WHEN John Astbury bought a small house and a few paddocks on Hopkins Point Road in Warrnambool 55 years ago he didn’t envisage the area becoming a prime piece of residential real estate.
“There was nothing much but farm land stretching to the bridge,” Mr Astbury recalled.
“We were living in Warrnambool at the time when my wife (the late Val Astbury) noticed the land for sale and said that’s where she would like to live.
“I replied, ‘what on earth would you want to live way out there for?’. In fact, I asked the seller if we could just buy the house and leave the land.
“Later we thought it would eventually be subdivided.”
Fast-forward to 2014 and the former farmland is set to become a prestigious coastal housing village with plans to carve it up into 100 lots.
Five of the 22 first-stage blocks have been snapped up in pre-sale commitments and others in the initial stage are expected to be secured with deposits before titles are released late next year.
The blocks offer views extending from Logans Beach whale nursery to the breakwater. “I used to enjoy watching the whales while I was having breakfast,” said Mr Astbury, who now lives in Port Fairy.
“Our land extends to the high water mark and we have donated a seven-hectare reserve as public space along the coast.”
The Astbury family company began planning the subdivision about 10 years ago, dovetailing with moves by the council to designate a new housing growth zone east of the Hopkins River.
Final government approval was sealed earlier this year, rezoning several parcels of former farmland under several owners north and south of Hopkins Point Road. The Astbury project is called Logans Beach Coastal Village.
According to the family company’s spokesman Tom Lindsey, all blocks in the early stages would have ocean view corridors and there would be an overall five-metre height limit above ground level.
“It will be a village neighbourhood setting with pedestrian-friendly design, low traffic speed and native vegetation,” Mr Lindsey said.
“Earthworks for services should start early next year and we are hopeful natural gas will be extended east of the bridge in future.”