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When will Stage 1 be released for sale?
We hope to coincide the launch of Stage 1 pre-sales with our Ecovillage Open Day, which is tentatively scheduled for early October 2019 (depending on weather). The Open Day will be our first major event and we will open up the Ecovillage site for guided tours, talks, demonstrations, information booths, food, music and family-friendly entertainment. More information about the pre-sales process will be communicated in the coming months.
How much do lots cost?
There are 11 different lot types varying considerably in size, scope, use and therefore price. Due to the many considerations and variables on a project of this scale, we are not yet in a position where we can release pricing on lots. Like all residential developments, we are also subject to the fluctuations of the housing market. However, we will endeavour to publish a price list for our major lot types before our pre-sales launch in spring 2019.
We will communicate this important information through our all our major channels: website, newsletter, social media and events.
How will the staging of the Ecovillage proceed?
We have mapped out a draft staging plan for construction of the Ecovillage but it will be subject to change according the rate of sales and market conditions.
Can I design and build my own home?
Yes. New owners can choose to design and build their own homes, as owner builders or with a licensed builder. House designs will need to conform to the Witchcliffe Ecovillage Building Design Guidelines, which will be available at our pre-sales launch.
We will also offer a range of sustainable house and land packages for a variety of lot types. These house packages are currently being designed in concert with the drafting of the Building Design Guidelines.
Can i build an ancillary dwelling on my lot?
All Lifestyle, Family and Cottage lots are zoned to allow residents to build an ancillary dwelling (granny flat).
Will we be required to build within a certain timeframe?
Yes. There’s nothing worse than buying and building in a master planned community like this and having vacant lots next door forever and living in a neverending construction site. Purchasers will be required to complete construction within two years of purchase.
What are the lot dimensions?
Individual lot dimensions vary but, in general, most fit within the following scope:
Family: 20m x 50m
Cottage: 15m x 30m
Affordable: 10m x 30m
Lifestyle: 28m x 57m
Studio: 10m x 28m
Are there building envelopes or restrictions as to where I can build on my lot?
To ensure optimum solar gain for every lot, regardless of size, we have included building setbacks on the north of every lot. Substantial rainwater tanks are needed for every dwelling and the footprint size of these, which relate directly to the roof size and occupancy, must be factored into lot design. Hence for the smaller lots, such as the Affordable lots, we need to be more prescriptive as to where the major structures are placed. However, on the Family lots where there is more space, rainwater tanks may be allowed on the community garden boundary, for example.
This information and more is outlined in the Local Development Plans, which are currently being drafted in concert with the Building Design Guidelines. They will be made available on our website before pre-sales commences in spring 2019.
Who will own the Witchcliffe Ecovillage agricultural lots?
We envisage the agricultural lots will be used for high value, small scale commercial horticulture crops. They will be available for purchase in Stage 2 to Ecovillage residents only, with the potential of leasehold arrangements with the developer during Stage 1. If you are interested in becoming one of the Witchcliffe Ecovillage’s organic farmers, please contact us on [email protected].
In future, agricultural lots owned by Ecovillage residents will be able to be sold separately to non-Ecovillage residents.
In the future, can I sell my Ecovillage home to anyone?
Yes. There is no membership or vetting process for buying in the Ecovillage, only an assumption of shared values and sustainability principles. We hope to see the development of a diverse community of like-minded, caring people.
Can I have a pet in the Witchcliffe Ecovillage?
In time, we hope the whole Witchcliffe Ecovillage will become a safe haven for many local wildlife species, like endangered Western ringtail possums and Baudin’s white tailed black cockatoos, already visitors in our remnant bushland. In order to protect the wildlife in the Ecovillage open spaces and conservation zones, we have made the difficult decision to exclude cats from the Ecovillage, and we will also include requirements in the Ecovillage strata bylaws to ensure that dogs are kept contained within private yards during the day, are on leads in communal areas, and are inside houses at night. Residents will have the added benefit of knowing that they’re not going to be bothered by neighbours’ barking dogs at night time. Chickens and ducks will be allowed to be kept by residents in appropriate housing on their private blocks and, it is expected, they will also be integrated into the community gardens.
What is the land tenure and governance structure for the Ecovillage?
The Witchcliffe Ecovillage has been designed as a survey strata development. All lots will have survey strata titles, and all lot owners will own a percentage of the common land and infrastructure. The WA Department of Land is engaged in a reform of the Strata Titles Act (1950), which includes the development of a new type of Strata Title called a Community Title Scheme. We are considering using the Community Title Scheme if it is approved and ready in time.
How will the sustainability values and objectives be maintained over time?
Sustainable Settlements (the developer) will provide residents with a suite of documents, including the Building Design Guidelines, Strata By-Laws and Community Garden Handbook, that enshrine our sustainability principles. They will offer practical advice on everything from building materials to garden pest control, do’s and don’ts, resources and recommend governance frameworks, such as conflict resolution and communication tools.
Ultimately, it will be up to the community as a whole to work together in a way that honours the shared values of sustainability that brought it together in the first place.
How will you prevent conflict in the strata clusters?
The clusters will become micro-communities within the larger Ecovillage community and will govern themselves according to the Strata By-Laws, which enshrine our sustainability principles and provide practical guidance on matters such as committee organisation, conflict resolution and communication. We hope that as a socially diverse community of cooperative, caring and like-minded people, we will be able to work through issues demonstrating respect and tolerance.