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Eden Park revamp comes out of the shade
By AROHA AWARAU

Eden Park developers have reached a compromise with the Eden Park Neighbours Association.

"This is such a close-knit community."

So says Eden Park Neighbours Association chairman Mark Donnelly, who has lived about 100 metres away from the stadium for more than 10 years.

"People love the area and enjoy living by Eden Park," he says.

Mr Donnelly says that was his association's motivation for trying to limit the impact on residents of the stadium redevelopment, which is needed for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The 400-member group paved the way for the upgrade by withdrawing an Environment Court appeal over an Auckland City Council resource consent granted in January.

"The outcome has been about balancing the concerns of the residential community and the needs of Eden Park," Mr Donnelly says.

The association was appealing against a $385 million Eden Park Trust Board plan for new south and east stands.

It was worried about the new stands shadowing some neighbouring homes and flooding others with light during night games.

A revised plan means the new south stand would be significantly smaller.

"There is still a shading impact there but it's much less," Mr Donnelly says.

The newly-established Eden Park Redevelopment Board has agreed to an independent assessment of the shading impacts of the new stands.

It has also agreed to mitigation packages for affected neighbours.

Board chairman John Waller says the association decision will allow the redevelopment to proceed on schedule.

Council's Eden Park Advisory Group chairwoman Lindsey Rea says she is happy there is certainty over the upgrade after months of discussions.

"The main goal now is to ensure that all residents are properly consulted during the progress of the redevelopment."

Work on the new south stand will start next June.