Earthworks mark the beginning of the region’s newest retirement development.

Work on Aurum on Clutha Lifestyle Village, between State Highway 8 and Muttontown Rd near Clyde, has started, with the clearing and preparation of land.

The $90 million retirement village will consist of 122 villas and a 60›bed aged›care facility developed in stages.

Registration of the retirement village was in progress, with approval ‘‘imminent’’, independent director Tim Coughlan said.

Once registration was approved, the developers could move from gathering expressions of interest to selling stage one villas.

The beginning of civil works was a milestone for the village, Mr Coughlan said.

‘‘Well, we’re ecstatic. There’s been a lot of planning to get to this stage.’’

Sales manager Warren Galletly said the earthworks showed the development was progressing.

‘‘This is somersaults for me seeing that dirt turned because it says to the community and everybody that we’re away.’’

Construction of the first villas was scheduled to start in the next four to six weeks, with the first residents expected to be in before Christmas.