Support sought for boat facility

Portobello could soon be home to a large, new, offshore coastguard vessel based inside a new $1.6 million facility.

Councillors at the Dunedin City Council's long-term plan hearing were yesterday shown plans for the facility, which would include a new jetty, launch ramp and a two-level boat shed at Portobello.

The shed would house the area's new offshore vessel, as well as an incident room upstairs, and require part of the harbour to be reclaimed.

Designed to also house the Portobello boating club, the project has been in the pipeline since 2006.

Coastguard Dunedin president Lox Kellas told the meeting the facility was expected to house a new vessel up to 14m long, supported by smaller vessels as required.

The larger vessel would be used to conduct rescues up to 50km offshore and as far south as Nugget Point, as well as north of the city, he said.

The initiative was part of Coastguard New Zealand's push to establish larger facilities and vessels at strategic points around the country, he said.

In his submission, Mr Kellas said with the location and footprint of the building established, ''we are at a stage where we can proceed with developing concept drawings, and go public with, and progress, our fundraising''.

The development already had consent, except for the facility's slipway, and would be paid for by fundraising by the national body and Dunedin branch, he said.

Mr Kellas asked the council to help with the consent process, and, possibly, project management support.

The total cost of the project was not yet known but the vessel was expected to cost up to $1.2 million and the shed up to $400,000, he said.

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