Empty: The old Frankton Motor Camp site is now cleared


A revamped Frankton Campground won’t open till next summer — a year later than planned.

Long-winded negotiations with a potential lessee and the impact of Covid-19
appear to be to blame.

As recently as May, City Hall was still saying the former Frankton Motor Camp could open in its new guise this month.

Council comms man Jack Barlow tells Mountain Scene the old cabins and caravans have been bowled or trucked away, but redevelopment of the site won’t start until early next year.

But even that depends on City Hall getting a new lease across the line.

After releasing a request for proposal for a 20-year commercial lease 14 months ago, by January it was down to a short-list of two and ‘‘working through commercial negotiations’’ with a view to a May 1 start.

Barlow says it’s now negotiating the campground’s design and the lease’s small print with one party, which when completed will need sign-off by councillors.

‘‘Subject to finalising the negotiations, we expect the new lease will commence early in 2021,’’ he says.

City Hall announced over two years ago it would redevelop the prime lakefront land to create about 200 tent, campervan and caravan sites as part of its ‘responsible camping strategy’.

The old motor camp was closed in January and about 120 temporary and permanent residents got the boot.

Work to clear the ramshackle cabins and caravans began in March, stopped soon afterwards because of the Covid lockdown, then restarted in May.

Barlow says the original opening target of this month was always on the basis of a ‘‘staggered’’ redevelopment over a few years.

City Hall’s since extended its lease at Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park to see it through this summer, something that’ll be assisted by the expected impact of Covid-19 on visitor numbers to the resort, he says.