Are Ecovillage lot sales a steady trickle or are they becoming a flood? Sometimes it’s hard to tell in this dynamic, heated real estate market. One thing we know for sure is that word of mouth has kept our Sunday sales presentations and tours filled with prospective buyers from Perth, the South West region and even interstate when COVID restrictions will allow.
The next sales presentation and site tour is scheduled for Sunday, 2 May at 10:00am, which you can read about on our Events Calendar. If you haven’t yet come along to this comprehensive overview of the project and been for a walk out on site, we highly recommend you register for this event by emailing [email protected] or call (08) 9757 6688. It’s a great place to start your Ecovillage journey.
Access to site
As of Saturday 1 May, Wormall Civil will have finished the massive civil works program for Stages 1-3 and the site will be open to allow free-flowing access to all the public areas including the finished public roads and footpaths. We now have 93 privately owned lots, which are out of bounds, unless you are the owner. We also ask people to respect that this is still a construction site with significant residential building and delicate landscaping works now underway and to therefore stay on the roads and concrete footpaths within the community garden clusters. Ecovillage Commons land, conservation zones, dams, wastewater treatment area and the vineyard are all out of bounds. We will be erecting signage to indicate where access is prohibited and ask you to respect these areas. We are thrilled to have reached this enormous milestone and to welcome you to explore the Witchcliffe Ecovillage more freely.
Lot sales and Stage 3 release
To date, we have sold (settled, under contract and reserved) 93 of our 109 lots across Stages 1-2 and house building has begun in earnest. Builders’ signage is popping up all over the site, sand pads are being levelled, concrete poured and timber frames erected. We even have super cute, eco-friendly composting site toilets!
We’re planning to finalise the pricing and plans for Stage 3 residential lots and release them to the market in May-June once lots in Stages 1-2 are close to sold out. We will communicate this widely on the website, social media, via direct email to our subscribers and in the next newsletter.
Over its duration in the latter half of 2021 and into 2022, Stage 3 will comprise:
- Residential clusters 3A (28 lots) and 3B (19 lots)
- 15 permanent residential / short stay / holiday homes (zoned ‘Residential’ with an ‘Additional Use’)
- Two Lifestyle lots
- Several potential “micro-clusters” of smaller affordable homes
- 10 dedicated Tourism lots
- Commercial lots – to be released later in Stage 3.
- Agricultural lots – to be released in Stage 3 with 4 already reserved.
- Community Centre – currently in detailed design phase.
- Ecovillage pub – we will start initial design work on this project in 2021.
The change to zoning of the sites that run along Bussell Highway that we’ve dubbed “micro-clusters” were unanimously supported by the AMR Shire Council and are now with the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) awaiting final approval. They will then need to be subdivided, and concept designs and feasibilities done before we can look to pricing and marketing. So, while there is still significant work to be done in this space, the purpose of these is to provide an even more affordable home ownership opportunity than our Groupies, and we are hoping to be able to offer a complete house and land package for purchase for under $300,000. More information on these will be available in due course.
Commercial and Agricultural lots
We are taking expressions of interest on our commercial and agricultural lots in readiness for formal pricing as part of our Stage 3 release in mid-year. Please contact Mike on [email protected]
Media and advertising
In the two weeks including the Easter period, we have dipped a toe into advertising for the first time. We’re starting our media launch slowly and locally with full page ads that include our upcoming presentation dates, appearing in the Augusta Margaret River Times, Busselton-Dunsborough Times, South West Times, Manjimup-Bridgetown Times and the Augusta Margaret River Mail.
Professor of Sustainability Peter Newman of Curtin University was recently interviewed on ABC News Perth radio in a discussion featuring the Witchcliffe Ecovillage. We’ve had news articles published in the AMR Times and the Busselton-Dunsborough Times in March and April. We’re conscious of the very real possibility of being inundated with enquiries when the greater Perth population hears that one of the world’s most sustainable residential communities is being built in their South West backyard!
Say hello, wave goodbye
There’s been some changing of the guard within the Ecovillage office of late. We said farewell to our accountant Andrew Jager in February and welcomed Sheena Cole-Bowen in the role of bookkeeper. Sheena is a delightful addition to the office and is slowly coming to terms with the weird, plant-based conversation topics around the staff lunch table.
Chad Elton started this week in the role of Senior Landscape Architect. Chad joins us from Emerge Associates South West office where he has led the Margaret River-based landscape team, garnering a wealth of local project delivery experience. His timing is impeccable as efforts are really ramping up with contractors LD Total South West, Total Eden, Tranen and Uralba Stone all working on various aspects of the landscaping roll-out of Stages 1-3. Having grown up in Margaret River, Chad is very excited to join the team and work with the emerging community to deliver the green spaces and infrastructure as the project moves into this exciting phase of construction.
Sadly, we will soon be farewelling our long-serving Project Engineer, Wayne Prangnell, as the massive Stage 1-3 civil works program comes to an end. Wayne has been instrumental in the success of this project, managing not only the complex civil engineering design and delivery but also having a critical role in the design of the stormwater, wastewater and energy systems throughout the project, so we totally understand why he needs a break! The enormous challenges posed by this unique and innovative project are not to be underestimated, and Wayne has handled each and every one with his trademark unflappable, pragmatic approach. While he won’t be seen on a daily basis in the office anymore, fortunately he lives close by and is keen to pass on his deep knowledge of the project to our new engineering consultants. And he’s bought an Ecovillage lot on which he plans to build an investment home. Personally, I will miss the doorway chats, the weird and wonderful fruit he brings into the office, the animated discussions about rare fruit tree varieties and his hearty laughter.