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Heritage homes under threat from World Cup
The Auckland City Council wants to demolish a number of heritage homes near Eden Park to improve access to the ground for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The council is in the process of buying a number of properties on Sandringham and Walters Rds to provide a quicker journey for pedestrians between New North Rd in Kingsland and the sports ground.

The plan is to build a new walkway that could also be used as a road outside match days, from the end of Cricket Ave through to Sandringham Rd. It would also make it easier and quicker to walk to Ponsonby and the central city.

Other plans are afoot to shift Sandringham Rd south-east to enable the widening of the Kingsland railway station and for more open space at the intersection of Sandringham and Walters Rds.

These projects are part of a $22 million package of transport and infrastructure improvements around Eden Park proposed by the council.

Councillor Mark Donnelly, who is also a spokesman for the Eden Park Neighbours' Association, yesterday said residents were concerned about the potential loss of heritage homes.
Walters Rd and part of Sandringham Rd are in the Residential 1 heritage zone that makes it harder for people to demolish pre-1940 homes.

Mr Donnelly said it was unclear how many homes would be demolished because the council had only outlined its plans in broad terms.

The council has listed a package of seven projects in the Eden Park precinct in this week's City Scene publication, and asked for public feedback.

Other projects include upgrading the streetscape around Morningside, upgrading the Kingsland town centre and Valley Rd shopping centre, plus improvements to Dominion Rd and the local residents' parking scheme.

Meanwhile, Mayor John Banks has denied a suggestion that the council could pick up a $12 million funding shortfall for the $240.5 million upgrade of Eden Park. "As far as Auckland City is concerned, our funding commitment is complete," he said.