Sydney’s new ecovillage going ahead

Narrara ecovillage land

Lyndall Parris, the driving force behind the Narrara ecovillage about an hour or so north of Sydney, NSW, wrote to me last week with news of the project and here is what she said:


“Since signing the contract to purchase the land on 26 September there has been much activity. We have formed a Board of Directors, a Steering team and 6 Working teams (Development, Legal & Finance, Sales & Marketing, IT & Websit, Site Management and  Community Development) which are now in full swing. The teams meet regularly face-to-face and/or through skype and different members are more or less involved depending on their personal circumstances. Generally, we get the feedback that members are pretty excited about having the opportunity to be involved from the beginning and to have a say in what’s happening.”

More of the land

We are hosting an Open Day on the land each month to welcome and inform new people and so that Members can enjoy their property. We will settle with the NSW govt on 25 March 2013, when all Research Station activity will cease and we take over ownership. We also hold a monthly members meeting day, where we hear reports from each team, discuss and decide certain matters and have lunch together – it’s a great day of learning, going forward and fun. Our members come from around Sydney, the Central Coast, Qld, Tas and SA and all up, we have over 50 people right now.
John Talbott, our Project Director is putting the expertise in place to deliver this special residential development. His background developing an ecovillage in Findhorn, Scotland stands him in good stead here. We have appointed our Development Manager, Bill Nettleton of City Plan Services, an alliance of professionals in the built environment. Bill operates from their Gosford office and is experienced in all facets of planning and building consultancy, authority approval advice, building certification and fire safety engineering.
If you are in anyway excited by this information, we encourage you to join our Co-operative and become one of our First 40 lot owners so that you will have a hand in fashioning what we believe will be an extra ordinary place to live.  From now on, the lots for the First 40 will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and the Board is considering a success based, financial incentive for these First 40 as well. Don’t miss the opportunity that is available right now until the First 40 is fully subscribed.

Some of the children going to the ecovillage

Membership of the NEV Co-op costs $20,000 to purchase 20,000 co-op shares and you must have an intention to purchase a block of land in the ecovillage. This membership gives you one vote in the decision making of the co-operative. Mattila Lawyers are finalising our updated Co-op Rules and Disclosure Statement right now to be approved by the board and members next week, so we can supply them to you then.
The Co-op expertise will complete the development and when titles are ready sell blocks to members. At this time a Community Association will be formed (think strata, which you are possible familiar with) and when you pay your lot balance (about $230,000) you will own your freehold block as well as a share in the common assets of the Co-op. The First 40 buying into Stage 1 of the NEV development will have the opportunity to build a single family home (with or without a granny flat) or a duplex. We of the current First 40 (23 of us) are now talking about the type of homes we would like to build. Some of us are considering a one-off, individually designed home and others banding together with a builder to achieve more affordability, ease and economies of scale.
There is much for you to consider, so please don’t do this alone.
I love the saying: ‘you can’t always work things out in you head.’ I am available anytime for a chat by phone or over coffee, and I can send you any amount of current information on the project. I can also put you in contact with any other members of our team. We have our final Open Day for 2012 at Narara next week (Saturday 24 November) from 1.30 till 5pm. We thought it might be fun after the Open Day finishes, say 5 -6 pm to shift into Happy Hour mode for you to meet some of our members for a glass of wine/biccy and cheese. You can meet members of the Board, Steering team and broader team NEVers – who will also be your neighbours as part of the First 40 lot owners. Please contact me anytime and come along on Saturday 24th – as a special and valued potential member, we have attached a voucher for you to come to our Open Day free of charge. Look forward to seeing you there if you are able to come along. L”
I’ve suggested to Lyndall the costs and services and ups and downs of the project be blogged so others may know how the project goes and learn from it.
For more information the project website is:…
Good luck to all who are having a go on this project,
One Response to “Sydney’s new ecovillage going ahead”
  1. Joy Mozzi says:

    Great website Michael, I have enjoyed browsing around it and reading some of the articles.
    Thanks for posting a blog about our Ecovillage, it is certainly an exciting time!

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  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

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