$10m marina plan treads water


Developers of Frankton’s planned marina are sending a shot across the bows of opponents.

Two couples this week appealed conditions of the resource consent gained by Lakes Marina Projects Ltd (LMP) from Queenstown district and Otago regional councils.

That could delay construction of the $10 million marina by more than a year.

But Iraj Barabi, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and LMP director, says there’s no chance he’ll walk away from the project.

“We won’t let something like this derail us,” Barabi says.

“To us they’re wasting everyone’s time and money but it’s their prerogative.

“It’s personally frustrating but business-wise we look at the big picture of how much work we’ve done, how committed we are to Queenstown and this project, and how far we’ve come down the line.”

Former racing driver and ex-Mataura mayor Ian ‘Inky’ Tulloch QSO, JP and wife Annette have appealed.

The others are Benchmark Homes owners Richard and Natasha Evans, of Christchurch.

Both the Evans’ and Tullochs own homes by the marina.

They believe the adverse effects on the environment are more than minor, the appeal says, and the development is contrary to the objectives of the Queenstown council’s district plan and Otago Regional Council’s regional plan.

They also say there’s been insufficient information about noise effects of the proposed dredging of the lake bed, traffic effects on the Sugar Lane/Frankton Road junction, and the possible use of land for fabrication of marina parts.

They want conditions imposed or existing conditions varied.

Barabi says: “It’s unfortunate - we were hoping we would be able to move quickly and start construction of the marina in four to six months.”

He adds: “If we thought this was going to have a negative impact on Queenstown we wouldn’t do it.”

Queenstowner Alan Kirker - part of the LMP consortium which also includes Barabi’s brother Nasser - says 88 concessions have already been made to address concerns.

“It’s been four years of work and talking to the community,” Kirker says. “This is about providing a community asset at no cost to the community.”

The 195-berth marina at Frankton Arm is expected to be built in two stages.

Stage one sees 85 berths, a 170m breakwater, 150m retaining wall, jetty and associated features, carpark and buildings.

Stage two is 110 additional berths, an extension of the breakwater to 320m, and further buildings.