Pri­vate space near for­est

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UMH­LANGA Rocks, sit­u­ated on the balmy north coast of KwaZulu-Na­tal has been at­tract­ing high­end in­vestors for years. What started out as a sleepy sea­side vil­lage has been trans­formed and the Umh­langa of to­day has ev­ery­thing for the dis­cern­ing hol­i­day­maker as well as for those who choose to make it their per­ma­nent home.

Bor­dered by the last re­main­ing strip of the in­dige­nous dry coastal dune for­est that once grew along the en­tire north coast as far as West­brook, the Hawaan For­est Es­tate has re­mained one of Umh­langa’s best kept se­crets.

“The Hawaan For­est Es­tate is ev­ery­thing that most lo­cal eco and golf es­tates are not,” says Chris Tyson, CEO of Tyson Prop­er­ties which has se­cured a sole man­date to mar­ket the es­tate. “This small, well main­tained and ex­clu­sive es­tate of­fers the peace and pri­vacy that con­ven­tional, densely set­tled ur­ban developments do not, while still pro­vid­ing the se­cu­rity and ameni­ties en­joyed by res­i­dents of up­mar­ket com­plexes.

“It is re­mark­able that one can be just a few min­utes from the busy Umh­langa cen­tre, close to Gate­way and the sur­round­ing busi­ness node, as well as schools, hos­pi­tals, golf cour­ses and even the beach — but still es­cape back to this tran­quil for­est set­ting.”

The es­tate mea­sures 157 acres with build­ing rights for a to­tal of 165 homes. How­ever, it is al­ready 50% de­vel­oped with some prop­erty own­ers hav­ing bought more than one plot so the com­pleted es­tate is expected to num­ber just 114 houses. Of the phases re­leased so far there are cur­rently only 13 sites left.

“De­vel­op­ers and long-time busi­ness part­ners Pat Naicker and Tony O’Neil have cre­ated the blue­print for a truly ex­tra­or­di­nary place. The Hawaan For­est Es­tate has been metic­u­lously planned and de­signed with the help of ar­chi­tect Ste­fan An­toni and in­dige­nous gar­den­ing guru Ge­off Nichols, who has com­ple­mented this with his horticultural ex­per­tise and un­der­stand­ing of the neigh­bour­ing for­est,” says Tyson.

Naicker and O’Neil bought the prop­erty from Dur­ban Coun­try Club in 2003 and care­fully con­sid­ered the roll–out of their plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions and con­cep­tual process as it evolved.

The part­ners gath­ered a team rep­re­sent­ing 19 dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines in terms of lo­cal­ity for town plan­ning, ar­chi­tec­ture, en­vi­ron­ment, sur­vey­ing and de­sign engi­neer­ing and a strong en­vi­ron­men­tal team which care­fully re­searched the po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment in a holis­tic way.

“From the out­set, we de­cided that we would not in­ter­fere with the for­est. Our land was largely dys­func­tional as the cane area had been de­nuded over a num­ber of years as it had been farmed, while the for­est was left at risk and used as dump­ing and fly-tip­ping area, so we de­cided to re­verse that and re­ha­bil­i­tate it along the way,” Naicker ex­plains.

Ar­chi­tect Stephan An­toni, who cre­ated the es­tate’s over­all lay­out, de­cided to bring ‘the for­est fin­gers’ through in­dige­nous land­scap­ing, thereby ‘mak­ing’ the es­tate part of the pro­tected Hawaan For­est. The 55ha Hawaan For­est is cur­rently un­der the stew­ard­ship of the En­vi­ron­ment So­ci­ety of South­ern Africa and has been de­clared a na­ture re­serve.

Con­struc­tion be­gan in 2004, the first prop­erty was reg­is­tered in Novem­ber 2005 and the first home­owner ar­rived in 2006.

In ad­di­tion to a lux­ury home, in­vestors re­ceive the ben­e­fit of a lush for­est set­ting with in­cred­i­ble bio­di­ver­sity that in­cludes more va­ri­eties of trees than in all of Europe as well as a plethora of birds and but­ter­flies and nat­u­ral neigh­bours such as mon­goose, bush­buck, bush pigs and red duiker.

All prop­er­ties are strate­gi­cally placed, af­ford­ing cor­ri­dor views to­wards for­est and ocean. Roads with quaint names such as Mon­goose Cross­ing, Co­ral Tree and Night­jar View curve through the es­tate, pro­vid­ing pri­vacy and slow­ing traf­fic.

Gar­den­ing is strictly in­dige­nous and home­own­ers have a list of 600 plants to choose from. No pets are al­lowed on the es­tate, a nec­es­sary sac­ri­fice to pro­tect the birds and wildlife. Price: Stands from R1,4m — just un­der R2m Com­pleted 1387m2 home — R29,5m Contact: Tyson Prop­er­ties Tessa Dou­glas 083 631 0835 Of­fice: 031 561 6100

This 1 387m home within the Hawaan For­est Es­tate is on the mar­ket for R29,5m .

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