What’s been happening at the Ecovillage lately?
Sustainable Settlements is a small team of professionals which is working really hard to deliver major milestones across many areas of this complex and unique development within a challenging, dynamic market. We want to thank everyone for their patience, especially those who have taken the time to send us messages of excitement, gratitude and encouragement for the work we’re doing here at the Witchcliffe Ecovillage. It’s always a gratifying and welcome boost to receive appreciation and support.
There’s so much action on site and in the Ecovillage office at the moment, we’re working hard just to keep track of who’s doing what! Here’s a little snapshot of what’s been happening:
- Civil construction of roads, drainage and services is progressing well in Stage 4-5.
- 60 homes are currently under construction.
- We have 12 resident households.
- Cluster 3A and 3B lot titles are progressing incrementally through the very busy Landgate system and we are assured that they are very close to being issued.
- Ecovillage Community Centre concrete pad is poured and framing erected.
- Commercial lots and Stage 3 Short Stay strata and sales documents have been created by our strata lawyers, Torrens Legal, and are now under review.
- Community garden landscaping in Stages 1-2 is well underway.
- The cute Jarrah clad Community Sheds in Stage 1 are at lock up, with Stage 2 and 3 sheds not far behind.
- Our series of four hands-on and two online garden workshops is proving very popular.
- We held the first of a series of Creating Community workshops with Dr Louise Duxbury on 26 February, which was very well received.
- Sustainable Settlements formally handed over the strata management of clusters in Stage 1 and 2 to the new Strata Councils at their inaugural AGMs in early March.
Remaining Family lots in Stage 3
At the time of writing, we have just TWO lovely Family lots left in Stage 3: Lot 8 in Cluster 3B and Lot 14 in Cluster 3A.
Lot titles will be issued soon for these clusters so you can start building your new Ecovillage life very soon, compared to Stage 4 lots, which won’t be issued with titles until later in the year. With construction of the Community Sheds and landscaping in the Stage 3 community gardens underway, you’ll be able to enjoy these established amenities much quicker than lots in Stage 4. For families watching their budget, these well-priced lots offer the best value for money too.
If you’re in Witchcliffe, you’re welcome to take a drive through Stage 3 to view the available lots. Visit our website for up-to-date sales information on our Cluster plans or contact us on [email protected]
Commercial precinct lots for sale
The commercial precinct will add a wonderful depth to the Ecovillage and we’re so excited about the opportunities they present for investors and business owners, as well as the Witchcliffe community as a whole.
These lots have been priced and open to expressions of interest for a few months now and we have taken reservations from entrepreneurs in hospitality, health and wellness, and carbon farming, as well as sustainably minded investors with a keen eye for a fantastic long-term investment in a growing market.
Commercial lots are entirely different in nature to residential lots. They must respond to different planning regulations, uses, building form and materials, which therefore requires unique Local Development Plans (LDPs) and Building Design Guidelines (BDGs) to be written specifically for their commercial function and aesthetic.
While it’s taken us longer to ready these lots for sale than we’d hoped, we’re nearly there.
- The draft LDPs are now with the AMR Shire for review and we are awaiting comment.
- A first draft of the commercial BDGs is finished and is being reviewed internally.
- The strata bylaws and sales contract are now back from our strata lawyer and under review.
We’ll send this package of sales documentation directly to prospective buyers who have expressed interest in the commercial lots as soon as we have everything ready to go. If you’re interested in finding out more about our commercial precinct, visit https://www.ecovillage.net.au/business/commercial-lots/ or contact us on [email protected]
3C Short Stay Lots nearly ready
All but one of the 15 Short Stay lots in 3C have been reserved already, which is so exciting as these are the very first of our specially zoned Short Stay Cottage lots. Unlike conventional Residential zoned lots, these have the ability to be used as permanent residential homes, private holiday homes, or income producing short stay accommodation. Strata by-laws and sales contracts should be ready for issue within the next month. We will be sending through all the necessary sales documentation for prospective buyers to read very soon.
We have some beautiful and highly sustainable house designs being priced up by local builders for these lots. They will all be solar powered, and a Tesla Powerwall battery is included as part of the lot price. We expect strong demand from tourists wanting to stay and experience the Ecovillage and our wonderful region so there should be a good return when you’re not using the holiday home yourself. There are only another 30 short stay residential lots coming up in Stages 4 and 5, and they will be larger and considerably more expensive than our Stage 3 short stay lots, due to size and views, so don’t miss out on our last remaining lot in Stage 3.
If you would like to jump on the Short Stays bandwagon and own a fantastic rental investment in the Ecovillage, get in touch with us at [email protected].
Want more space? Garden lots may be the answer.
Interest is building in our Garden lots that sit adjacent to the entrances into the Ecovillage, on both the northern (3E) and southern ends (4E and 5D) of the site. At 1,500 – 2,200sqm, these lots could be mistaken for the ubiquitous “lifestyle” lots found in the region, but they differ in a number of important ways, which is why we renamed them.
These Ecovillage strata titled lots benefit from:
- deep sewerage connection to our community wastewater treatment plant.
- access to cheap, high quality, irrigation water from our dams to facilitate productive gardens.
- access to renewable energy infrastructure including a shared electrical microgrid and single point connection to Western Power.
- membership in Ecovillage Commons Ltd (not for profit company) and use of its land and amenities (dams, conservation areas, avocado orchards, etc).
We will have more information about the Garden lots in 3E in the coming months and plan to release them to the market in the first half of this year. If you are interested, there’s not many of them, so please Register Your Interest and contact us at [email protected]
Staged sale for Agricultural lots
Our wonderful and unique Agricultural Lots are almost ready for sale and have all been fenced and provided with irrigation pipes directly from our dams to enable people to get started as soon as they’re available. We are considering selling the Agricultural lots in 3D as a “Staged Strata”, which in simple terms means we’ll split them up into two groups:
- Lots 1-7 and 12 will be sold first and will permit only “passive” uses as per the current AMR Shire zoning definitions. This means traditional agricultural enterprises and infrastructure, such as market gardens, orchards and associated infrastructure like sheds, office and water tanks (fed from dams). Residential uses are not permitted on any ag lots.
- On lots 8-11, we would like to see allowance for typical farm-based “active” uses that complement traditional agricultural pursuits, such as a small-scale distillery, microbrewery or food processing. We are in ongoing discussions with the Shire’s planning department and DPLH in an effort to consolidate the definition of the Witchcliffe Ecovillage Agriculture Special Use zone provisions that would permit these uses.
This process may take some time, so we don’t want to hold up the sale of the balance lots. We are working towards having agricultural lots 1-7 and lot 12 priced and ready for sale in the next month or two. We will be in touch with current reservation holders when we have the sales documentation ready to go.
If you are interested in an agricultural lot, please get in touch with us at [email protected]