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June, 2020

A Glenorchy developers forging ahead with plans to resurrect the
towns same site as the original Mount Earnslaw Hotel once stood.
Douglas Rikard-Bell applied for consent late last year after his company,
Blackthorn Ltd, bought the vacant 8079 square metre site last March.
Consent was lodged at the end of last year for the two-storey hotel to
sit on about 17 per cent of the site, with 55 keyable rooms, including
some attic rooms in the main development.
Also planned are other boathouse rooms, with interconnecting doors,
on Islay Street.
Of 83 submissions received by the council on the proposal, the
overwhelming majority  69  are opposed, including Otago Regional
Council on grounds the significant risks from natural hazards at the
site havent been thoroughly identified, nor assessed.
But Rikard-Bell says he hadnt consulted directly with Otago Regional
Council before lodging consent, and hes confident hell be able to
address any concerns it has.
Further, he says hes thrilled at the number of people who submitted,
even if theyre not in favour of the plan.
Its right that it attracts so much interest in this little community and,
of course, there will be there  and there will always be  fervent
Were very happy with the submissions  we werent expecting as many
& positive ones in particular.
We didnt ask for a single supportive submission, so those were all
We were pretty humbled by those.
Those against the proposal didnt speak for everyone, but they played a
terribly important part all the same.
Some of the points raised in some of the objections I thought were
very, very good.
I had nobody ask me to address them & I just wanted to.
Hes not keen to talk about how the proposals changed since lodging
consent as a result of the submissions, preferring for the application to
run its course  a hearing was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown and
hes now expecting that to happen this spring.
But, despite the challenging economic times, hes still confident the
hotel will rise from the ground again.
I sort of feel here that if I was trying to bank the project immediately,
today, it would probably be a little bit challenging [but] weve got a
little way to go to get consent.
I feel that the domestic tourism market is going to evolve in a good
way, particularly if projects like this can be built and procured.
We like the idea of creating local employment and still believe that
Glenorchy can stand a little more independently as a great place to
holiday within New Zealand.
Projects like this, while I understand the importance of the
international tourism industry, weve never thought about [targeting] a
foreign market.
Its always been, in our minds, a domestic product.
Its probable we could be building through an environment that might
be a little less expensive.

Source: Mountain Scene


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