Major Queenstown workers' housing complex approved

A concept drawing of the accommodation.
A concept drawing of the accommodation.
A major workers’ accommodation project for Queenstown has got the tick of a fast-track consenting panel.

The project initially proposed constructing seven to eight buildings with a total of 554 units to be used as temporary accommodation for the local workforce.

The Queenstown Airport Company opposed the proposal, saying it was too large and in the wrong location for such a development.

Other organisations including the Frankton Community Association also expressed concerns but were neutral.

A map showing the location of the accommodation.
A map showing the location of the accommodation.
The fast-track consent panel also expressed concerns it could limit the views of an outstanding natural landscape, but after No. 1 Hansen Road Ltd reduced the proposed height of the buildings by one storey and the number of rooms to 476 (but housing the same number of occupants), the proposal got over the line.

The panel’s decision, released today, said the project would ‘‘contribute to the wellbeing (social and economic) of residents and the community’’ by employing 540 full-time equivalents during the design, building and operation stages of the project.

‘‘The nature of the proposal will also create wider economic benefits and assist prosperity of local business though the direct provision of workers accommodation, where there is currently a significant shortage in housing and accommodation to meet this need.

‘‘Overall, the panel finds that the consents as granted would better enable the local community of Frankton, and wider Queenstown, to provide for their social, cultural and economic wellbeing and for their health and safety while ensuring that the effects of the proposal itself are appropriately avoided, remedied, or mitigated.’’

The panel also considered the provision of accommodation of this nature ‘‘may also contribute to a more equitable economy, by freeing up other housing for permanent residents’’

The decision comes 130 working days after the application was lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority.

No. 1 Hansen Road Limited applied for resource consent under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.