Frankton Marina’s hearing push

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Frankton’s multi-million dollar marina project is on the verge of being left high and dry for another year.

Developer Lakes Marina Project Ltd is working through council concerns over the $10 million facility’s impact on the local sewerage system.

It means no date has yet been set for a resource consent hearing. That could push the build start date out to autumn 2016 if it gets the green light.

“We’re pushing for a hearing before Christmas,” co-developer Alan Kirker says.

“But there are still a few more bits we need to tick off with the council.

“There’s a window in March and April that’s the optimum time for us – when the lake’s at its lowest and the winds have died down.

“We don’t want to miss this window because it will push it back another 12 months.”

Queenstown boatie Kirker is part of a consortium with California-based entrepreneur brothers Nasser and Iraj Barabi.

They’ve submitted plans for a two-stage off-shore floating marina on land off Frankton Road in the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakatipu.

Stage one is a $6.5m 100-berth facility, with a 320 metre-long wave management system, 150m-long retaining wall, 156 carparks, public toilets, and buildings.

Stage two is a $3.4m 95-berth expansion, which will be constructed when demand exceeds capacity.

Queenstown council spokeswoman Michele Poole says the authority is in regular contact with Kirker.

“We need to know whether there is capacity in the existing waste water system to cope with what’s proposed,” Poole says.

“Some modelling is required to establish that.”

Otago Regional Council is also waiting on information.

Consent was lodged in January and the development was publicly notified, receiving 80 responses, the majority positive.

Resource consent hearing commissioners have been appointed and a joint hearing involving both councils will be scheduled once the remaining paperwork is filed.

But the timing will depend on commissioners’ availability.

Queenstown boaties have been pushing for a shipshape Frankton Marina for almost 20 years.

Christchurch contractor Buzz March went close with plans for a $20m, 240-berth behemoth but was dropped as preferred bidder in 2011 by the council after failing to meet deadlines.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz