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The VINEYARD AT LEOPOLD
A lifestyle 3 generation village catering especially for retirees, combined with viticulture, horticulture (a "food bowl"), aquaponics, community facilities and tourism.
Following is the original concept design for a 3 generational village combined with viticulture, horticulture, aquaponics, and tourism to be established on a 260 acre waterfront property near Geelong, Australia.
We designed it and presented it to the landowner a number of years ago.
More than 12 years of research has gone into this project to provide the ultimate lifestyle for retirees and other generations because we believe humans are not meant to live segregated by age. This is the first generation of humans in the millions of years of human development to segregate the older generation from the rest of the community. Immediately below is the original design. Below that is the description of the vineyard village concept. Under that text is the current design which is different from the original because part of the original site is no longer available and the landowner has now secured land on the east side of his property.
We believe that council and the planning minister should support this proposal because it retains a very high level of agricultural / horticultural use of the land.
If the authorities are concerned about losing agricultural land way into the future, we can produce houses on this estate each of which can be removed in a matter of hours. The houses have no concrete footings so the site would be left pristine except for underground services which can be left or removed quite easily. The residential lots would be long term leased to the residents. We believe there is always an alternative and better solution than to just say "NO"!
If anyone has any questions about the concept, we are happy to take a phone call or email regarding the design. Contact Geoffrey Fulton on +61 3 52619422
The VINEYARD @ LEOPOLD
IT’S NOT AN URBAN DEVELOPMENT… IT IS A RESIDENTIAL WORKING FARM AND RESORT!
IT’S AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME!
The Scandinavians call retirement villages “Islands of Misery”. It is where people go to die! In forward thinking about our own retirement, we found nothing attractive about anything available so we have designed our own village to provide a lifestyle that we believe will be most attractive to most active retirees throughout the world.
WHAT’S AVAILABLE ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH!
No-one should have to lower their standard of living after their working life. Life should be enjoyable, active and with new experiences to keep your mind young. In the whole of the Geelong area and Surf Coast Shire, there is not one high quality lifestyle retirement village. (This statement is no reflection on the standard of accommodation or care provided by others.) All retirement villages in our region are built in low socio economic suburbs where land is cheaper and so developers can maximize profits. As evidence of our argument, we ask the question: “Do you know of a retirement village that you would like to visit?” We know of none. This proposal is designed to provide maximum lifestyle and not maximize profits. This is only possible because we have a generous landowner / developer who is not greedy!
It is interesting that the state is looking very seriously at providing low cost housing for the socially disadvantaged members of the community. If those people were relegated to a “village” in the same locations where Geelong’s retirees have to live, I believe there would be an outpouring of “injustice!”.
So why can’t retirees live in an attractive location along the bay shore and where they can participate in horticulture, viticulture and tourism? It will be one of the very few if not the only property of its size on the Peninsular that will be financially productive from agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. WE have just learnt that there was recently a meeting of 200 owners of farm land on the Bellarine Peninsular. The chairman of the meetings asked those who were making a living from their land to put up their hands. Only one family is living solely off their land. We know of landowners having to pay huge council rates on million dollar plus properties and both husband and wife having to work in the city to be able to live on the farms.
We are being told that eventually we will have to live “more locally”. For instance we will not be able to bring fruit and vegetables from all over the world. The pollution caused by transport vehicles over long freight distances and costs of fuel won’t allow it. This development will be world’s first to address this problem by growing our own organic fruit and vegetables on site.
SEA LEVEL RISE
There have been very recent maps prepared indicating that part of the site could be affected by future sea level rise. The site has been recently surveyed and there will be no problem!
THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
A respected British architect on a recent lecture tour in Australia said: “We have to look back to go forward!” That is what we have done. In very early times, people congregated and created villages around places where there was clean water available, where they could grow food, where they could be secure, and the location was attractive. Isn’t that all we want today? It’s the same criteria that we use in selecting a location for one of our proposed villages.
OUR ALTERNATIVE…… IT’S UNIQUE, NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE ANYWHERE!
12 Years research in Australia and overseas has culminated in this concept. We want residents to know each other and find back lost social values: neighbourhood communication, sharing interests and activities, and helping each other. It’s a modern version of many beautiful small very old Southern European villages. It will attract the general community and tourists who will provide wide interaction. There will be no opportunity for boredom! Activities will not be created to keep people artificially busy but rather connect to normal life which will be enhanced by the expected daily influx of tourists. How good is this concept? Everyone who has had it described to them, has said: “Fantastic! Where do I sign up?”
The site is of approximately 260 acres with frontages to the Portarlington Road, Moss Road and Alexander Avenue, at Leopold. It has a beach frontage to Port Phillip Bay. On an adjoining property, a caravan park has already been converted into a “retirement village”. We believe the same company has bought up caravan parks around the country and is redeveloping them as “retirement villages”.
ONE FOR EVERY CITY
Eventually we would like to see one of our Vineyard Villages close to each large town and city in Australia and New Zealand so that the residents can exchange homes for periods of the year…. A bit like time sharing or home exchange. The potential to roll out this concept is worldwide where there are middle and upper class communities. Whereas councils are currently reluctant to permit retirement villages in rural zones, we believe that we can change that attitude for our developments because of our high horticulture and viticulture component.
WHERE DO RETIREES WANT TO LIVE?
In earlier times, retirees lived with their younger generations and were looked after by them for the last years of their lives. That no longer happens unfortunately, so we look for the best alternative. From surveys, very many want to live in a small rural community, with nature around them. They want to stay in the community for the rest of their lives and they don’t want to be isolated from younger generations. If we can’t by regulation have a 3 generational village, then it is paramount that the village be so attractive that young people want to visit the village! Current retirement villages are very unattractive places to visit even for relatives of the residents. The Vineyard @ Leopold will attract the Baby Boomers, particularly farmers (who have never been catered for) and active retirees, local, interstate and international. Residents will be welcomed with their pets. . Space has been allocated for a future care facility on site.
THE CONCEPT IN DETAIL
Each village will be established on an attractive rural property and combined with a vineyard, orchard, and horticulture… an organic farm. Everything to be planted on the estate will be edible. Agapanthus along the roads will be replaced with rhubarb and artichokes. All the produce will be shared by the residents. Excesses will be sold at the Sunday market in the Piazza. If residents wish, they can participate in the rural activities on the estate. There will be permanent staff managing the horticulture and viticulture.
AT LEAST A BOTTLE OF WINE EVERY WEEK!
Attached to the sale of each lot will be an entitlement to the produce from 25 grape vines. It should be sufficient to make at least a bottle of wine for every week of the year. Residents can drink it, give it away, or sell it at the cellar door. We envisage family and friends enjoying fruit and grape picking weekend parties! If you have no interest in wine, you can sell your entitlement at the annual auction.
Professor Duncan McGillivery of Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Estate was enthusiastic about a substantial involvement in the vineyard and winery and even offered to hold classes at Leopold to train residents and outsiders in managing the vines and the production of still and sparkling wine (using the old methods). We will have plenty of hands to turn the bottles daily! (The University no longer manages the winery so we have sought other professional consultants and advisers)
THE MICRO BREWERY AND CIDER FACTYORY
For those whose tastes lean towards beers and ciders, we plan to establish a micro brewery. Discussions have already taken place with the brewing department staff at Ballarat University. They have indicated a willingness to assist in training our resident brewers!
The focal centre of the estate will be a piazza with a chateaux, great dining hall, a community facility including an extensive library and some boutique accommodation primarily for visitors of residents. (This saves the need for guest accommodation in the residences on the estate.)
Around the piazza, there will be a number of artisans’ studios with residences above, and some specialty shops. We want a French baker (fresh baguettes delivered each morning!), and a European deli. We have planned a bistro/ corner store/ coffee lounge / bar. Just like you find in little European villages, it’s the place where people will meet.
THE NOBLE HOUSE
A day spa including a hydro-therapy pool, all open to the local community and visitors.
THE PEACE HOUSE
Every European village is located around the church! Our church will be what we call the “Peace House”.
THE CRAFT WORKSHOPS
Residents and local members of the surrounding community will be able to work with wood, steel, slumped glass, photography, pottery etc.
GREEN, ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE
It will be an outstanding example of eco sensitive development. With water a critical issue everywhere now, we will collect rainwater, minimize the use of water, and recycle it. We believe that the estate can be carbon positive!
We are working on the design and production of 2 seater 3 wheeled scooters with enclosed stylish bodies. These can replace cars for getting around the estate. To further reduce the number of cars on the estate, we propose a vehicle pool of serviced cars that residents can hire at a minimal cost. You will have a choice from a Roller to a Renault, a Merc to a Mini!
LOCATION…. IN A RURAL ZONE
In creating a highly productive farm, it has to be located in a rural zone! This property which probably returns less than $20,000 a year now will earn more than $1,000,000.
No infrastructure costs for the Council, substantial rate revenue to the Council, many new jobs during construction and on-going, and it will bring many more tourists to the area!
Councils always require retirement villages to be close to shopping centres and hospitals! If you think seriously about this, you will realize that no-one living in a retirement village no matter where it is will walk to do their shopping. They will either use their car, or the village community bus that does a regular trip to the shopping centre.
As for the hospital, the writer lives in Torquay, has a medical problem but does not have to live near a hospital. If you live in Torquay and need to go to a hospital, an ambulance from the local station or from Geelong will take you to Geelong Hospital. Most active retirees are in fact very healthy and are not concerned about how close they live from a hospital. Retirees are more interested in an attractive location for their living, and the councils should respect this.
We want this village to be the flagship for a chain of similar ultimate lifestyle vineyard 3 generation / retirement villages. We designed it that way!
THE DETAIL (according to the legend on the site plan)
1 THE ART GALLERY. With residents downsizing in their homes, they will not have space for all the art they have collected so we propose an art gallery where privately owned art can be displayed and art produced by the residents can be displayed and sold.
2 ARTISANS’ STUDIOS. Surrounding the Piazza, there will be a number of studios where resident artisans can display and sell their productions. Residents will reside above their studios.
3 FRENCH BAKERY PATISSERIE. We have already recruited an artisan baker to provide baguettes for breakfast in the European tradition!
4 DELICATESSEN.Our desire is to find a European small goods maker.
5 BISTRO / BAR / COFFEE SHOP In every little European village there is a location around the square where people congregate for a low cost meal, a chat, a drink or just to read the paper. We will provide the same facility.
6 CHATEAU / BOUTIQUE HOTEL Rather than construct a community facility like those at all other retirement villages, our facility will be in the form of an hotel with a large lounge area, an extensive library and a games room. There will be a small number of theme bedroom suites to attract visitors of residents and tourists. With this facility, residents will not have to have that extra bedroom in their homes!
7 “GREAT HALL” DINING ROOM. This is the “community dining room” where residents and visitors can socialize over fabulous food.
8 COMMUNITY STORE The village will have its own organic and bulk low cost food store. (We envisage an overseas visitor tourist program where non-English-speaking tourists will be able to stay at the hotel while learning conversational English while socializing with the residents. This is a successful program “stolen” from a village in Spain!)
9 GYMNASIUM/ HALL. This is a multi use building which will include a commercial standard kitchen where residents can prepare preserved foods to be sold at the cellar door / community store, and the proceeds come back to the residents. As is the practice in some villages in Italy, men of the village will prepare their own meal for a regular night of socializing without the women! This facility will be made available to local and Geelong recreational clubs for their regular club meetings.
10 PIAZZA / WEEKEND MARKET PLACE: Life will revolve around the Piazza which will be where a regular weekend market will be set-up.
11 THE COURTYARD. This will be a green area for relaxed socializing between residents and visitors, and will overlook the turning basin at the end of the Grand Canal..
12 MOTEL. This will provide low cost accommodation primarily for resident’s guests and WOOFERS (tourists who travel the world and work in exchange for free accommodation at organic farms.
13 “TOWN HALL”. BODY CORP. ADMIN. There will be a number of bodies corporate that will have their office at the “Town Hall”
14 WATERFRONT PARKLAND: The developer is prepared to offer waterfront land to the Greater City of Geelong, as a contribution to the community at large. This will ensure that the waterfront to the bay will always be “owned” and available to the community. Any sailing, fishing or aquatic group will be welcomed. The Leopold Angling and Aquatic Club has been established within the last 12 months and has 200+ paid up members already.
15 GREAT EASTERN WINERY The winery will be where the grapes from the estate will be processed and the residents taught to look after their vines and produce award winning wines and sparkling wines made by the traditional method.
16 BREWERY / DUKE OF ALBANY PUB Again residents interested in beer or cider will be taught the making of traditional methods of beer and cider production. Both the winery and brewery will be tourist attractions.
17 CAR POOL GARAGE One of the bodies corporate will run the car pool.
18 CRAFT CENTRE / MEN’S SHED This facility will be similar to the House of Guilds at Geelong College where the community outside the school can use the facility. This facility will provide the equipment for many residents’ hobbies.
19 FARM EQUIPMENT SHED. The village will own farm machinery and other equipment that can be pooled and hired by the residents.
20 BIO DIESEL POWER GENERATOR. We are seriously researching the possibility of the village producing its own electricity by bio diesel generation and selling the excess to the grid.
21 WATER STORAGE FOR ESTATE TOILETS
22 STORMWATER SETTLING POND. We are aware that there is a problem of storm water from Leopold draining through the property to the bay with extensive pollution occurring. The developer will offer to treat the water through settling ponds and bio filter reed beds, retaining some of the water for watering vines and fruit trees / vegetables, and for toilet flushing throughout the village.
23 WATER STORAGE FOR VITICULTURE & HORTICULTURE Water from the last settling pond (after reed bed filtration) will be pumped (solar powered) to a tank for gravity feed to the viticulture and horticulture.
24 LAWN BOWLING GREEN. This will be a competition standard facility open to the public also.
25 TENNIS COURTS. Again the facility can be open to the wider community.
26 PETANQUE PITCH
27 CHILDRENS’ FUN PARK This is a very important part of the village because it will provide children, even no residents with an incentive to visit their grand parents living on the estate
28 EXISTING FRESH WATER POND / DAM. This could be seeded with yabbies.
29 APPROVED CARAVAN PARK / RESORT The development will include the facility already approved by the City of Greater Geelong. By attracting tourists, it provides residents with social interaction.
30 PARKLAND FOR RESTORATION. This area has been designated by the City of Greater Geelong for restoration by the developer. (It has already be done to a very high standard!
31 WATERWAY. This is the existing drain for storm water from Leopold.
32 MARSH FOR RESTORATION. This is an area for ground restoration.
33 LEOPOLD SMALL BOAT CLUBHOUSE. The developer offers a storage building, clubhouse, and beach launching of small sailboats and fishing boats to the community of Leopold.
34 SMALL BOAT RAMP. This can be a constructed ramp or just beach launching
35 EXISTING DAM
36 STREET ORGANIC POTAGER. Each street in the development will have its own potager where residents can grow vegetables. The ground will be prepared each season by the horticulture and viticulture body corporate staff. (Removes the back-braking digging by older residents!)
37 COMMUNITY ORGANIC POTAGER. There will be a larger community owned potager where there may be organic greenhouse facilities for tomato growing etc. Throughout the development there will be extensive areas planted to fruit trees (predominantly pomegranates, figs and apples), each residential lot will have 2 fruit trees, and passion fruit or kiwi fruit along boundary fences. Fruit trees, artichokes and rhubarb will line the nature strips of all the streets. All the produce will be shared by the residents.
38 CHAPEL / PEACE HOUSE. This building to be constructed on one of the lakes will be a place for nourishment of the spirit!
39 THE OASIS / VILLAGE GREEN This large area of parkland with water will be a relaxing area for quiet exercise, with walkways through a forest of different varieties of bamboo, again more food for residents as well as material for furniture making in the craft centre!
40 BANDSTAND. We envisage regular concerts as is often the case at other wineries throughout Australia and overseas. These of course will be open to the general public.
41 THE VINEYARD Every residential lot will back onto grape vines or fruit trees, with residents responsible for their care and maintenance.
42 “THE NOBLE HOUSE”. THE DAY SPA. This tourist attraction will provide Wine-therapy and Thalasso-therapy and will be housed in a unique building modeled on an old Tonkin Palace.
43 RESIDENTIAL HEALTH CLINIC for the alternative medical treatment of cardiac / diabetes / obesity.
44 WOODEN BOAT RESTORATION WORKSHOP
45 GRAND CANAL. An ideal location for an annual wooden boat festival that could complement Australia Day Weekend Yachting Festival. A critic has indicated that we may have to use very large pumps to flush fresh water to the head of the canal!. We have devised a way of flushing the canal without using pumps at all! (our method is a secret for now... we may apply for a patent!) The canal will allow boating enthusiasts to bring their boats into the development and tie up outside their homes. We plan to encourage wild Atlantic salmon to "visit" the canal each year. Imagine catching a large wild salmon from your front garden!
46 INTERNATIONAL EXAMPLE STATUS EXHIBITION AND LEARNING CENTRE for sustainable development and district heating and cooling using local industrial waste heat.
CONCLUSION: This is a world first development to provide retirees with a lifestyle equal or better than they have been used to throughout their earlier lives. They will enjoy better health because they will be happy through an active life and an enjoyable social life developed on the estate and through interaction with younger generations living in their community, local and international visitors. The development will make a very substantial positive contribution to the wider local community and solve a number of infrastructure problems for the City of Greater Geelong.
This development is a win – win for everyone and therefore the proponents seek to have the support of the community at Leopold and the Council of the City of Greater Geelong and the Government of the State of Victoria.
© Geoffrey Fulton AGIT ARAIA , Architect. for Dennis More
Architects Fulton + Salomon. 5 Loch Lomond Cr. Torquay 3228
E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.containerarchitecture.co
The City of Greater Geelong wants to know whether the local residents support this latest proposal shown on the plan below, and if not, what would they like to see on the property.
Have your say! Easiest way is to send an email addressed to:
To comply with the current resolution passed by the council, anything can be considered except allowing people to live on the property (although VCAT has approved people living on part of the property that they approved for the caravan park) Under the current planning regulations caravan parks have now become a backdoor way for developers to create residential subdivisions as long as the houses are relocatables.
If this proposal is not supported by council, the owner of the land will have no option but to come up with a development proposal that diminishes the opportunity for the land to be used as the valuable food bowl we are proposing just to comply with a "line in the sand" put there by someone who has never considered the possibilities for this magnificent site.
If there is a need for a major boat marina at Leopold, isn't it logical that it be constructed in the bay just like the Royal Geelong Yacht Club's marina, and all other marinas.
Two members of a state planning panel visited the Bellarine Peninsular looking at future development locations. As is usual with these processes, they considered what had been proposed by the Planning Department at Geelong,( to our knowledge Knowing nothing of this proposal), and made a recommendation which supported the recommendation of the planning department of the council. Does that sound like a good process to you? It doesn't to us.
We would like to see the councilors all visit the site, study this proposal in detail, ask some questions of those that have created it (we have not heard from anyone yet) then make a decision on the very logical benefits that this project has for Leopold, Geelong and the vitiors to Geelong.
By the way it can produce many hundreds of local jobs during construction and on-going. That means job for the people of Leopold.
A 120 slide Powerpoint presentation is available on request. We regret not being able to put it on the web....It's too big! But if anyone would like to organize an evening in Leopold, We will come out and show it and explain the whole concept in detail and answer any questions.
Below is the plan and legend submitted to council prior to their last decision being made.
To anyone who has an attractive farm property of say 80 to 200 acres close to a city anywhere in the world, and would like to benefit financially from the development of the land, please get in touch with us. A property of this size has the potential to earn you a net profit of more than $30,000.000 realized within 5 years.
To anyone who doesn't own a property like that described above but knows of a property, get in touch with us. We are very happy to "share the cherry"!!
Update: We are in negotiations to create a village on the Murray River. It will have water frontage!!