A reserve part of development plan
THE Midlands Meander put the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on the map. Started in 1985 by a group of crafters, the Meander now has about 134 members who actively make and sell their wares at over 100 different locations in the beautiful countryside. Numbers of B&Bs, guest houses and country hotels dot the route, attracting many tourists every year
A major new mixed-use development proposal for a 477,6ha site next to Ashburton, near Pietermaritzburg, underlines the ongoing popularity of the scenic KwaZulu-Natal Midlands region among home buyers, says Barbara Becker, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.
“With access to a variety of good public and private schools and a relaxed, country ambience, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is within easy reach of Durban and only four-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg.”
The proposed Hill Cove Hills development is expected to include a game reserve and conventional housing. Planned amenities on site include a lifestyle village, frail care accommodation and facilities, a private hospital, a primary school and an office park. The development will have public and private open space and conservation and park areas.
Becker says that although the development is still in the planning stage “it is clear that this project represents a major investment for the region and will help cater to the growing demand for accommodation from a broad cross-section of home buyers.”
She says that coupled with this, the Cato Ridge area is experiencing growth, having been identified as a key Outer West Corridor ideal for development into a container hub and industrial node.
It is expected to incorporate infrastructural investment in transport routes, industrial and town centre precincts and facilitate opportunities for community and external investors.
“We are seeing a growing demand for accommodation among retirees, who are more concerned with being cared for than about proximity to cities or airports. Many senior citizens have no family left in the country and need to ensure that their needs will be catered for by professionals.
“While the Howick area has excellent retirement facilities, with well-run villages that incorporate frail care and nursing amenities and a good hospital, Pietermaritzburg and Hilton are short of stock, as development costs have inhibited development during the economic slowdown.”
Located just outside Howick and set on 225ha, the KwaWula residential estate includes 52 house sites, each 2 000m² in size. Forty-six sites have been developed, with buyers mainly retirees or families who seek a safe country environment in which to raise their children.
“KwaWula is stocked with zebra, wildebeest, impala, blesbok and red hartebeest with naturally occurring reedbuck, warthog, porcupine and oribi,” she says.
In the Hilton area the popular price range for homes is between R1,2m and R1,6m.
“These are mostly bought by 30 to 45-year-old young professionals and business people, as well as government employees. They prefer open-plan living areas with fairly large, level gardens with a country feel and, if possible, scenic views. They look for wellmaintained homes with all the mod cons as due to their busy lives they prefer not have to undertake repairs and upgrades.”
She says many of those selling their homes wish to downsize in order to save on maintenance costs, rates and electricity tariffs, as the cost of living and prevailing low interest rates have put pressure on investment income.
A development that
has remained popular among such buyers is Garlington, with its gated security as well as guards on horseback.
Situated in picturesque Hilton and set on 135ha of grasslands with scenic 180 views, its facilities include a gym, heated pool, tennis courts and golf putting and chipping, while a restaurant and several alternative health practices are available in the apartment block. Plots are priced from R350 000 while homes range from R2,7m.
“It is attracting buyers who are young, up and coming, careerorientated people who lead busy lives and want a secure location for their families.”
She says the freedom of open space, walks and a secure lifestyle provide peace of mind, while more mature purchasers enjoy the village atmosphere and an active way of life.
“A frail-care facility caters for future needs without the restrictions of a single room, which is so often the alternative for senior citizens. Positioned close to Hilton Village, Garlington still has plots available as well as a few houses and apartments,” says Becker. Contact: Pam Golding Properties 033 342 8108