Council to decide on temporary seating
A decision on whether to build 10,000 temporary seats vital to Eden Park hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup rests with the Auckland City Council.
It is expected that three independent commissioners will decide this week whether the seats can be installed over the current West Stand and yet-tobe-constructed East Stand.
Installing the seats will increase the ground’s capacity to 60,000, which is the minimum number required by world cup bosses for hosting the tournament’s major matches.
Eden Park Redevelopment Board chief executive Adam Feeley says the hearing went well, but knows there are still some unhappy residents.
“I hope whatever decision is made, it is something every party can live with.”
He says there is room to move in the construction timetable if an appeal is lodged by neighbours.
“We’re still moving along extremely well.
“The target in everyone’s mind is to complete it early, but it is too far out to know that for certain.”
The commissioners are also considering a number of other alterations to the initial resource consent, including reducing the number of entrances on Sandringham Rd and landscape changes.
The council has already granted consent for the western concourse, which will allow easier access to the current west stand on Sandringham Rd.
Eden Park Neighbours Association president and Auckland city councillor Mark Donnelly says the group will wait for a decision to come through before deciding whether to launch an appeal.
But he says the group does have a number of concerns, including noise levels and the size of the western concourse.
“We still question whether there is going to be enough throughput to cater for cricket fans having bag searches.
“If it’s not big enough, people come back on to the street.”
Eden Park Residents Association president Jose Fowler says his organisation will remain neutral about the latest changes, with some members for the upgrade and some against it.
He says some members are excited about the outer oval potentially being turned into a test cricket ground, while others wanted to see it become a new park for the local community.
And he knows some neighbours will benefit financially from the Rugby World Cup itself.
“I do happen to know lots of neighbours are negotiating long-term leases on their houses.”
New look: An artist’s impression of how Eden Park’s new East Stand will look after the Rugby World Cup 2011.
Sound proof: An artist’s impression of how Eden Park’s new East Stand, left, complete with sound barrier, will look after the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It will replace the terraces, which sit next to the ASB stand on the right of the image.