11/09/2007 - 22:00

Door open for Bunbury estate

11/09/2007 - 22:00

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The opening of a $4 million privately funded, dual carriageway steel and concrete bridge over Millars Creek near Bunbury has given the all-clear for release of an additional 700 residential lots in greater Bunbury.

The opening of a $4 million privately funded, dual carriageway steel and concrete bridge over Millars Creek near Bunbury has given the all-clear for release of an additional 700 residential lots in greater Bunbury.

Completion of the Millars Creek Bridge means access to the eastern half of Perth-based Ardross Group’s 1,400 lot Millbridge Private Estate.

Millbridge Estate, itself a separate locality, is eight kilometres north of Bunbury’s CBD and situated within the Shire of Dardanup. It lies on the Collie River’s southern bank alongside the Bunbury suburb of Eaton.

The estate’s central feature is the heavily wooded 19-hectare Millars Creek nature reserve, which traverses, north-south, the full length of the estate, and is situated 2.5km east of Leschenault Estuary.

The reserve is unique because it features original native vegetation, including a magnificent canopy overlay below which parks – already used as wedding venues – meandering creeks, valley side walkways and barbecue facilities have been incorporated.

When fully developed Millbridge Private Estate will have 4,000 residents, who will make up about a third of the Dardanup shire’s total urban population.

Ardross Group director and former Environmental Protection Authority chairman, Dr Wally Cox, said a significant feature of the sizeable regional sub-division had been the rapid construction rate on Millbridge’s already released 12 stages.

“Well over half the 470 lots sold already either have homes on them or houses are currently being constructed,” Dr Cox said.

“Buyers are predominantly families.”

Dr Cox quit the EPA in May.

The adjacent suburb of Eaton has a population of 5,000.

Millbridge Estate’s 37ha of public open space and reserved land has had 100,000 native shrubs and trees planted, with a further 21,000 trees and shrubs to come.

The estate’s first, or western, segment won the 2005 Urban Development Institute of Australia’s residential development award for excellence.

The estate’s eastern segment incorporates a group housing quarter that will overlook the Collie River, a centrally situated sports oval, commercial precinct and a primary school site.

The average price for the next stage will range from $170,000 for traditional lots to $400,000 for direct water frontage.

Ardross covers the costs for fencing each lot and contributes $300 per lot at settlement to a community development fund created to enhance the estate.

Although the majority of the residential lots are zoned R20, a number of diverse residential products have been zoned R5, R10 and R40.

A major feature is that the R10 residential lots front the wooded Millars Creek reserve, thereby maximising this central visual amenity while at the same time providing passive surveillance of the public open space.

Dr Cox said the development was originally a 200ha dairy farm that the Ardross Group acquired in 1994.

Rezoning from general farming began in 1995 and sub-divisional approval was gained in 1998.

Stage 1 construction commenced in March 2003 and the first titles were issued in October the same year.

Millars Creek Bridge became the responsibility of Dardanup immediately following its opening by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

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