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Locals warm to Cup revamp
By Bernard Orsman

The agreement will allow the Eden Park upgrade from 47,500 to 60,000 seats to proceed on schedule for the World Cup.

Some Sandringham home owners will get free insulation, thermal drapes and heaters as part of a deal with neighbours for the upgrade of Eden Park.

Nearly 20 homes in Reimers Ave will lose early morning and late afternoon winter sun and one or two homes in Kowhai St will lose some late evening summer sun. Home owners are being offered an independent assessment and mitigation packages under an agreement between the Eden Park Neighbours' Association and Eden Park Redevelopment Board.

The board yesterday said it had negotiated the final hurdle to redevelop the park for the 2011 Rugby World Cup after reaching an agreement with the neighbours' association.

The association will withdraw an appeal to the Environment Court against the resource consent granted to the park in January.

Association chairman Mark Donnelly said the agreement struck a better balance between a stadium and a residential community.

"[The latest plans] are going to be less visually dominant and have less impact shading properties," Mr Donnelly said.

Since announcing plans for a $175 million to $190 million upgrade in February, including a new south stand with 11,700 temporary seats, the south stand has been redesigned as an entirely permanent stand with 22,500 seats.

Lights above the south stand have gone under the roof and lights above the ASB stand have been incorporated at roof level.

Michael Dodds, who has lived in Reimers Ave for three years, said pegging back the plans for Eden Park meant his house would get the morning sun 30 to 45 minutes earlier.

"It still means we are going to get shaded and have a dominant structure closer to our property but now that the ministry [of economic development] has got involved we can reach fair and equitable mitigation," he said.

The ministry has been assisting the new Eden Park Redevelopment Board set up last month to manage the project. Previously, the upgrade was driven by the Eden Park Trust Board.

Redevelopment board chairman John Waller said the deal would allow the Eden Park upgrade from 47,500 to 60,000 seats to proceed on schedule for the World Cup while taking account of local concerns about the design and construction phases.

Once next year's Bledisloe Cup match between the All Blacks and Wallabies had been played in June/July, work would begin on demolishing the south stand. A new south stand was expected to be completed by November 2010.

Temporary seating would be installed the following March and April for testing during the 2011 Super 14 ahead of the World Cup.

Another change since February has been the decision to build a bus terminal on the south-west corner of Eden Park for the cup. The preliminary traffic plan is for buses to come and go from the southern end of Sandringham Rd. This would allow Sandringham Rd to be closed for foot traffic from Reimers Rd to Kingsland.

At this stage, there are no plans to proceed with an earlier idea for a pedestrian bridge between Kingsland and the park.

Ministry of Economic Development officer Adam Feeley said there was a possibility of a concourse between the ASB stand and the new south stand, and a concourse at the back of the new south stand, but it would depend on funding.

"The Government's position is that is is underwriting the project to a maximum of $190 million, not a penny more."

World Cup countdown

* September/October 2007: Concept designs for Eden Park complete.
* June/July 2008: Work starts demolishing south stand.
* August/September 2008: Construction of new south stand begins.
* October/November 2010: New south stand complete.
* March/April 2011: Temporary seats installed.
* September/October 2011: Rugby World Cup.
* December 2011: Temporary seats removed.