CORK GAA has released a statement expressing its "surprise and extreme disappointment" as planning permission for changes to the stadium and its exterior were refused by Cork City Council.
The plans submitted to the local authority include a new GAA museum and visitor experience centre, including a cafe at ground-floor level. There are also interior changes to enhance the stadium’s attractiveness as a conference venue together with new entrances and a car park off Monahan Rd.
Also included in the proposed changes are significant new landscaping and tree planting, car and bus pick-up and drop-off points, a new setdown area at the main entrance, a new drop-off point at the main entrance, and a new bicycle parking station on the Monahan Rd/Park Avenue junction.
However, permission for the development has now been refused.
The stadium board said in a statement this evening: "The Board of Pairc Ui Chaoimh Stadium and Cork GAA note with surprise and extreme disappointment the decision of Cork City Council’s Planning Department in relation to its recent application for changes to the stadium and its environs.
"The decision notwithstanding, there remain serious safety issues and infrastructural deficits that have the potential to impede the development of the stadium into the future.
"The Board and Cork GAA’s intention was always to enhance the operation of the stadium and to improve its interaction and integration with Marina Park.
"We submitted this planning application in good faith following extensive pre-planning consultations with Cork City Council, and had sought to engage positively and constructively in the process.
"As applicants, we were expecting a request for further information from the Planning Department, and would have fully engaged with that process as is standard practice in most applications of this size and scale.
Statement from the board of Pairc Uí Chaoimh stadium and Cork GAA. https://t.co/7natxCNALm— Cork GAA (@OfficialCorkGAA) September 16, 2021
"No such request was forthcoming.
"Cork GAA has grave concerns about this ongoing situation.
"The issue of insufficient disabled parking in proximity to the stadium, which was highlighted prominently in the application, remains a critical deficit.
"The Board will continue to seek an appropriate resolution to the issues outlined, and will now consider all options.
"We will continue to seek to engage with residents groups and all interested parties in a meaningful way as we work to achieve the full potential of the stadium for all the people of Cork.
"The Board of Pairc UiChaoimh and Cork GAA will seek an urgent meeting with Cork City Council to discuss the refusal of the planning application."