Frankton marina consent filed

JOHN EDENS
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2014

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Consents have finally been lodged to build a new multimillion-dollar marina in Frankton after years of troubled development bids.

Lakes Marina Projects, run by Alan Kirker with backing from Californian brothers Iraj and Nasser Barabi, has lodged consents with Queenstown Lakes District Council after two years of planning and development.

It marks the end of a concerted development bid by Mr Kirker and the Barabi brothers for several years, during which other companies fell by the wayside.

The company proposes establishing a 200-berth marina with offices, floating sheds and a car park.

Mr Kirker said yesterday that it was thrilled to reach the consent stage after years of hard work.

"We are really pleased with the way it's looking. We have put so much effort into it, probably over and above, because I'm a ratepayer. I stepped back as a developer and looked at it from the point of view of what I would want [as a ratepayer]."

The aim, provided consents were granted, was to start construction this year during late autumn or winter, when Lake Wakatipu's level was low and conditions were generally less windy than other seasons.

Lakes Marina Projects envisages an eco-style development with commercial potential for boaties from all walks of life and a state-of-the-art marina in keeping with the Wakatipu environment and the market.

It plans a two-stage development of up to 200 berths in 100-berth lots, infilling swampy land at the existing marina for car and bus parking and building an offshore marina with inshore connections behind a breakwater.

A stage one 100-berth plan includes 85 for small and medium-sized boats, 10 for larger craft and five for large yachts.

Lakes Marina Projects was chosen as the preferred developer in 2012 and district councillor Mel Gazzard, who chairs the marina working party, said consultation continued since that decision.

Working party members, potentially affected parties, council staff and the company worked to gain the best outcome.

Parties worked to ensure a safe, secure marina in keeping with Lake Wakatipu and a design that minimised impact on the environment.

"We've been through a very long and thorough process to get to this point," Mr Gazzard said.

Previously, Christchurch-based firm Queenstown Marina Developments, run by Buzz March, was chosen to build a $20 million marina but the agreement was cancelled by the council when a deadline was missed.

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- The Southland Times

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