Critics blast revamp plans for Hagley Oval
Plans for a revamp of Hagley Oval for international cricket have failed to impress the proposal's staunchest critics.
Canterbury Cricket yesterday released an aerial image of the ground that showed a pavilion, retractable lighting towers, fencing and an embankment.
The images allayed the fears of many who commented on press.co.nz, but the Save Hagley Park group was not convinced.
Spokesman Martin Meehan said Canterbury Cricket's plans changed "every time they release something. They weren't going to have grandstands but they've called it a pavilion.
"It sure looks like they've got spectators stuffed in there," he said.
The angle of the aerial photo was "quite cunning" because the lights and pavilion looked "minuscule".
The lighting towers would be at least 40 metres high and light an area of about 5000 square metres.
The number of spectators shown was far fewer than the expected capacity, no scoreboard was included and no detail about the sightscreen size had been given, Meehan said. "It's in the best possible light that they've shown it, and it all looks very festive, but this is for day-night games.
"This is the big money-spinner and it's using Hagley Park for commercial purposes," he said.
"If you look at it ... it could be anywhere. It doesn't have to be Hagley Park."
Meehan said the group had no grudge against Canterbury Cricket and "wished them all the best" for a international cricket venue elsewhere in the city.
"I'm just puzzled as to why this is the only option," he said.
Canterbury Cricket chief executive Lee Germon said the plan was "reasonably non-evasive".
"What we were trying to show was the overall impact on that piece of land, but also that we're not trying to take any more land than is there," he said.
"We can't show everything [in the concept plan], but we've shown all the permanent structures."
A mobile scoreboard would be used and the lights extended on match day only.
Crowd numbers were unlikely to exceed 10,000 outside international limited-overs matches, Germon said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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