A controversial proposal for a large yacht harbour in Victoria has been approved by Transport Canada, but critics still say it will pose an unacceptable risk for the busy Inner Harbour.

The Victoria International Marina will include amenities, including a restaurant and accommodation for yachts up to 45 metres long. In order to get final approval WAM Development had to reduce its original size by half and include a safe, inside paddling route for kayaks.

The marina has faced opposition from groups ranging from condo owners to the City of Victoria, but WAM spokesperson Larry Halgren says the concerns have been addressed and construction should begin next July.

"We're thrilled to death with what we have and I don't anticipate there'd be any reason for us to go back and try to change anything."

Transport Canada says the project includes a safety management plan that makes the level of risk "acceptable."

But the operator of Victoria Harbour Ferry, Barry Hobbis, says the marina poses an unacceptable danger in an already busy harbour with floatplane traffic.

"It should make everyone extremely nervous," said Hobbis.