Council’s a handbrake: Barclay


Worker accommodation developments are being held up by Queenstown’s council, Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay says.

He says he’s being hounded by people who want more affordable housing - everyone from families to employers and developers.

The council needs to make that happen, the rookie MP says.

“The feedback I’m getting from a wide range of people in the community is it’s silly processes and inconsistent rules that are holding people up.”

He says of the council: “To simply say that it’s not their role to build houses is not good enough. It’s their role to facilitate the building of housing and if we’re holding that up, tell us how we can change it.”

Barclay’s comments add pressure on the council, which last week was criticised by Housing Minister Nick Smith for a go-slow on fast-tracked housing.

Barclay - a former tobacco lobbyist - says the council’s transport and housing strategy are effectively at odds.

It’s removing CBD carparks while making developers provide “unreasonable” carparking per unit.

One developer he’s spoken to has interest from employers for potential worker accommodation along Gorge Road - parts of which are earmarked for a council-pushed special housing area.

Tenants would get free bikes, he says, but the council won’t budge on carpark rules.

“It’s inconsistent,” he says.

“This sort of stuff just frustrates people, it’s holding processes up.”

Queenstown mayor Vanessa van Uden says the proposed Gorge Rd special housing area was sent to Smith yesterday.

Any development will need a resource consent, she says, which will deal with parking and traffic management.

While Gorge Rd is close to town, meaning workers can get to town without needing a car, Van Uden says many will still own vehicles.

“We need to assess and agree what is the right level of on-site provision. It would not be a successful outcome if we end up creating problems for road users and adjoining streets if cars are simply displaced into those areas due to a lack of adequate provision on-site.”