Far North Holdings is applying for consent to reclaim an area of seabed for a new oyster barge dock and boat ramp at Ōpua.
It's the Far North District Council-owned company's second attempt to set up a new dock after the first was knocked back by independent commissioners in 2017.
Oyster farmers working in the Waikare Inlet need a new facility because the area where they land their shellfish has been swallowed up by the expanded Bay of Islands Marina. If it goes ahead the new dock will also be used by marine contracting firms.
Originally Far North Holdings (FNH) applied to reclaim about 4500sq m of seabed and build a jetty and boat ramp at Colenso's Triangle, a few hundred metres further up the Kawakawa River, as part of a combined consent application with the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway.
The railway eventually got its consent for a new station, with modifications, but the oyster dock and reclamation were refused.
This time FNH is applying to the Northland Regional Council and Far North District Council for a smaller reclamation of 1700sq m next to Bay of Islands Marina Boatyard, also known as Ashby's Boatyard.
The plan still includes a ramp and a jetty with a berth for the steam ferry Minerva, which is being restored in Ōpua's industrial area.
One of the complications of the new plan is that an access road for the new facility will have to be built where the Twin Coast Cycle Trail is now.
To make space for the road a cutting will have to be made into a bank and the bike trail will have to be shifted inland.
The two councils have publicly notified the resource consent application and are calling for submissions by July 8.
One of those making a submission will be retired boatyard owner Jim Ashby, an Ōpua resident of 52 years.
Ashby said the area earmarked for reclamation was used as an access point and dinghy storage area for about 60 boats moored in the nearby channel.
Also, the roughly 80m-long strip of riverfront was currently lined with pohutukawa and enjoyed by cyclists and walkers. Those views would be lost and replaced by a fence and marine farm dock.
''I'm not against a commercial facility, I just don't think they've considered alternative sites,'' he said.
Ashby believed the previous site at Colenso's Triangle was more suitable and might have got over the line with a smaller reclamation, as was currently proposed, if FNH had appealed when the original consent application was declined.
Some of the strongest objections to the Colenso site came from residents on Marina Rise but the new location was much closer to houses on Baffin St, Ashby said.
Oyster farmers and marine firms are also understood to have concerns about the new site's lack of space for future expansion and insufficient depth for large barges.
Blue Newport, chairman of the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Charitable Trust, said he generally supported the plan because it offered a home for the steam ferry, Minerva.
The ferry would eventually be part of a combined experience linking the bike trail, Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, Waitangi Mountain Bike Park and other attractions.
He was, however, still studying the detail of how the plan would affect the cycle trail. The trust planned to put in a submission, he said.
The initial barge dock proposal was funded largely by marine contractors and oyster farmers but facilitated by FNH. The current proposal is for a FNH-owned facility.