Toilet-block work to begin on Monday

Earnslaw Park's 29-year-old toilet block will be demolished from Monday to make way for a modern 10-unit block and kiosk, which could house an empanada (South American pasty) business.

The revamping of the toilet block and Earnslaw Park in general has been the subject of much debate and consultation, but Amalgamated Builders Ltd, of Queenstown, has been awarded the $447,576 contract and will start site preparations on Monday.

The council accepted the recommendation to approve The Empanada Kitchen's proposal to occupy and sell pasties from the soon-to-be-constructed 3sq m kiosk, and has notified the public.

A hearings panel will be appointed if any submissions are received.

Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager community services Paul Wilson said the council would ''be doing all we can to minimise the disruption and ensure the project is completed on time for the opening of the Winter Festival in June''.

Three trees in the immediate vicinity of the toilets would be removed.

Beach St would remain open during the construction but there was potential for the road to be closed to allow for the installation of the 12m-diameter roof.

''We are conscious that it's a popular spot during summer and plan to fence only the construction zone, leaving the greater area of turf open to the public,'' Mr Wilson said.

Temporary toilets would be on Earnslaw Park from Monday until after Easter.

The grass area of Earnslaw Park is scheduled to be renewed immediately after the Winter Games in August.