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
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.
Visit www.romansbaai.co.za or call David Cooke on 082 566 1238 or email dcooke@ romansbaai.co.za.
SPATIAL COMFORT: Artist’s impression of a home at Romansbaai, where plots are for sale from R495 000.