fact that the amount of land allocated to public sports facilities is equivalent to a tennis court-size space and lies in the path of the planned Eastern Gateway approach road.

“The remaining green area is compromised by the development needs of the stadium.”

Meanwhile, the GAA has confirmed it has scrapped plans to develop a stand overlooking the proposed all-weather pitch.

It is planning to instead develop a viewing area which will be incorporated into a new stand to replace Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s existing covered stand.

A spokesman for the GAA said it is examining the Marina Park plan before finalising its stadium revamp designs.

Meanwhile, the Marina Park masterplan is expected to be signed off by city councillors on Dec 10 before going on public display.

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