QLDC has $23m in property to sell

Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor
Cost-cutting at Queenstown Lakes District Council continues, with councillors accepting a recommendation for the sale of $23 million worth of property.

After QLDC chief executive Adam Feeley requested an assessment of all council-owned property and its purposes, council regulatory and corporate services manager Roger Taylor issued a report to a full council table yesterday proposing the sale of property in Arrowtown, Queenstown and Wanaka.

Mr Taylor told councillors QLDC owned land surplus to its requirements.

This included Arrowtown's historic Buckingham St Cottages, Williams Cottage ($1.27 million) in Queenstown, a vacant site on the corner of Queenstown's Stanley and Ballarat St and Wanaka's Sargood Dr Reserve.

Mr Taylor said there was ''no good economic reason'' why the council should own the land and recommended community consultation be undertaken.

''You're at the point of making some hard decisions about some property ... if there is no purpose for council ownership we need to think about the disposition so we can use the funds elsewhere.''

The council was considering selling property of no use to it and the issue was now who best to sell it to, he said.

In total, land identified in Mr Taylor's report that had no identifiable present or future use was valued at more than $23 million.

The public will now be consulted on the possible sale. A property on the corner of Queenstown's Stanley St and Gorge Rd, valued at $3.2 million, was also recommended for sale after a property subcommittee make a final binding decision.

The council decided to take legal advice about whether freehold land at Arrowtown's $2.6 million camping ground in Suffolk St should be transferred to the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust, to help with the housing affordability problem in Arrowtown, or sold privately.

Most councillors agreed it would be best if the Arrowtown land was in the hands of the housing trust.

However, Cr Simon Stamers-Smith said the council should retain the land as there was the option of building ''elderly housing'' on it in future.

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