Council puts hand out

Development plans: Ladies Mile, between the Shotover River and Lake Hayes

Queenstown’s council wants to borrow $56 million from the government to spark the development of at least 3000 new homes.

The authority has submitted four bids to the government’s $1 billion infrastructure fund.

It wants cash for a town centre bypass, a host of transport upgrades at Ladies Mile, a new road to Quail Rise and to put Kingston on the development map.

Council boss Mike Theelen says: “Accessing some of the government’s $1b fund would give us options by providing a new funding stream, easing some of the cost that would otherwise fall on ratepayers.”

The loans for the infrastructure projects would be paid from future development contributions.

Ladies Mile, Quail Rise, Kingston and central Queenstown are identified as key development areas.

Millions would be spent in the Ladies Mile area, enabling about 1000 new homes.

Projects include better public transport, a Lake Hayes Estate roundabout and water system upgrades.

There are already 332 retirement homes planned for the area.

A new road linking the State Highway 6 Hawthorne Drive roundabout to Quail Rise’s Ferry Hill Drive could open up ‘Quail Rise South’, enabling 1100 new homes.

It would help ease problems at the Tucker Beach Rd turn-off.

Quail Rise resident Greg Thompson said that would be welcomed with open arms and he’s not concerned about suburban sprawl.

“It’s all flat land there,” he says.

“It is infill but we’ve got to put houses somewhere, otherwise you shut the door and say Queenstown’s full.”

A new pedestrian cycleway under State Highway 6 is also mooted.

In Kingston, the money would be used for water supply, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

That, along with the special zoning of land, would enable developers to build 950 new homes. There are about 300 there now.

Kingston Community Association chairman Athol Elliott says: “If it helps us get reticulated water and sewage, residents will probably be all for it.

More development might ruin it for some, he said, adding “you can’t stand in the way of progress”.

A long-mooted central Queenstown bypass would enable intensified housing.

Theelen says nothing was set in stone. “We are a high growth area and the community and government alike expect us to take every opportunity to meet the challenges of that growth.”

A government decision is expected in June.