Yesterday Transport Canada approved the Navigable Waters Permit for WAM Development Group's planned Victoria International Marina. The federal-level approval takes the developer a step closer to acquiring the series of approvals needed for its megayacht marina project.
“This is an important step in the approval process,” says Lachlan MacLean, WAM Development Group's general manager – marina operations. “About a week and a half ago we got our Canadian Environmental Assessment Screening pass from Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada, and that was the precursor to then getting the decision for the Navigable Water Permit. The permit concerns impeding navigation. When you put anything into the harbour, you need one of these permits. Before granting this permit, Transport Canada looks at the impacts of traffic movement on the harbour and even how wave patterns will be affected and what impact it might have on existing traffic and infrastructure.”
However, the marina still requires approval at the provincial and municipal levels. The provincial government still needs to approve the project's land lease and the City of Victoria needs to approve the Development Permit for the marina's commercial buildings. “The province said quite clearly that it was waiting for the federal government's environmental and navigation approval before making its decision,” says MacLean. “With the federal approval, we will now ask the City of Victoria to commence with processing the Development Permit application for the marina buildings to be built on our private land,” says MacLean. “We anticipate clearing the last remaining regulatory hurdle, which is for the Integrated Land Management Bureau (ILMB) to approve our application for a seabed lease.”
MacLean says that there is no set timeline for a decision from the ILMB. “We hope to receive a favourable response from the province,” says MacLean. “By bringing the marina into operation we will create a key community space for Victoria and generate economic and tourism opportunities for Victoria, Vancouver Island and the coastal communities of British Columbia.”
For more information on the proposed marina visit www.marinafacts.ca