Strand developer defends delay

DEVELOPERS of the new Strand Hotel at the Capricorn Coast have slammed the Rockhampton Regional Council's recent statements about delays as misleading.

Brett Cuthbert, a partner of Brookport, the developers behind The Strand, said Mayor Brad Carter's recent statement seeking an explanation for the delay in demolition and construction was misleading.

“Regarding timelines, contrary to the Mayor's other incorrect statements, Brookport did not receive the negotiated decision 'til around the April 28,” Mr Cuthbert said.

“Assuming submitters received it on the same day, with their appeal rights the earliest Brookport could act on the Decision Notice would have been May 27, that is providing no appeal has been lodged. To date we have not been notified of any appeal.”

Mr Cuthbert said he was disappointed Cr Carter had not given him the courtesy of a phone call before issuing the statement.

“In these challenging economic times we are at a total loss to understand why the Mayor and council has chosen to circulate such a misleading and damning release that has only served to undermine confidence and damaged both the project and Brookport's reputation,” Mr Cuthbert said.

“One would have thought that a simple phone call from the Mayor to Brookport would have had a more informative outcome.”

He said Brookport had every intention of starting the development as soon as possible.

Cr Carter yesterday stood by his earlier statements that the council was not the cause of any delays.

In the original statement he said developers were given approval by council on October 12 last year, with the Negotiated Decision Notice finalised on April 19.

He said developers were yet to lodge an application for an Operational Works Permit, which was required before work could commence and that he issued the statement, after constant complaints from the Capricorn Coast community.

“You had to take into account that this project has now been sitting around since 2004,” Cr Carter said.

“And that the developers did advise last year they were hoping to commence demolition in January this year and that hasn't occurred.”

He said the council had given a second full approval plus negotiated a revised Decision Notice that if the developers wanted to show faith to the community they should demolish the existing building.

“Council is genuinely very supportive of making sure that this prestigious development proceeds,” Cr Carter said.

The council yesterday passed a motion to write to the developers requesting they advise of their intention to commence the approved development.

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