$10m marina plan gets green light


Frankton’s planned $10 million, 195-berth marina has been approved by council commissioners.

But Lakes Marina Projects Ltd director Alan Kirker isn’t declaring victory yet.

Commissioners Denis Nugent, Martin Ward and David Whitney considered the consent for the Otago Regional and Queenstown Lakes District councils.

They said the marina proposal will give better public access to Lake Wakatipu.

”The proposal will result in a much-needed marina and associated facilities for public and private use [and its development] will provide for, and contribute to, the social, recreational and economic wellbeing of the district,” the February 20 decision says.

”The commissioners’ conclusion is that the positive effects associated with the proposal will be significant and will outweigh any adverse effects of the proposal, should it proceed.” 

The commissioners still saddled developers with 88 conditions.

Kirker says there’s a ”little bit of damage” in the commissioners’ decision – mainly the deletion of nine buildings proposed on pontoons on the surface of the lake, along the front of an esplanade.

While that’s disappointing, Kirker’s confident ”we can somehow work through that, or live with it”.

”It’s been a long, hard road, but we’ve had a great relationship with the council all the way through, which has been good, and a fantastic relationship with the greater Queenstown community, which is really good,” he says.

”I think the big grumble was those floating buildings that we’ve lost, so fingers crossed that’s appeased those couple of people that live out of town.” 

Lakes Marina Projects Ltd was named in late 2012 as the council’s preferred developer for the marina, to be established in the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakatipu.

Other directors of the company are California-based brothers Nassar and Iraj Barabi. 

Kirker says any celebrations at the development’s approval will stay on ice until the statutory appeal period passes – with no complications arising. 

In the lead-up to public hearings into the proposal, consultant planner Jane Sinclair made strong comments about possible safety issues affecting the nearby state highway.

She said until traffic issues were resolved the consent should be rejected.

The commissioners added a condition to the consent ordering the applicants to pay $25,000 to the New Zealand Transport Agency for the future upgrade of the intersection of Sugar Lane with State Highway 6.

No major construction will take place between December 20 and February 20 to avoid the peak summer period.

In January, Queenstown’s council took the bizarre step of endorsing the proposal – just as the commissioners’ hearing was about to resume.

Days later, commissioners said they intended to ignore the council’s statement.

Otago Daily Times