March 30, 2015

By DAMON CRONSHAW

TWO 30-METRE vessels would be allowed to moor at the $388-million Trinity Point marina project, under plans to boost its scope.

The project will be considered at a public meeting at Bonnells Bay on Monday, with community groups and residents to have their say.

The Planning Assessment Commission will host the meeting to consider planned changes to the Morisset Park project.

Johnson Property Group proposed relaxing a 20-metre boatsize limit to allow berthing of two vessels up to 30 metres in length.

A NSW Department of Planning report said it supported 30-metre power boats being berthed at the marina, but yachts of this length would not be allowed unless they could be sailed safely through Swansea Channel.

‘‘ It is unlikely that a typical 30-metre yacht could safely pass through the channel,’’ it said.

The report said there were six 20-metre to 30-metre vessels at other marinas in Lake Macquarie. Allowing two 30-metre vessels at Trinity Point would have ‘‘ negligible’ ’ effects on the lake, it said.

The planned changes include developing the marina in six stages rather than two.

Johnson Property Group development director Bryan Garland said the changes would allow the project flexibility to ‘‘ meet market demand’ ’ and produce a better environmental outcome.

The planning department has assessed the plans, recommended conditions of approval and referred them to the commission for determination.

The department noted concerns that the community raised about prohibiting public access along the project’s breakwater.

However, Crown Lands and the developer opposed this public access over concerns about safety, security, antisocial behaviour and insurance.

An alternate public access would be provided along a ‘‘ floating pontoon boardwalk’ ’ running parallel to the shore.

The project is planned to include 198 residential lots, 250 tourism and residential apartments , a restaurant, cafe, 300-seat conference centre and 188 marina berths.

Lake Macquarie City Council is also assessing revised plans for the project.

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