GAA refused planning permission for Páirc Uí Chaoimh revamp

Plans included proposals to build car parks on two parcels of publicly-owned land in an area identified to be part of the new linear Marina Park
GAA refused planning permission for Páirc Uí Chaoimh revamp

CGI images of the proposed redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.

The GAA has been refused planning permission for a controversial revamp of Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork city.

It included contentious plans to build car parks on two parcels of publicly-owned land in an area identified to be part of the new linear Marina Park amenity, which is due to open before the end of the year.

This is understood to have played a key role in the planners' decision.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the board of Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium and Cork GAA said they noted the decision with “surprise and extreme disappointment”.

A CGI image of the proposed redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.
A CGI image of the proposed redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.

“The decision notwithstanding, there remain serious safety issues and infrastructural deficits that have the potential to impede the development of the stadium into the future,” they said.

“The board and Cork GAA’s intention was always to enhance the operation of the stadium and to improve its interaction and integration with Marina Park.

“We submitted this planning application in good faith following extensive pre-planning consultations with Cork City Council, and had sought to engage positively and constructively in the process.

“As applicants, we were expecting a request for further information from the Planning Department, and would have fully engaged with that process as is standard practice in most applications of this size and scale.

"No such request was forthcoming.

"The outright refusal raises serious and immediate questions about the safety of the existing vehicular access to Páirc Uí Chaoimh via the pedestrianised Marina.

“Cork GAA has grave concerns about this ongoing situation.

“The issue of insufficient disabled parking in proximity to the stadium, which was highlighted prominently in the application, remains a critical deficit.

“The board will continue to seek an appropriate resolution to the issues outlined, and will now consider all options.

“We will continue to seek to engage with residents groups and all interested parties in a meaningful way as we work to achieve the full potential of the stadium for all the people of Cork.” 

Another CGI images of the proposed redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.
Another CGI images of the proposed redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.

They said they also plan to seek an urgent meeting with Cork City Council to discuss the refusal of the planning application.

Just four years after the €90m regeneration of the sports ground, Páirc Uí Chaoimh CTR applied to Cork City Council in July for planning permission for a raft of upgrades to and around the stadium.

It included proposals for the internal reorganisation and redevelopment of the south stand to provide for, at ground floor level, a new GAA museum, exhibition, visitor centre and café, enhancements on the second floor of the south stand for use as a conference venue with office hub facilities and break out spaces, for the construction of new sheltered entrance porches at the city end and the Blackrock end, as well as revised access and egress arrangements.

But it was their proposal to build two public car parks - one at the city end and the other at the Blackrock end - which sparked controversy.

Local residents branded the move to build car parks on public land earmarked to be part of a public park “a land grab”. 

The application prompted over 120 submissions on the planning application.

But the stadium’s management team said the new car parks were a key part of the overall project which is vital to ensure the stadium’s long-term commercial viability.

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