Sunday 13 June 2010

Fears stadium rebuild will hit plans for park

Cork city councillors are due to vote tomorrow on whether to give the green light to controversial plans for a €90m redevelopment of the city's Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium, involving the sale of several acres of council-owned land to the local GAA board.

However, concerns have been raised by some local representatives about the impact of the sale of the lands on the council's proposal to develop a park in the nearby docklands area.

Under plans put forward by the local GAA board, Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be refurbished to include full-sized all-weather floodlit pitches, a new two-tiered stand which will increase the stadium's
capacity to around 50,000, and a GAA centre of excellence. It is expected to cost up to €90m to complete.

However, the local GAA says it needs 6.8 acres of land adjacent to the stadium, which was purchased by way of a compulsory purchase order by the council, to allow it to provide the centre of excellence. It argues that the project will not be viable unless the sale of the lands is sanctioned at tomorrow's meeting.

But local Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill told the Sunday Tribune that he had yet to be convinced why the GAA needed the lands. He said they were being earmarked by the GAA for the provision of a training pitch, with most of the centre of excellence facilities located within the stadium itself.

"The city have signed a contract commissioning the design of the new Marina Park. When this design is completed, then we will be able to see exactly what we are sacrificing for an all-weather training pitch and more importantly the impact that this pitch will have on this proposed new public park," he said.

Sunday Tribune

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