Affordable housing compromise put forward

There are some Arrowtown residents who fundamentally oppose an affordable housing development in the small village, but others who made submissions against a housing proposal are being offered a compromise.

If the proposal is officially accepted next week, the Queenstown Lakes Housing Trust will work to the time frame of a community group which has consent to build a clubroom facility to house groups such as the Arrowtown Rugby Club.

A total of 263 submissions were received by the Queenstown Lakes District Council about the proposal to grant 11-21 Suffolk St to the trust for the purpose of building 10 affordable rental homes.

The council's regulatory and corporate general manager, Roger Taylor, said one of the repeated concerns from submitters was the fear the Arrowtown Rugby Club would lose its ''home base'' if the development went ahead, as its rooms are on the potential site for the development.

A new community building to house the rugby club and other groups has been included in the council's draft reserve management plan for Arrowtown and Lake Hayes, but as yet there is no construction date.

''The compromise offered by the housing trust is to stage their development so that the existing facilities that the rugby club operates, which are located on the freehold land, can stay in place until such time as their [the rugby club] new development is ready to roll.''

The housing trust's chairman, David Cole, said the trust had listened to the concerns from Arrowtown people.

Mr Cole said the trust was a community group and ''there is no way'' it would want to ''dismantle'' a part of the community, so the rugby clubrooms would stay until the new community building was ready.

This was dependent on funding but ''what we [the housing trust] are saying is we would work in with their time frames''.

Mr Cole acknowledged the council could refuse the housing development.

Some submissions completely opposed building affordable housing citing reasons such as if people could not afford to buy a house in Arrowtown, they should not live there.

At the council's meeting on Tuesday, councillors will consider the recommendation to transfer the land to the trust for the development, subject to confirmation of funding from central government, reaching an agreement with the rugby club and the council continuing to work with the Arrowtown Community and Sports Centre Inc to establish clubrooms at Jack Reid Park.


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