UCC to extend its Mardyke Arena complex

Permission granted for new strength/conditioning gym
UCC to extend its Mardyke Arena complex

The Mardyke Arena and pitches, viewed from the County Hall. University College Cork rugby, all weather pitch and running track and GAA pitch, with Cork City visible in background. Pic: Larry Cummins

UNIVERSITY College Cork (UCC) has been granted conditional planning permission to extend the Mardyke Arena.

The planning application, lodged with Cork City Council in March, sought permission for the extension to the northeast of the facility to provide a single-storey strength-and-conditioning gym.

The planning report, prepared by MWP on behalf of UCC, states that the existing facility, “whilst providing a quality service to students, staff and members of the public, faces increasing demand for space”.

The extension would provide a dedicated squad/athlete strength-and-conditioning gym to meet the needs of all UCC focus teams and sports, all UCC Quercus sports scholarship students, and international and Olympic athletes attending UCC.

The proposed extension would meet a number of other objectives, including maximising opportunities for research-and-innovation projects, including athlete performance, coaching, and strength and conditioning; developing a centre of excellence in the field of sports-and-conditioning workshops, working with other third-level institutions and catering for schools, potential future UCC students, local teams, and county teams outside of college semester times to become a destination centre for team training camps.

Main Reception at the Mardyke Arena UCC
Main Reception at the Mardyke Arena UCC

The extension will be built on what has been described as “an awkward, triangular plot that is unsuitable for development as an outdoor playing surface or pitch”.

It is used as an ancillary staff car park that has 17 spaces.

The parking lost as a result of the extension will not be replaced with additional spaces elsewhere on site.

According to the planning report, the land “provides the opportunity for a small-scale extension without impacting the existing buildings” or reducing the size of the existing pitches.

Cork City Council’s approval of the development is subject to 15 conditions.

One condition stipulates that 23 covered bike-parking spaces must be provided for in the development.

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