Around the Mountains trail consent to be filed

An application for resource consent for the first stage of the Around the Mountains walking and cycle trail is anticipated to be lodged within the next three weeks.

The Southland District Council (SDC), as the applicant, was preparing the consent to construct bridges, shelters and toilets along the $7 million to $10 million trail, which was announced by Prime Minister John Key in July, 2009 as one of seven potential "Quick Start" cycleways, in New Zealand.

The application will be lodged with the SDC, Environment Southland, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Otago Regional Council. Public consultation was likely, followed by a hearing.

Venture Southland community development and events group manager Rex Capil yesterday said the the completion target date remained the end of this year.

"This is a 175km trail, so there's work that can happen a lot easier in some places than it can in others. Potentially it could be broken up into various segments, so work can happen when it can happen."

Last July, the Ministry of Tourism confirmed $4 million for track construction and engineering costs from a national "Quick Start" pot of $47.5 million for the first stage of Around the Mountains Trail, an easy-graded, 2m-wide trail from Walter Peak to Mossburn.

Stage two would link Mossburn to Garston, with stage three linking Garston to Kingston, dependent on funding, Mr Capil said.

"All the reports from the likes of the engineers and tourism people who product-develop have been very consistent [in their belief] this will be an outstanding trail from a tourism product perspective," he said.

 

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