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Council Ends Era with Unveiling of New Marina Plan


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24 February 2006

Council Ends Era with Unveiling of New Marina Plans

At the final Banks Peninsula District Council meeting held today, councillors reviewed the latest Lyttelton marina concept plans from marina developers, Covington Group Holdings.

Banks Peninsula District Council signed an agreement with Covington in June last year to develop the new 450 berth marina. Covington owns and operates the 1,000 berth Gulf Harbour Marina in Auckland and has a solid track record with large-scale commercial and residential developments.

“Today was a poignant finale for the Banks Peninsula District Council,” says Mayor Bob Parker. “After years of effort to untangle the issues surrounding the Lyttelton Marina, as almost its final act, the council gives its blessing to the beginning of the formal planning process that will culminate in a world-class marina at Lyttelton.”

The marina will be the biggest ever commercial investment (unrelated to the Port) in the Banks Peninsula region.

Covington will be responsible for the overall land development of residential and commercial areas. They are proposing to construct a fixed pile breakwater, 450 berth marina, boat storage and haul-out facilities, as well as marine-related retail areas, restaurants and cafes, residential areas and tourist accommodation at Magazine Bay, Lyttelton.

At the final meeting, councillors agreed to give responsibility for all the project’s subdivision costs to the Covington Group. Banks Peninsula District Council CEO, Sue Davidson says, “The Council will spend $3.3 million on infrastructure upgrades that include connecting high pressure water, power and sewer to the site and other utilities. Approximately $4.9 million has been earmarked to improve access to the Western side of the Port which includes roading alongside existing recreational reserves and proposed marina areas. Some of councils funding will be recovered from land sales and subdivision contributions.”

The Christchurch City Council has committed $5.9 million to developing onshore public facilities, such as trailer parks, a public boat ramp, landscaping improvements and walkways to complement and enhance the marina. Both councils have been working together and the project will be unaffected by the merger of Banks Peninsula District and Christchurch City Councils.

Jim Speedy, Covington Group Managing Director says, “To date consultation has occurred with stakeholders representing commercial and recreational groups with an interest in the marina. Our plans have developed from this consultation and we are very pleased to be presenting the latest concept plans today.”

Immediate past Commodore of the Naval Point Yacht Club at Lyttelton, Craig Edwards says, “The concept plans we have seen are very encouraging. For the first time since the storm in 2000 which destroyed the old marina, these plans reflect what boaties have been saying for many years would work.

“The developer certainly seems to understand the site. The proposed plans are commendable and are a good attempt at addressing both the needs of the boating community and the developer’s commercial aspirations. Getting the planning of the entire site right is a good starting point and, while there are still significant challenges to consider, the Naval Point Yacht Club looks forward to working with Covington to make the new development a reality,” says Craig Edwards.

Sue Davidson says Covington will now put together a proposal to vary the Banks Peninsula District Plan to enable the development to proceed. Once approval is given to the variation the council will undertake formal consultation and then the variation will be publicly notified so interested parties can make submissions.

“Once all the submissions are received, a report will be produced and Council will make recommendations to an independent hearing commission. This is a very robust process and there is opportunity for public participation,” says Sue Davidson.

Jim Speedy says, “We are committed to this development, which will provide a significant resource for both Lyttelton and the Canterbury community. We will work with the community to ensure our proposal meets both the commercial, environmental and recreational needs of all those concerned.”

ENDS


QUESTION AND ANSWERS


Can you tell us how much the development is going to cost and how much of that will be spent by the joint Councils?

Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Council will spend $3.3 million on infrastructure upgrades that include connecting high pressure water, power and sewer to the site and other utilities. Approximately $4.9 million has been earmarked to improve access to the Western side of the Port, including the marina. Some of councils’ funding will be recovered from land sales and subdivision contributions.

The Christchurch City Council has committed $5.9 million to developing onshore public facilities, such as trailer parks, a public boat ramp, landscaping improvements and walkways to complement and enhance the marina.


On the issue of consultation, when will the local community get a chance to have their say?

Covington will put together a proposal to vary the Banks Peninsula District Plan to enable the development to proceed. Once approval is given to the variation, formal consultation will be undertaken by the Council, and the variation will then be publicly notified for interested parties to make submissions.

Once all the submissions are received, a report will be produced and Council will make recommendations to an independent hearing commission. This is a very robust process and there is opportunity for public participation.


Why did you choose Covington Group? We understand there was also a local group interested in the development of the Marina.

The Council did study a number of options for this project. Our selection of Covington Group was based on a detailed assessment of their proposals, and a considerable period of investigation and negotiation by the Council. The Council is confident that we have selected the partner with the proven ability and resources to do the job. Covington Group own and operate Gulf Harbour Marina, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest marinas, and have a solid track record with large-scale commercial and residential developments.

We have also been very careful to ensure that any selected partner will remain involved in the development for the long term and Covington Group is committed to this.


Does the Christchurch City Council support this agreement and will it be affected by the proposed amalgamation?

The Christchurch City Council has been fully informed throughout the process. It has also demonstrated its commitment to the development by agreeing to contribute $5.9 million towards developing onshore public facilities such as trailer parking, a public boat ramp, landscaping improvements and walkways to complement and enhance the marina.

For many people from throughout the Christchurch and Canterbury region, this area represents their waterfront. Both Councils view a revitalised marina as an ideal way for local people to enjoy it and the project will be unaffected by the merger of Banks Peninsula District and Christchurch City Councils.


What about the current users of the area, will they still be able to use it?

The Council has made a commitment to work closely with all the stakeholders and interested parties involved in the development. We understand that the area is of particular importance to many community groups, including the Naval Point Yacht Club and the Sea Scouts, and plan to recognise their needs in the development process.


Will the public still have access to the waterfront once the Marina development takes place?

One of the key elements of the agreement is the continued public access to the area. This, in fact, will be enhanced by the development, with provision for a boardwalk along the marine frontage, public access to Magazine Bay Beach and extensive public amenities.

Also contributing to the public’s enjoyment of the area will be the development planned for the ‘public good’ area, which will include car-parking, development of esplanade areas, launch areas for boats and the upgrading of all public roads accessing the Marina and the public land area.


We understand the Marina will include residential and retail areas. What can you tell us about that?

The marina will be a comprehensive development, encompassing the a fixed pile breakwater, 450 berth marina, boat storage and haul-out facilities, as well as marine-related retail areas, restaurants and cafes, residential areas and tourist accommodation at Magazine Bay, Lyttelton.


QUESTIONS SPECIFICALLY FOR COVINGTON GROUP


Why have you agreed to take on the subdivision costs?

Both parties will benefit from this decision the Council reduces their risk and we will be able to drive the variation and subdivision process through our own planners, of course consultation will occur with a variety of stakeholders.


When will the development be completed?

While we’re keen to deliver on this project as soon as possible, we understand the consent process involved and will be working through that process with the Council.


How much is this development worth?

The Lyttelton Marina project is obviously a major development for this community that will bring jobs and investment to the region.


Are you planning to sell off this development once completed?

We are developers, property investors and marina owners. That means we’re here for the long haul and are committed to delivering a world-class marina precinct for Lyttelton.


What experience do you have with projects of this scale?

We own and operate Gulf Harbour Marina, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest marinas and have a solid track record with large-scale commercial and residential developments.


Will the current case before the High Court relating to your Spencer on Byron development have any effect on the Lyttelton project?

No. It’s a dispute concerning contractual rights and is not about the success or quality of the Spencer on Byron development.


How will you address the needs of those local boaties who had previously invested in the marina?

We are sensitive to the situation of those investors, but this is a matter between them and the Receiver.


What will the key features of the development be?

Our vision is to create a world-class marina precinct that will include a fixed breakwater, marina, boat storage and haul-out facilities as well as cafes, restaurants and residential areas.

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