Honeyeaters farm Community

What is a Multiple Occupancy Community?

A multiple Occupancy Community is one where a group or entity is granted permission by Council under State & Environment Planning Policy (SEPP)15 to erect a number of dwellings on the one title or parcel of land, (usually previously zoned ‘Rural’).
T
he ownership of the land remains with the one entity (in our case Honeyeaters Pty Ltd) with more than one occupier allowed. Individuals/families can purchase entitlement through membership in the community,allowing them to build on an allocated house site and live on the property.


About us:

We are a group of like minded people who have purchased Honeyeaters farm together. We have a common desire to live a rural lifestyle & establish a community of support in potentially remote & isolated surroundings.
We found the property in 2002 after searching many areas of NSW with the space for community, without being too far from family, friends & familiar haunts in Sydney & Newcastle. From then 'Honeyeaters' & the process of community building began. It has been a wonderful journey so far and promises to remain so for many generations, with a sustainable future for all those involved.
The property itself is 900acres of beautiful rolling hills only 10 minutes from the regional town of Gloucester by car with 200 acres of rich pasture & a permanent creek.

Our Intentions

Our commitment in buying this farm is to the land and the sharing of it with the small community that will grow, as well as to the local community of Gloucester.
We are planning our development using principles of sustainability, for both the natural & built environment. For us, 'sustainability' means finding the best ways to 'manage' the land and our lives on it. Our houses will be built to have low impact on the land and with an understanding of the environment we inhabit (eg.bushfire protection, reed bed sewage management, passive solar design). Our use of the land will consider organic & permaculture principles for an environmentally sensitive and productive lifestyle.

The responsibility to develop & manage the land will be shared by all shareholders. A Development Application for a multiple Occupancy under SEPP15 was approved by Gloucester Shire Council in May 2007.

Where we are:


Gloucester is approx. 3 1/2 hours driving north west of Sydney or one hour west from the coast at Forster. Honeyeaters farm is 12 kms from Gloucester.


Where we are up to:

As at January 2016 we have made huge progress, with many members now in well established houses with productive gardens,and our community is handling the ups and downs of rural life well. Currently we have full membership but as with all things, changes are a part of our progress and we have some members wishing to find new life paths
Some community projects have got underway with more planned for the years ahead. A small nut orchard was planted and is now producing a small quantity of nuts and the community runs a few head of cattle which help to manage the pasture. In 2015 the community purchased a tractor to assist with land management. Bush regeneration & weed management is also a focus for community working bees and for individuals to focus their time on.
We have a new gravel road access to the creek flat and all houses and sites & after much deliberation on solar power, grid power was installed for access from each house site and can be utilised or not as members choose.
Our processes are working well and meetings are lively and respectful. We have negotiated difficult issues and are proud
of our achievements to date.We have worked through some initial settling in issues and our membership is adapting and changing to suit. The majority of our members currently support their lifestyle choice with off farm income either locally or remotely employed, with some travelling further afield for work.
We have had seasonal challenges and come through them well, life at Honeyeaters is good with regular gatherings for communal meals creating a social backdrop to all that we do.


Work starts on our new community building 2016 now that we have a track to the creek flat. Dec 2016

We have focused on affordability in the development of the infrastructure & regulations have dictated some of our actions in particular compliance to RFS and Council health requirements.
Having said that,we are still guided by our desire to care for the environment & you will find an assortment of approaches to building ranging from traditional corrugated iron construction to mudbrick & strawbale houses. We have policies in place to guide & protect our community & land, and have regular meetings and gatherings including working bees. It is hoped that all members will participate in creating and sustaining a harmonious working community.





10th BIRTHDAY

In 2012 we celebrated our 10th year of Honeyeaters! & wow what a fabulous achievement. Although now a few years on, our community is in many respects only just beginning. It took the first 5 years to gain local Council approval to start creating our community. From there the process began of finding members and they then in turn,over the next few years began developing their plots of land into exciting new homes & gardens, whilst learning to manage the property as a whole.
We are still very much a work in progress that has taken us all on an incredible adventure, some aspects have taken much longer journey than any of us imagined, but all of it has been totally worthwhile. From being the small farm, run by one family, that we purchased to being a community with completed homes for some families, some still in the building stages, and some still to start, w
e now have a wonderful mix of people and interests, who are getting to grips with community living,farming & growing food. We now run our own community cattle and some members have and share chooks, goats and pigs.
We have learned much and are still learning about living together in community, changing our attitudes, shedding preconceptions, & coming to share our experiences, so we
look forward to welcoming friends and family to our special place in the years to come.


Nov 2010