New Zealand news July 22, 2014

Proposed flyover near Basin Reserve turned down

ESPNcricinfo staff

Plans to build a flyover near the Basin Reserve ground in Wellington have been turned down by an independent board of inquiry after four months of hearings.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) had plans to build a two-lane highway flyover 20 metres north of the ground. Cricket Wellington had given their support to the project after assurances from the NZTA that suitable shielding would be provided to hide the flyover. The agency had suggested the construction of a 12-metre high pavilion to block the flyover from view, although small glimpses would still have been visible from the sides of the pavilion.

The proposed project had drawn criticism from many quarters. Martin Snedden, the former New Zealand Cricket chief executive, and Don Neely, the former Wellington captain and cricket historian, had voiced their concern, stating that it could damage the character of the ground and lead to the loss of its Test-venue status. Save the Basin, a group lobbying to have the plan shelved, had raised concerns about the impact of the project on heritage listed buildings in the area, not just at the cricket ground.

The Basin Reserve is scheduled to host one match during the 2014-15 summer - the second Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka from January 3, 2015. The ground has not been allotted any matches in the 2015 World Cup and all games in Wellington will be played at the Westpac stadium.

Affected parties have 20 days to comment on the board of inquiry's draft decision before it is finalised on August 30.

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