Affordable? How about free?


A developer is offering free homes to dozens of Queenstowners as part of its application for a special housing area.

Ayrburn Farm Developments is one of 13 developers who’ve applied for special housing areas under the Queenstown Lakes Housing Accord.

The council-government accord is designed to provide fast-tracked planning approval for affordable housing.

Ayrburn Farm Developments is planning up to 150 houses on a 45.7 hectare site off the Arrowtown-Lakes Hayes Road.

According to a new appendix to its application, the developer will build 15 three-bedroom homes and lease them to a community housing provider for a dollar a year for a maximum 25 years.

A developer’s representative says the aim is that people living in a free home will be able to afford a deposit for their own house after three years.

If three years is the average tenure for the 15 homes over 25 years, 120 families could be helped into housing, the spokesman says.

The document explains the 15 houses will be delivered progressively as Ayrburn Farm is developed.

One house will be completed for every 10 titled lots created.

It also states that the 15 houses could be located anywhere at the developer’s discretion within a 10 kilometre radius of Ayrburn Farm.

The Queenstown council last week amended its special housing areas policy to insist that developers negotiate with community housing providers over the amount of affordable housing they’ll provide in their areas.

Landscape painter Peter Beadle, who neighbours Ayrburn Farm, told the Otago Daily Times this week he opposed the development.

“This is pastoral farming land - not a suburb of Arrowtown, Frankton or Queenstown.

“It’s a special and visually magnificent location which must stay in place.”