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Eden Park may push again to develop grounds

EMMA WHITTAKER
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014

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Neighbours of Eden Park hope to know soon if they'll end up living next to a large development that could include a hotel.

The latest round of submissions on the Unitary Plan closes today at 5pm.

Eden Park Trust expressed its interest in developing the number two cricket ground; properties on the corner of Walters Rd and Sandringham Rd; and the air space above the bus hub in a submission on the draft version of the plan last year.

The site could be used for traveller accommodation, offices, residential units, food beverage or other retail stores, or space for sporting activities.

Development could happen over the next 10 to 15 years if approved.

That first submission was rejected by councillors but Eden Park Neighbours Association president Mark Donnelly expects the trust will ask for the same thing this time around.

"Whatever redevelopment, commercial or a hotel, is really just not suitable for a residential area, especially if they go for having unlimited night games or bigger concerts," he says.

Albert Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes shares the concerns.

"Personally, I'd be dismayed were Eden Park to propose again development on the scale they put forward earlier in the Unitary Plan process.

"I feel for the neighbours of Eden Park. Many of them bought there when Eden Park was still on a human scale. It's simply not true that they bought there knowing what they were in for.

"Just a few years ago, they suddenly found a quarter-billion dollar behemoth foisted on them.

"Over the years the local people have fought hard to maintain some quality of life - things like being able to get their children to sleep on Sunday evenings," he says.

A spokesperson for Eden Park says staff have spoken with a community liaison group but is not able to talk publicly about its latest submission, or any possible plans, until after consultation has closed.

Meanwhile the Auckland Council is working to finalise Auckland's Stadium Strategy.

It proposes that Eden Park be used only for major rugby, league and football games, while cricket should be moved to Western Springs.

Smaller rugby, league and football games would be at North Harbour Stadium.

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