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Neighbours groups keen to play ball on Eden Park revamp
29 November 2006

Eden Park Residents Association chairman Jose Luis Fowler says his group is "really happy" plans for a waterfront stadium have been dropped.

Mr Fowler says residents were worried the debate over a main stadium for the 2011 Rugby World Cup would signal the death of historic Eden Park and its vibrant neighbourhood.

"Plans for the park and its surroundings are going to make it a significant precinct and have lots of benefits for the area," he says.

Mr Fowler says his group is due to meet Eden Park Trust Board representatives this week to discuss updated plans for a $385 million revamp.

Eden Park Neighbours Association chairman Mark Donnelly was less openly supportive of the suburban stadium getting a makeover.

He says he can't say whether he thinks the waterfront or Eden Park is the best option until getting more information from the trust board.

"It's been a long, hard process," he says.

It's been up and down and residents have been living with it day by day and trying to deal with the situation the best they can.

"Now that we know where we're at, there's a whole range of issues that now need to be worked through."

Carparking and the extent to which nearby homes are shaded by the proposed stadium extension are among residents' major concerns.

"We want to make sure the surrounding environment can cope with having a large stadium," Mr Donnelly says.

Eden Albert Community Board chairwoman Lindsey Rea says Auckland City Council should start talks with residents immediately and building a bridge from Kingsland train station to Eden Park across Sandringham Rd should be near the top of the agenda.

Ms Rea says discussions about a waterfront venue weren't a waste of time because it was important to look at alternative options.