Cork GAA has been urged to go back to the drawing board and reapply for planning for the revamp of Páirc Uí Chaoimh – but without car parking.
Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill, who was one of the most vocal opponents of the plan because of its car parking proposal on public land, said everyone wants to see the stadium succeed and thrive.
"But those advocating for the revamp must listen to the suggestions which have been made, and they must compromise," he said.
It follows Cork City Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the revamp because it included plans for car parks on land designated to be part of the soon-to-be-opened Marina Park amenity.
The application also included proposals for a new GAA museum, exhibition, visitor centre and café, increased use of the venue as a conference venue, and new sheltered entrance porches at the city end and the Blackrock end.
Mr Cahill said: “It was the right decision to refuse. The prudent thing for the GAA to do now would be to go back to the drawing board and to look for ways they can achieve what they want to achieve in terms of securing the success of the stadium, but without the car parking.”
“We have offered solutions which I think would help deliver a better product for Páirc Uí Chaoimh, given its unique positioning in the middle of what will be an amazing public park.”
He also said he had asked the council to open a former car park area near the CAB garage for disabled parking only, and to consider resurfacing an area outside the Lee Rowing Club for car parking.
“Those actions could address the car parking concerns the GAA had," he said.
His calls were echoed by Green Party councillor Dan Boyle, who said planning should be resubmitted without the excessive car parking spaces.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy also welcomed the planning decision but said he expects an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
In their decision to refuse, city planners said there was a presumption against developing land zoned public open space areas and that the location of the car parks would severely limit the city council’s ability to develop a large iconic public park as planned.
They also said the proposed car parks are within an area identified as flood storage for Marina Park, and allowing the car parks would limit the available flood storage volume within Marina Park.
And because the site is within an area identified as flood storage, planners said there was an obligation on the developers to provide a flood impact assessment to accompany the planning application but none was included.
In a statement, the board of Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium and Cork GAA said the outright planning refusal raises “serious and immediate questions” about the safety of the existing vehicular access to Páirc Uí Chaoimh via the pedestrianised Marina, and the issue of insufficient disabled parking close to the stadium remains “a critical deficit”.
They said they also plan to seek an urgent meeting with Cork City Council to discuss the refusal of the planning application.
The application comes just four years after the €90m regeneration of the stadium.