A re­serve part of de­vel­op­ment plan

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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

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