Work on Birubi Resort at Anna Bay has been delayed while the Chinese owner seeks permission to amend the plans.
Frank Shi lodged plans with Port Stephens Council in August, which if approved, will make parts of the resort two storeys high.
It was only through this process that Mr Shi discovered he would also need to renew the project’s environmental approvals.
The Gan Gan Road site is said to contain middens subject to protection under a Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit.
All work at the site has been called to a stop.
“We hadn’t started work at all,” Mr Shi said.
“We were only cleaning up the site.”
Mr Shi said he had begun discussions with the Office of Environment and Heritage that will consider his application for a new AHIP. It was his understanding he would receive a report on the matter “within two to three weeks”.
Mr Shi bought the property in May 2016 for an undisclosed sum.
Administrators Grant Thornton Australia had listed the property under expressions of interest and had reportedly received 12 expressions through that process. The revised plans Mr Shi lodged with the council would reduce the original building’s footprint and introduce a second storey to the villas. The development also proposes modifications to the approved restaurant and bar fronting Gan Gan Rd, including a bistro, function area, lounge bar, outdoor decks, kitchen and reception area.
"This assessment has been referred to OEH as required under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,” the council’sActing Development Assessment and Compliance Manager Andrew Ashton said.
“From this OEH has informed Council that the applicant needs to obtain an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit for the site. The applicant and OEH are currently in discussions… however this could take some time."