Port Stephens Council gives developer Frank Shi the green light and Cr Sarah Smith says there's 'nothing holding this back'

APPROVED: Anna Bay Resort developer Frank Shi has gained fresh approval for his altered plans.
APPROVED: Anna Bay Resort developer Frank Shi has gained fresh approval for his altered plans.

The Anna Bay Resort has been given the green light once again.

Developer Frank Shi, who bought the troubled resort at liquidation, applied to Port Stephens Council last year for a number of changes, namely to make it a two-storey hotel complex.

That approval came through last week.

Central Ward councillor Sarah Smith, for one, is hopeful.

“As far as council is concerned there is nothing holding this back now,” she said.

“The community is very eager to see work get started now.

“It’s the number one thing people asked me about at last year’s election and I have at least two to three people ask me about every week still.”

It’s the breakthrough Mr Shi told the Examiner he needed, back in December.

“We want to keep everyone happy, council and the community.”

Groundwork on developing the $50 million resort began in 2011, with the financial backing of China Security and Surveillance Technology (through another company, Anke Smart City). Birubi Beach Resort was placed into administration in February 2014.

Creditors were owed an estimated $1 million.

The site had sat idle for three years before Mr Shi bought it through administrators Grant Thornton, as part of an expressions of interest process, for an undisclosed sum.

With it he inherited some persistent vandalism issues and in December he called on the community to take some responsibility.

“We’re just trying to do it better but this hasn’t helped.”

Mr Shi declined the Examiner’s requests for comment this week on the approval.

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