Munster Rugby to sell strip of land

FUNDS from the sale of a strip of high-profile land at Cork city’s Turners Cross/Kinsale road are to be used to fund pitch improvements and capacity expansion for RABO Direct Pro 12 games in Cork City

The Munster branch of the IRFU is preparing to sell 1.1 acres of land with frontage to the Kinsale Road and Tramore Road for mixed use development. The organisation hopes to get about €400,000 for the site, with considerable visibility and near Woodies, Musgraves and other retail park uses.

The investment is needed for player and supporter facilities, as Munster Rugby is strong in two centres of major population, Limerick and Cork cities, but its Cork presence and facilities are weaker than Limerick’s.

A previous planning application for 55 apartments, townhouses, and some offices with zoning changes on 2.75 acres, has been mooted since 2005 and was debated in City Hall between the then manager and city council in 2009, but was subsequently withdrawn from the planning process.

Now, the IRFU/Munster Rugby had sought to dispose of 1.1 acres, offered via Sam Daunt and Peter O’Meara of Savills, who quote a guide of €400,000.

The land is adjacent to the former CMP dairy site, as well as to the city’s major Park and Ride facility, while a municipal amenity area is currently being remediated and is due to open for public usage shortly. Also nearby is the former Vita Cortex site, where local report suggests that Lidl may have an interest in locating a new store. An Aldi store close-by is one of that retail company’s stronger trading locations. The site, on the eastern flanges of Musgrave Park at Turners Cross, is zoned Residential, Local Services and Institutions under the Cork City Development Plan.

The planned sale is part of Munster Rugby’s long term strategic objectives to facilitate RaboDirect PRO12 and other competitive matches in Cork, and “to retain the significant support base in the south of the province”.

According to Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald: “Munster Rugby are currently planning to redevelop Musgrave Park — which has a current capacity of 8,000. A new West Stand has been designed which comprises 3,300 seats (increasing the overall capacity to 9,300) with dressing rooms, media and medical facilities and a function room.”

It is also planned to cover the existing East Terrace to improve spectator comfort.

It is hope to begin work in January 2014, to allow Munster to play RaboDirect PRO12 games in Cork at the start of next season, and the project may be finished that year.

Mr Fitzgerald added: “One of the funding sources for this project is the sale of this land on the east side of the ground, The sale of the unused land can help Munster achieve what we believe the supporters and all the players deserve.”

Details: Savills: 021-4271371


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