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A community farm, function centre, new private school and neighbourhood hub are planned for a $350m Newenham estate to be built west of Mount Barker.

Developer Burke Urban this week unveiled plans for the 100ha site off Flaxley and Bollen Roads, which will eventually house up to 730 allotments.

The Newenham Estate, named after the historic homestead that forms part of the property, promises larger than average blocks and a ‘tree-change’ environment.

Up to 8ha will be developed into a community farm and gardens, with plans for a cafe, fresh food and artisan market selling local produce and a nursery to propagate plants for the estate’s landscaping.

Wetlands will be added alongside the existing Western Flat Creek, along with walking trails.

Burke Urban is in talks with three prospective private education providers over a new school planned for construction off Bollen Road and has already worked with the Mt Barker Council to secure land next to the school site for a sports and recreation hub.

The historic homestead will become a function centre, with other heritage buildings on the property to be converted into tourist accommodation and community use buildings.

Natural Strengths

A neighbourhood centre featuring shops and other services is being planned for land on the corner of Flaxley and Bollen roads.

Burke Urban chairman Kym Burke said the development “combines the location’s natural strengths and magnificent existing buildings earmarked for restoration”.

“Our vision is to create a country residential community centres on the beautiful Western Flat Creek and a mosaic of walking and cycling trails winding their way to the centre of Mt Barker”, he said.

“Our research confirmed that South Australians are ready to embrace a new style of living where heritage and nature are respected, community facilities are central and housing and streetscapes reflect modern country design”.

The first stage includes up to 200 allotments ranging in size from 600sqm – 1100sqm.

Land buyers will be able to work with builders to put their own stamp on homes built in the estate, with a design village showcasing individualised building options.

A second existing homestead on the property will be converted into a neighbourhood information and design centre.

The development is still subject to planning approval, but Burke Urban has been working with the Mt Barker Council to refine the design.

Mr Burke said the company’s research showed a strong demand from home buyers for “holistic offerings” in the housing market, such as the community farm and a more sensitive design environment. It has led the developer to retain up to 98% of the property’s existing trees, including plans to close Newenham Road and covert it to a waking trail to protect native roadside vegetation.

The original Newenham property was established by Lieutenant Colonel JM Irwin who transformed the site into a country homestead between the 1930’s and 1950’s.

He named it for his ancestor Charles Burton Newenham, who served as the Sheriff of SA from 1839 to 1856


The Courier article, written by Lisa Pahl, 2 December 2015.


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