Ro­mans­baai es­tate ‘now up and run­ning’

Plots avail­able at Dan­ger Point will be a last chance to live with di­rect ac­cess to the sea, de­vel­oper claims

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

IT IS prob­a­bly the last coastal res­i­den­tial es­tate with di­rect ac­cess to a beach and the sea, say the de­vel­op­ers of Ro­mans­baai at Dan­ger Point on the Western Cape east coast, but its high stan­dards for restora­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources will ap­ply to a whole new gen­er­a­tion of de­vel­op­ments in sen­si­tive en­vi­ron­ments.

The 220-hectare es­tate, 40km from Hermanus and 180km from Cape Town, is also one of very few mar­itime es­tates on this coast that face north. It has a view across whale-fa­mous Walker Bay to the Hot­ten­tots Hol­land Moun­tains.

“Now that we have the ser­vices in, roads com­plete, se­cu­rity and a gate­house, buy­ers have no con­cerns about set­tling in and build­ing their homes,” said de­vel­oper David Mostert.

So far 34 of the 459 home sites at Ro­mans­baai are be­ing trans­ferred to buy­ers, or are be­ing pre­pared for trans­fer, and build­ing has be­gun on in­di­vid­ual homes.

Mostert is re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing Ro­mans­baai back to vi­a­bil­ity through the busi­ness res­cue process af­ter the de­vel­op­ment fal­tered dur­ing the early days of the re­ces­sion in 2008.

“Get­ting Ro­mans­baai back on track ranks high on my list of re­ally worth­while achieve­ments,” he says.

Of the en­tire of­fer­ing, 80 houses will be built by the de­vel­op­ers on a plot and plan ba­sis, and the re­main­ing 379 homes will be built by own­ers, ac­cord­ing to strict de­vel­op­ment guide­lines. A to­tal of 27 of the p l o t s a r e d i r e c t l y o n t he seafront, and the rest stretch into the fyn­bos re­serve, with wide swathes of veg­e­ta­tion be­tween the group­ings.

Al­though Ro­mans­baai’s de­vel­op­ment ap­proval pre­dates pro­vi­sions of the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act re­lated to ocean­side projects, which are now se­verely re­stricted, Mostert says that con­ser­va­tion on the site goes way be­yond the usual mea­sures to pre­serve the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

Only 15ha makes up the build­ing dis­tur­bance area of the 220ha, and each plot, rang­ing in size from 1 200m to 6 400m2, has a re­stricted foot­print for con­struc­tion, and no pri­vate fences are per­mit­ted.

In­dige­nous plants and fyn­bos cover the en­tire land­scape of the se­cu­rity re­sort, and build­ings and roads are de­signed to blend into the veg­e­ta­tion and other nat­u­ral fea­tures. The de­vel­op­ers are spend­ing around R500 000 a year on the erad­i­ca­tion of alien plant species and, at the gate­house precinct alone, more than 7 000 new en­demic in­dige­nous plants have been in­tro­duced. Where plants had to be re­moved for roads and path­ways, they were trans­ferred to a nurs­ery and then re­planted on the site.

Mostert says that the de­vel­op­ment touches its en­vi­ron­ment lightly, with no fyn­bos dis­tur­bance wider than three me­tres be­yond the road sur­faces, and all ser­vices, in­clud­ing wa­ter and elec­tric­ity, fol- low­ing the road re­serve to the var­i­ous home sites. The de­vel­op­ment is linked di­rectly to the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices, which were up­graded in 2008 specif­i­cally to ac­com­mo­date Ro­mans­baai.

Pedes­trian, cy­cle and golf cart ac­cess to the beach is pro­vided by a sin­gle ded­i­cated road for ex­clu­sive use by res­i­dents of the es­tate and visi­tors to the 40-room ho­tel that will even­tu­ally be de­vel­oped there. It is paved with an un­ob­tru­sive, ma­te­rial. There are no street­lights, and light emis­sion from houses is also reg­u­lated.

Ro­mans­baai is ex­pected to con­trib­ute di­rectly to the econ­omy of the sur­round­ing ar­eas, in that it will pro­vide a mar­ket for lo­cal traders, and em­ploy­ment for res­i­dents of the area, both in the con­struc­tion phase of the houses and in the main­te­nance of the es­tate.

“Where poverty forces peo­ple to re­sort to il­le­gal means to sur­vive, we are com­mit­ted to help al­le­vi­ate their plight. As the es­tate’s pop­u­la­tion reaches a crit­i­cal mass, we ex­pect an im­prove­ment in the for­tunes of dis­ad­van­taged lo­cals, by way of full and part-time work,” says Mostert.

Se­cu­rity is a pri­or­ity and the en­tire es­tate is mon­i­tored elec­tron­i­cally within the low vis­ual im­pact high-ten­sile steel mesh fence that sur­rounds it.

The ma­jor­ity of buy­ers have come from the Cape and Gaut­eng, and Mostert hopes that lo­cal res­i­dents from sur­round­ing sea­side vil­lages will also buy homes at Ro­mans­baai, at­tracted by the safety fea­tures and the well-main­tained en­vi­ron­ment.

Plots are f or s al e f r om R495 000.

Visit­mans­ or call David Cooke on 082 566 1238 or email dcooke@ ro­mans­

SPATIAL COM­FORT: Artist’s im­pres­sion of a home at Ro­mans­baai, where plots are for sale from R495 000.

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