By KIERAN FINNANE
Cold water was poured on the idea that construction would go ahead on the Melanka site as soon as mid-year in the Town Council meeting last night.
The Centralian Advocate ran a front-age story on March 6, quoting real estate agent Doug Fraser, that the plans have been down-sized and the owners hope to start selling “off the plan” in June with building to begin soon afterwards.
The large site on the edge of the Alice Springs CBD, once home to the Melanka backpacker hostel, has been standing vacant since the hostel was demolished in 2008.
Mr Fraser, the manager of L J Hooker, says: “The owners have had discussions with the Town Planning Authority and have received a positive response.
“Obviously the project needs to be approved by the DCA with council having their input. We would hope that council would not unduly delay the project.”
Greg Buxton, council’s Director of Technical Services, in response to an enquiry from Alderman Eli Melky, said if the plans have been changed by more than 10% the developers may be required to make new submissions to the Development Consent Authority (DCA).
In any case, there is still a planning process to go through with final plans and as it is now mid-March, a mid-year start date is “not possible”.
Says Mr Fraser: “We did not say that construction would start in June.”
“Nothing has gone to the DCA yet,” said Mayor Damien Ryan at the meeting.
Once it does, the plans will still have to come back to council for tick-off on the things it governs. And that’s not a one-stop process. Officers prepare a report for aldermen, which then goes through their committee process before being put to a vote in their monthly meeting.
PICTURED: A drawing of the complex as it was planned originally.