The scenic shoreline of Hampton may be in the early stages of major commercial development that could include dozens of rental cottages and a nine-hole, par-3 golf course.
David Wu of Hampton Beach Resort Developments has big potential plans if all goes well.
He is eyeing development of almost 80 cottage units and a driving range in addition to a nine-hole golf course.
Wu, however, has run into a bit of a hurdle.
Hampton cottage owner Gary McLure is appealing a decision of the minister of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs to grant approval for Hampton Beach Resort Developments to renovate and relocate existing rental cottages and locate additional rental cottages on Blue Spruces Way in Hampton.
The hearing ran most of Wednesday with a three-person panel of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission left with plenty of conflicting input to digest before ruling on the appeal.
McLure argued the development in question, which included renovating and relocating existing rental cottages and building new ones, never received proper approval for commercial development.
He told the panel he believes the whole development was “rushed through’’ resulting in errors and omissions.
Chris Palmer, another Hampton cottage owner, adds there appear to be random property use changes happening without the knowledge of neighbouring property owners.
Sandy Foy, a municipal development officer, criticized the government for “not doing its due diligence’’ in ensuring that the requirements of the Planning Act were met.
He claims permits for development were issued prematurely.
Alan Robinson, who administers development regulations for the province, was adamant in stating that no corners were cut in approving the commercial development.
“There have been no relaxing of the regulations,’’ says Robinson.
“We followed the procedures.’’
John Mantha, a consultant to Hampton Beach Resort Developments, told the panel that the developer wants area residents on board with development already taking place as well as any future plans.
“We are trying to find a solution that best suits everybody,’’ says Mantha.
“We do realize it is important to provide development that everybody is happy with.’’
Some residents are put off by the appearance of several cottages that have been clustered together by the developer. Mantha, though, assured those attending the appeal hearing that the cottages will be better spaced.
He says 11 existing rental cottages are being removed from the site. Plans call for eight cottages to be modified into eight two-unit cottages with six two-unit cottages to be built from scratch.
Future development, pending public support and government approval, could include eight four-unit cottages and six three-unit cottages in the Hampton area, adds Mantha.