A controversial $35 million housing development scheme proposed by the council has been put on ice because of recent surging land sales. The City of Karratha’s Housing Investment Program divided the community when it was proposed to boost residential land sales in the town after the housing supply dropped to around 1.5 per cent earlier this year. The program was originally put on hold after shortlisting five proposals because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At last week’s ordinary meeting, the council moved to put the project on hold indefinitely and instead approve a tender by GBSC Yurra to build nine houses, some of which could be used for essential service workers and City staff. The move comes on the back of strong land sales in Karratha following recent State and Federal government home builder packages. In the first week after the State Government’s Regional Land Booster Package was announced, land buyers placed offers on 18 lots at Karratha’s Madigan at Baynton West, causing DevelopmentWA to release 15 more lots at the estate. A city of Karratha spokesperson said recent State and Federal support packages for housing development were making a difference, with an upturn in land sales and building applications. “The fact that these new incentives have stimulated the housing market has led to the City downscaling its housing investment proposals from the level that was initially contemplated,” they said. The spokesperson said the council had resolved to proceed to the next stage with a proposal from GBSC Yurra to build nine new dwellings on land the City owned in a joint venture arrangement. “Over the next month, GBSC Yurra will be asked to confirm the proposed commercial arrangements for the transaction through a request for tender process, for council to make a final decision to proceed with the proposal or not,” the spokesperson said.