A major development at Curio Bay is a step closer.

Council recently approved funding to progress the Curio Bay wastewater upgrade, the first step in a wider development of the Curio Bay area which includes a new heritage centre, campground facilities, a carpark and toilets.

Approval was subject to agreement being reached with the Department of Conservation and South Catlins Charitable Trust about sharing ongoing operating costs.

Council, DOC and the Trust have developed a memorandum of understanding to allow construction of the wastewater upgrade to begin.

The next step is for contracts to be awarded and more detailed design undertaken.

This is the first stage of a wider upgrade for the Curio Bay Reserve Area.

The Trust recently purchased a relocatable building and are developing this as an ablutions block with toilets, showers and a kitchen. This is expected to be moved on site by spring.

Work on the proposed Natural Heritage Centre has been postponed so appropriate consents can be completed and to allow enough time for construction before the penguin breeding season.