Housing development plan

David Cole
David Cole
Approval for a 10-house affordable housing development in Arrowtown could be given by the Queenstown Lakes District Council as early as the end of next month.

Yesterday, the council confirmed it was considering a proposal to grant land at 11-21 Suffolk St to the trust for the affordable housing proposal and was seeking public feedback by June 14.

The council would then consider the proposal at its meeting on June 25 and construction could begin at the end of the year.

The housing trust's chairman, David Cole, said resource consent was not needed but architectural plans would need to be settled to replace concept pencil sketches.

He earlier told the Otago Daily Times the development had been about a year in the planning.

A community meeting was held at Arrowtown's Athenaeum Hall on Wednesday night to show the public the pencil sketches, inform them about the work the trust does and explain how the development would be managed.

Speaking yesterday, after a fiery meeting in which criticism from members of the Arrowtown community included the claim the land was worth more than what was stated, Mr Cole said the trust was buoyed by individuals who approached members at the meeting's conclusion to express support.

It was a good turnout and the trust was ''happy to listen to a variety of opinions'', he said.

''There were concerns about the ongoing maintenance and management of the property and I think the trust has to make sure that the regimes in place for that are tight.''

Two of the houses would be reserved for senior citizens and all of the houses would be available to rent by tenants for a maximum of five years and, unlike the trust's other houses, the Suffolk St homes would remain in trust ownership on behalf of the community.

By the end of next month the trust would have helped 75 families into homes by putting money towards a property and owning part of it, until families either bought the trust out or sold the house, Mr Cole said.

Concerns raised at the meeting included access and where the families would go after their rental term was up, but the message from some attending was simply ''not here''.

One man commented the development should be ''under the power lines'' and not on a ''high-profile'' street.

Mr Cole said a series of drop-in sessions were planned and consultation would continue in the hope the development would go ahead.

A $1 million grant from the Crown is being sought for the project.


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