Testing for possible development site

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Geotech testing will be completed on a piece of council-owned land possibly pegged for an affordable housing development in Arrowtown.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has approved a pitch from the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust to conduct Geotech exploration of the land at Jopp Street.

In July the Trust confirmed it wanted to provide up to 70 “warm, dry, affordable and secure” homes on the site.

At the time, the proposal appeared to have the backing of mayor Jim Boult, who said it would make a “significant” difference to the district’s affordable housing issues.

In a statement, council planning and development general manager Tony Avery said the council had made no decisions about the use of the land.

Utilising the 3.68 hectare site had long been a topic of discussion for the Arrowtown community, he said.

But as 0.86 hectares of the site housed effluent treatment ponds until 1995, it was not clear whether it would be suitable for development.

Mr Avery said enabling the Trust to carry out the tests should help determine that.

“The Geotech tests should provide QLCHT with insight into how stable and safe the land is and ultimately if it is usable for their plans.”

Trust executive officer Julie Scott said the Jopp St site had been on the Trust’s radar for many years.

“With housing issues worsening in the district and over 530 households on our waiting list, we are keen to explore all avenues which may provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing.”

Depending on the outcome of the Geotech report and subject to council approval, the Trust will look at options for developing the site.