Cork City Council have turned down planning permission for changes to Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the area surrounding the stadia that were submitted by Cork GAA.
During the summer, Cork GAA confirmed that they had plans in place to develop a new GAA Museum and Visitor Experience centre at the stadium.
They were also seeking to build new entrances and a car park off Monahan Road in an effort to make it easier for supporters to attend a match. That decision was made due to the pedestrianisation of the Marine area.
The stadium board and Cork GAA released a joint statement on Thursday evening saying that they had noted the decision “with surprise and extreme disappointment”.
The full statement reads:
“The Board of Páirc Uí 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.
“No such request was forthcoming.
“The outright refusal raises serious and immediate questions about the safety of the existing vehicular access to Páirc Uí Chaoimh via the pedestrianised Marina.
“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 Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Cork GAA will seek an urgent meeting with Cork City Council to discuss the refusal of the planning application.”
The news will come as a setback to Cork GAA who had received a financial boost earlier this year when they entered into a multi-million euro partnership deal with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.