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First phase of hotel project approved

The first phase of a hotel development at Morgan's Point has been given the go-ahead by the Development Applications Board.

According to planning applications, the first step of the project will include an 84-key hotel, a 77-slip marina and 149 residential units on the Southampton property, along with a host of amenities including three restaurants and a spa.

President and CEO of Morgan's Point Ltd Craig Christensen said the decision, made on Wednesday, was “great news” for the development of the project.

“This gives us the green light to move forward on this project,” he said.

While he said he was unable to pin down a date for ground to break on the project, he believes work could begin soon, although the entire project may not be completed before the America's Cup in 2017.

“I don't know if we can make all parts of it ready by America's Cup,” Mr Christensen said. “We have to do things efficiently. We are still working on the exact time frames. We have been looking at how we would develop and carry out the plans because it's a big project. We have been working on that throughout the summer.

“We should have parts of it up by then, but we have got to decide what type of construction we want to have going on during the America's Cup.”

The project had been granted in-principle approval by the Morgan's Point Resort Act 2014, however stipulations included in the act required that several elements of the project be approved by the DAB prior to final approval being granted.

An environmental impact study (EIS) was also necessary for planning approval, along with details of any measures intended to mitigate any negative environmental impact.

The application focused on the first phase of the project, which included the construction of multiple buildings on the “mainland” western side of the property, overlooking George's Bay and the Great Sound, rather than the peninsula.

The hotel element of the project is situated to the south of the peninsula. The 45,924 sq ft main hotel building will host the reception area, along with an event pavilion, children's club and restaurants, while the hotel units will be spread across a series of separate two- to three-storey buildings along the coast of the sound. The spa building will meanwhile be erected near the southern edge of the property.

Three restaurants are described in the application, including a 60-seat main restaurant, a 40-seat bar and grill, and a 100-seat signature restaurant which will boast three “seating pods” erected over the waters of George's Bay and accessible by wooden deck.

Further work around the George's Bay area will include the removal of a man-made resentment to the north of the bay, intended to improve water circulation, and the instillation of a new boardwalk.

The application also stated four planned beaches on the property, although the developers were still working to source local sand.

Meanwhile, the southern side of the existing causeway on the property has been earmarked for the marina, which will feature 77 slips on three floating arms.

The project also includes a large number of residential condominiums, which will be built around George's Bay and on the northern side of the peninsula.

Of the 149 units, 50 will be two-bedroom, 83 will be three-bedroom and the final 17 will be four-bedroom.

A waste treatment facility meanwhile will be erected to the immediate south of the main entrance to the property. The board report, included in the planning documents, recommended that the application be approved stating: “The EIS shows the impact would be manageable and any negative impacts are compensated in ways that have the potential to improve environmental conditions.”

The developers behind the project had previously expressed hope that groundbreaking for the project would take place this summer so that the hotel will be ready in time for the 2017 America's Cup.

Phase one of the Morgan's Point develpopment has got the go ahead (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 21, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 21, 2015 at 1:54 am)

First phase of hotel project approved

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