Trust plans Arrowtown push

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A proposal that could lead to 70 affordable homes being built on the outskirts of Arrowtown has been pitched to City Hall.

In a letter to the Arrowtown School board of trustees, the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust (QLCHT) says it’s looking for support for the transfer of council-owned land at Jopp Street to the trust.

“QLCHT has a vision for the site to provide up to 70 warm, dry, affordable and secure homes for Arrowtown residents.”

mixture of housing suitable for families and singles through to the elderly, “through a range of rental and assisted-ownership program-mes”.

The proposal appears to have the backing of mayor Jim Boult, who says it’d make a “significant” difference to the district’s affordable housing issues.

In November, there were 483 people on the wait list for help to get into an affordable house or rental.

“Seventy affordable houses is exactly what our district needs at this point in time,” Boult says.

He says the development would be a “sensible use of the land”.

Trust boss Julie Scott says discussions with the council had recently been put back on the table, after years of talks.

She doesn’t want to say too much while negotiations are ongoing, but says the trust built a “fantastic” development on the formerly council-owned land at Suffolk St, and it would love to do the same again.

“It’s a flat and sunny piece of land in Arrowtown which is owned by council but currently completely under-utilised [for horse grazing].

“We are crying out for affordable housing and the site could deliver this. There are very few other council-owned pieces of land like this.

“It’s a natural extension of the town boundary, and has been recommended by district plan review planners to be included in Arrowtown’s Urban Growth Boundary. This is currently with the commissioners.”

The Suffolk St development consists of 10 houses; four houses completed in 2015 and the remaining six completed in 2016.

Arrowtown ward councillor Scott Stevens says he’s aware of the proposal, and believes if the trust did get hold of the land, whatever it did would be “well received”.

Council comms advisor Rebecca Pitts says it’s in the early stages of discussions, and the extent of the proposal, the process required, and ideas around the land are still being developed.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz