Five Mile restart hoped for

The development director of Queenstown's $2 billion Five Mile Village project says workers could return to the construction site in July.

Five Mile Holdings Ltd - headed by Christchurch-based property developer Dave Henderson - has in recent days filed five applications for resource consent relating to earthworks at the site.

The consents, which the Otago Daily Times viewed yesterday, would allow the excavation of a second large pit on the site for a new basement car park as well as excavations associated with the planned town's streets and town square.

Mr Henderson could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Five Mile development director Justin Prain told the ODT the consents would also allow some of the excavated material to be trucked to Queenstown Airport and used in the construction of the airport's planned runway end safety area.

There was no firm timeframe for the work, but it was hoped Five Mile construction could resume in July.

Five Mile and Queenstown Airport representatives have been locked in debate for months over a range of concerns, such as the impact Five Mile's construction activities could have on airport operations.

Those talks were continuing and "pretty good progress" was being made, Mr Prain said.

The applications for resource consent filed with Lakes Environmental were about "trying to get ahead of the game".

There was no deal signed with airport staff to supply fill for the runway end safety area, he said.

According to Five Mile's applications, the excavation for the second basement car park would be made alongside the existing basement pit, construction of which stalled in February because of design issues.

The work would involve the removal of 328,000cu m of fill, with the second basement - once finished - eventually linking to the first and to other developments on the site, yet to be detailed, by a series of subterranean tunnels.

A total of 700,000cu m of fill - from the new basement excavation and fill previously stored on site after the first basement excavation - would be available under the consents for use as part of the runway end safety area construction, Mr Prain said.

The material could be hauled across a private road - yet to be built - to the airport by "mining-scale equipment", Mr Prain said.

Some of the earth would also be stored on site before being returned to the excavation as backfill during construction of the second basement car park, the application stated.

Mr Prain said the applications were the first of many expected during the next few months.

"We have got a barrage of them coming."

Smith project manager Andrew Burt said while it appeared little progress had been made on site, "behind the scenes there's a hell of a lot happening".

March Construction director Buzz March also expects construction at the site to resume shortly.

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