THE chairman of Cork County Board has promised to consult with residents who live near Páirc Uí Chaoimh as work starts on the €40 million redesign of the flagship stadium.
Bob Ryan said last night public consultation will be a key part of the process ahead of an expected planning application in June. "Our plan is to proceed without delay," Mr Ryan said. "We are hopeful, that without major planning issues, to start building by the end of this year."
The GAA plans to upgrade the ageing stadium to bring its facilities into line with modern sports grounds. Its covered stand will be extended, increasing spectator capacity from 43,500 to just over 45,000.
The extension will include new player and referee changing rooms, corporate boxes, medical rooms, a gym and a restaurant.
The centre of excellence, earmarked for a portion of the former Showgrounds site alongside the stadium, will include an all-weather floodlit playing pitch and a small seated stand.
The revamped stadium will be able to cater for concerts hosting up to 60,000 people.
But the project is facing opposition from residents’ groups in the Ballintemple and Blackrock areas who claim they are already "under siege" on big match days from "ignorant GAA fans."
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