Earthworks on the $40 million Rotorua Lakefront development will begin next week.

Rotorua Lakes Council said today HEB Construction Ltd would complete the first stage of the development which involved the construction of a new boardwalk and terracing around the lake edge.

The work would begin at the eastern end of the Lakefront, in front of QE and the Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa development, and would gradually progress west towards the commercial operators.

Conceptual impression of the Rotorua Lakefront development. Photo / Supplied
Conceptual impression of the Rotorua Lakefront development. Photo / Supplied

Fences are scheduled to go up on Tuesday October 29.

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While this stage of construction was under way, access to the lake edge and Oruawhata Drive would be restricted but access through Memorial Drive and Lakefront Drive would remain open.

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There will be no vehicle access in front of QE and the Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa development and initially no pedestrian or cyclist access. A temporary track will be created between the Lakefront reserve and Motutara Point for pedestrians and cyclists and this is expected to take approximately a week to complete.

This track will be open between 7am and 8pm each day and kept closed at night.

Map of the first stage of construction detailing fence lines and temporary walkway. Photo / Supplied
Map of the first stage of construction detailing fence lines and temporary walkway. Photo / Supplied

The council said while construction was under way, it was important that people visiting the Lakefront reserve adhered to signage and instructions from contractors for safety purposes.

Construction of the entire Lakefront development would be completed in stages to ensure parts of the Lakefront reserve were always accessible. Entertainment and activities would continue to feature at the Lakefront to ensure the reserve was still an enjoyable place to be even throughout construction.

Conceptual impression of the Rotorua Lakefront development. Photo / Supplied
Conceptual impression of the Rotorua Lakefront development. Photo / Supplied

The next stage of development would involve preparing the ground for the construction of the new playground and a new toilet block facility.

The council was in the process of finalising the contract for this work.

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In partnership with Central Government's Provincial Growth Fund, the council was managing an investment of $40 million ($19.9m from the Provincial Growth Fund, $20.1m from council) between now and 2021 to develop the Lakefront.

Last year Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers secretary and now Rotorua district councillor Reynold Macpherson presented a petition opposing the development at a Rotorua Lakes Council meeting.

At the time he said the Lakefront redevelopment had been marred with "continuing controversy".