Currently being constructed, The Cape’s community garden space boasts a big orchard, raised garden beds and a viewing platform. It is expected to produce upwards of $130,000 worth of fruit and veggies annually.
SIMPLY known as ‘The Cape’, the Cape Paterson Eco Village project has been attracting a lot of local and visitor interest over the Christmas-New Year break, especially since its information centre was opened on Saturday, December 27.
This isn’t surprising considering that the ground-breaking project is expected to set new benchmarks in Australia for environmental sustainability in housing and residential estate development.
Although it has been more than a decade in the planning, great strides have been made, on the ground, in the past year to the point now where blocks can be purchased and home construction can begin.
All housing is to be environmentally sustainable with low running costs. Homes are to be sited, designed, and constructed to high architectural standards.
Sustainability will be achieved through a combination of initiatives in the landscape and built environment. As a minimum, each house is mandated to achieve 7.5 star energy rating, have a 2.5kW solar photovoltaic power system, and have 10,000 litres of rainwater storage.
All houses are designed to operate comfortably without the use of fossil fuels.
As a ‘design led’ development, the developers have engaged some of the best ecologically sustainable designers, architects, builders and energy specialists to provide a selection of award-winning, pre-designed ecologically sustainable homes. Buyers are encouraged to choose one of these Cape Paterson Sustainable Homes as they have been carefully designed and costed to suit the village and maximise sustainability, affordability and liveability.
The community information centre is open 2pm to 4pm daily until and including Sunday, January 4 and then every weekend from 2pm-4pm in January, including Monday of the Australia Day Long Weekend, on Monday, January 26, 2015.
“We’ve been delighted with the response to date,” said The Cape project information officer Lisa Roberts.
“We opened on Saturday, December 27 and have had a lot of people coming through since then.
“We’ll be open every weekend in January, including on New Years Day.
“Some of the visitors stop and get information but lots of others are just driving through and familiarising themselves with what’s going on.
“All the roads for Stage One are in place and people can buy a block and start building in Stage One.
“We had a couple see the article in The Age and come down specially for the day last Saturday which was really good.
“We already have our information pod set up there and we’ll have a display home open in eight weeks’ time.
“People can build their own homes as long as they comply with 10 easy-to-meet design principals but we also have 10 wonderful designs by local builders, TS Constructions.
“You can also have one custom made for you by ArchiBlox Wonthaggi,” Ms Roberts said.
The blocks in the The Cape eco estate start at $202,500 and the pre-designed homes are costed at between $270,000 and $395,000.
Big produce garden
As well as the innovatively designed, low on-going cost homes; The Cape project has a lot of other things going for it with the 5000m2 community garden expected to be an enduring feature.
The Cape developers have donated the equivalent of eight home sites for the garden, which sits in a prime location in the geographical centre of Cape Paterson township, and will be accessible by all residents of Cape Paterson through the walking and cycling path network.
The garden includes a 230,000-litre above ground water tank that will capture surplus rainwater runoff from Stage 1 homes.
This water is filtered by natural planted filters, and used in the gardens, generating millions of litres of clean water per annum for food production.
Produce experts estimate that the garden has a potential yield of fresh fruit and veggies in the order of $130,000 per annum at current supermarket prices.
The Cape community garden will have a range of features including raised garden beds, a greenhouse, composting areas, worm farms, tool storage, public art, an orchard and poultry.
The garden is shaped like a giant surfboard, referencing the nearby surf breaks in front of the Cape, and will be completed mid-2015.
There’s also a long list of community facilities including a conference centre and cafes, sports precinct, playgrounds, walking tracks, fitness stations, community parks and more.
Why not take the time to check it out for yourself over the summer break. The information centre is open 2pm-4pm on weekends and public holidays.