An uninterrupted Beach to Beach pathway in the Camden Haven would address a significant infrastructure gap and satisfy community needs, a development application document says.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is part of the development application documents on public exhibition until December 20.
The development application represents a crucial step as supporters strive towards the pathway's completion.
The Beach to Beach pathway is a community-driven project for an 11 kilometre continuous shared pathway between North Haven breakwall and Pilot Beach in the Camden Haven.
The shared path network at Dunbogan and Camden Head is currently made up of four unconnected sections.
This project will connect those sections and provide a continuous shared path network from North Haven to Camden Head, the EIS said.
The document said the project aimed to address the demand to connect the existing shared path to provide the community and visitors a unique facility that catered to the population and tourism growth in the area.
Beach to Beach Riverwalk Committee president Penny Small recognised the support of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams.
Mrs Small said the benefit of the pathway, when complete, would be equity of access between two fundamental beaches and everything in between.
She encouraged the community to support the development application through submissions during the exhibition period.
The EIS said the uninterrupted pathway would provide safe pedestrian and bicycle access to community centres, schools and shopping centres.
"Moreover, the 11km scenic route would attract cycle-related tourism into the area, creating jobs, and boosting the vitality of the town centres, thus adding value to neighbourhoods and communities," the report said.
The project would lead to improved health through recreation.
The path would be 2.5 metres-wide and constructed using a combination of sealed concrete paths and raised boardwalks.
"Raised boardwalk construction would be used in areas with steep gradients and to minimise impacts to sensitive environments including coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests," the EIS said.
The document said the potential environmental impacts of the project were mostly considered temporary (during the construction stage) and acceptable (when combined with the proactive and responsive management measures and safeguards) and were outweighed by the longer term benefits of the project.
The council engaged Kellogg, Brown & Root to design the remaining pathway sections and prepare the EIS.
The development application for the project is available online through the council's application tracker.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel is the consent authority for the development application.
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