While the plans for the €70m stadium revamp had proposed the retention of a portion of the middle rows of the riverside stand, demolition work took place in recent days.
Denis O’Regan of the Save Marina Park group, which opposes a proposed GAA Centre of Excellence on land adjacent to the stadium, said the demolition was in breach of planning set down by An Bord Pleanála.
“The grant of planning did not include the complete demolition of the northern stand,” said Mr O’Regan. “This involves a prolonged demolition period, with more dust, noise and disturbance for residents. There will be additional construction and piling in rebuilding the north stand that wasn’t planned for. Add to this the potential of a new design, considering the northern stand needs to be rebuilt and the roof from the southern stand can’t be reused, as originally planned, as it has been scrapped.”
City Hall said that, while planning permission did not list the demolition, the local authority did not consider the works to be a breach.
Seamus Kelly, of Malachy Walsh and Partners, the engineering consultants working on the stadium, notified the council on June 4 of the proposals. In his correspondence, Mr Kelly said that while the original plans provided for the formation of new steps in the northern stand — which were to sit on top of the existing structure — the developers were seeking to remove all concrete steps from the stand, citing “a high extent of corrosion of steel reinforcement”.
He said the new plans involved removing 960 sq m of concrete “over and above that already removed”.
“We would be obliged for confirmation that the planning authority has no objection to the proposal outlined,” said Mr Kelly. “We will welcome an immediate decision, because demolition works are currently in progress.”
The council replied on June 16 saying it did not consider the works breached the planning permission.
“A complaint was received in relation to this matter and will be addressed in accordance with Cork City Council procedures,” a council official confirmed yesterday.