City manager defends price paid by GAA for land

Cork’s city manager has defended the sale price of public land to facilitate the GAA’s €40m revamp of Pairc Uí Chaoimh.

It followed criticism during a debate on Monday which resulted in the rezoning of a parcel of former Showgrounds land from open use to sports use, paving the way for the stadium revamp to proceed.

The GAA said last night that it hoped to lodge a substantial planning application this summer to expand stadium capacity, and to develop a centre of excellence on part of the former Showgrounds.

The land earmarked for the centre of excellence is part of a landbank acquired by compulsory purchases and taxpayers’ money for the development of the proposed Marina Park.

Several councillors criticised the fact that the rezoned land would now be sold to the GAA “for a song”, and that the centre of excellence would sever the public park.

However, city manager Tim Lucey said there was an agreement in principle to sell the land to the GAA for €250,000 per acre, 2.5 times its market value.

He said if the almost two acres needed for circulation around the stadium was removed from the equation, then the sale price of the land the GAA will actually develop was about €400,000 per acre.

“The only issue at play here really is the specific objective in the 2008 South Docks local area plan [LAP] which is at variance with zoning maps.

“This process is in essence to almost correct the LAP and the city development plan to reflect the objectives set out in them.”

Residents have vowed to object to the GAA’s plans through the planning process.

The Cork County Board said it was more than willing to work with residents to resolve any issues they had.

Yes voters

* Cllr John Kelleher

* Cllr Ted Tynan

* Cllr Joe Kavanagh

* Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn

* Cllr Thomas Gould

* Cllr Michael O’Connell

* Cllr Tony Fitzgerald

* Cllr Michael Nugent

* Cllr Joe O’Callaghan

* Cllr Laura McGonigle

* Cllr Terry Shannon

* Cllr Emmet O’Halloran

* Cllr Seán Martin

* Cllr Mick Finn

* Cllr Fiona Kerins

* Cllr John Buttimer

* Cllr Mary Shields

* Cllr Michael Ahern

* Cllr Brian Bermingham

* Cllr Henry Cremin

* Cllr Ger Gibbons

No voters

* Cllr Mick Barry

* Cllr Catherine Clancy

* Cllr Patricia Gosch

* Cllr Des Cahill

* Cllr Denis O’Flynn

* Cllr Chris O’Leary

* Cllr Kieran McCarthy

* Cllr Jim Corr

* Cllr Lorraine Kingston

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