A meeting canvassing interest in an ecovillage project at Leneva has attracted about 70 people, with the group driving the concept to gather feedback in coming months.
‘Little Springs Village’ has been an idea steered by Kyleigh Andrews and a group of residents, with the support of Ben O’Callaghan, who lives in an ecovillage on the Gold Coast.
At the Huon Hill Tavern last night, Mr O’Callaghan shared insights from his 12 years at Currumbin, which is Australia’s most awarded residential estate.
“We have 144 homes across 272 acres … the ecovillage homes use 75 per cent less energy than the contemporary estate,” he said.
“We are 100 per cent self sufficient for water; all the shower and toilet water goes down one pipe, gets treated through a system, and comes back to the home for use in gardens and toilets.
Mr O’Callaghan said 400 people utilised more than 20 shared community facilities, with similar ideas for Little Springs, including a community bus and shared guest accomodation.
“Imagine if in this community you could go down grab the Tesla and drive it to Melbourne,” he said.
“This could be something that's a benchmark for the Wodonga community … the sky is the limit.”
Mr O’Callaghan was asked about costs, land tenure arrangements and restrictions.
“You’re looking at between $40 and $80 a week for body corporate without waste water treatment; it depends what you have on-site,” he said.
“The ideal situation would be if there were 50 homes, 25 full-time rented, and then the other 25 might be freehold land.
“It’s very early days … we want to ask these questions, about whether you want cats and dogs and what size of land you want … this public meeting is just the start of the conversation.”
Mrs Andrews said the land, about 100 hectares on Boyes Road, was currently zoned farming and any development plans would have to be approved by the appropriate authority.
“I think we’re fortunate we have a progressive council in Wodonga, so we’ll see how it goes,” she said.
“There are farmers who want to stay on the land but don’t want to move into a retirement home – this might be the perfect marriage where you have people next door to help out – where we share skills, resources and are living in harmony with the environment.
“It’s great to see we’re not the only people who think this way.”
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