Game over for houses
PROPERTIES in the way of a planned new walking route to Eden Park have already been bought by Auckland City Council.
But residents won’t see detailed plans on the proposed link from Walters Rd to Sandringham Rd until August.
The proposal will be signed off for consultation when negotiations are finished on two more properties.
Council Rugby World Cup transport integration manager Chris Geerlings says purchasing had to start because of the short time frame for the project.
“If we waited until we had the full plan we would never have had enough time to buy the land and get the resource consent and build the project,” he says.
“If we end up purchasing land we don’t need we can on-sell it.
“We’re renting out the properties and making quite a good rent,” he says.
Negotiations with the final two homeowners are expected to be finished by July.
Detailed plans will then be approved by the transport committee before going out for public consultation.
Households directly affected have been sent letters, and some information was included in council’s Eden Park precinct plan.
Eden Albert councillor Glenda Fryer says locals don’t want to see houses pulled down.
“It’s not going to help the community, and it’ll look like two teeth being knocked out of a person’s face,” she says.
Ms Fryer says people living in safe, family streets will find themselves next to a thoroughfare for tens of thousands of people.
“That will be very upsetting to local people in the streets concerned.”
Eden Park Neighbours Association president and Auckland city councillor Mark Donnelly says some residents know about the plan, but not its location.
He’s says it’s not clear how many rugby fans will walk to Eden Park, and Sandringham Rd could be made pedestrian-only to ease congestion.
“We’re a bit concerned about losing heritage villas to create a walkway to Eden Park,” he says.
“It’s another uncertainty in the area that we’d like to see finalised and sorted out.”
Eden Park Residents Association president Jose Fowler says he doesn’t know about the walkway and hasn’t heard it mentioned at community meetings.
Detailed plans haven’t been seen by Eden Park Redevelopment Board chief executive Adam Feeley either.
But he says the proposal could improve pedestrian flows around the stadium, reducing the bottleneck at the Walters Rd corner.
“It should mean less walking for people coming into the ground, and for neighbours it should mean fewer people around neighbouring streets,” Mr Feeley says.
Council city events group manager Rachael Dacy says residents will have more say before the plan is finalised.
“It’s a concept plan at this point in time. The where and how still needs to be worked through,” she says.
Ms Dacy says the link would form part of a walking route from the central city, but it’s undecided whether it would be open to vehicles as well.
“We do believe people will walk to and from the stadium, if it’s themed, if there’s entertainment and if it’s well lit,” she says.
The link is funded through the $22 million Eden Park precinct plan, which was to be approved in the annual plan yesterday.
It also includes widening Sandringham Rd and upgrades to Kingsland, Morningside and Valley Rd towncentre.