CITY Hall and the management of Páirc Uí Chaoimh need to sit down to resolve issues surrounding lighting near the multi-million euro sports arena ahead of a busy summer at the stadium.
That is the message from former Lord Mayor Terry Shannon, who said that the two are some way off in resolving a dispute over lighting and other works in a row that could be referred to An Bord Pleanála.
As it stands, City Hall has undertaken a number of discussions with Cork GAA relating to ‘outstanding conditions in relation to the planning permission’ for the stadium. This includes the provision of public lighting on the approaches to the stadium, including Monahan and Centre Park Road and the Marina. It is understood that the value of this is €700,000.
However, elected members of Cork City Council reported that the GAA undertook additional works adjacent to the stadium during the build and that it has offered just €60,000 to resolve the lighting issue, claiming that any additional payment is ‘unreasonable.’
The dispute is unlikely to have any impact on the planned Ed Sheeran concerts, though, with the matters there being handled through an event licence process which will likely require concert promoter Aiken to provide temporary lighting on access roads to ensure safety.
The event licence is currently under consideration.
Despite this, Mr Shannon urged City Hall and the Cork GAA to sit down and resolve the lighting issue once and for all.
“The biggest condition of planning has related to the provision of public lighting in the area. The cost of this was €700,000 and they appealed that to An Bord Pleanála but the Bord upheld the cost,” he said.
“There have been meetings where they offered €60,000, which is some way off what is required. They have done extra development in the vicinity of the stadium that they want the council to pay for.”
Mr Shannon said that a resolution is needed as soon as possible.
“We need to get on with this, there has to be a resolution. To develop the rest of the area and bring people down, you need public lighting,” he said. “This has to be resolved; it’s nothing to do with Ed Sheeran but the use of the public space and the development of this amenity.”
A senior official at City Hall confirmed that ‘a number of meetings’ have taken place between the council and the management of the stadium.
Speaking at the meeting, the spokesperson said: “There is a considerable difference between what the GAA has offered and what we consider reasonable. This could be referred to An Bord Pleanála once again.”