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Crossways Farm Village

Thornhill, Eastern Cape | Agricultural Estate

Building a Sustainable Community

Crossways Farm Village

Thornhill, Eastern Cape | Agricultural Estate

Building a Sustainable Community

Emulating the benefits of life on a farm while maintaining a contemporary lifestyle with access to urban amenities and the latest technology, Crossways Farm Village is an independent ‘rural new town’ offering its residents a different way of life.

The village was launched in 2010 and is nestled just outside the Baviaanskloof Mega World Heritage Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The development is based on the concept of integrating commercial agriculture, conservation areas and a mix of commercial space, including a light industrial sector and a wide range of residential units. The future clubhouse and sports fields will offer a relaxed space for leisure activities including a swimming pool, tennis courts, rugby and cricket field, as well as pedestrian pathways and designated pathways for the 320 stud dairy cows to access the Holstein Dairy.

The Village Centre will incorporate shops and restaurants, as well as entertainment facilities and services, while additional amenities will include frail care and medical facilities. The roads, walkways and parks are designed to promote non-motorised transport and residents can enjoy mountain biking and hiking trails as well as various parks, fruit trees, children’s play areas and orchards as well as prearranged tours of the dairy.

A large portion of the development has been set aside for nature conservation, and together with prime agricultural land, the total green space makes up almost 70% of the development. A man-made dam and wetland providing onsite water harvesting significantly reduces municipal water demand and the use of solar water heating is compulsory in all homes. Onsite waste separation is mandatory for all residents as is rainwater harvesting for stands upwards of 500 m². Composting, the use of energy saving light fittings and greywater/blackwater recycling forms part of the onsite sewerage treatment plant.

All services like sewerage, water and electricity are provided via the Developer/Home Owners Association, rendering Crossways a New Town that provides and maintains its own infrastructure and services. A variety of freehold housing options is available and spread over 520 hectares of land. Homes vary in size between 95m² and 700 m² with prices increasing on two occasions by 14% since the launch. Construction of the civil services of the first 104 plots in phase one began in early 2011 and almost 90% have already been sold. The infrastructure on three phases has been completed with 23 of the 40 building plans approved by the design review panel built and another 3 currently under construction. In keeping with the village feel, it is essential that the prescribed design of each home responds to the surrounding environment without any mechanical intervention. Homeowners are encouraged to support local suppliers and to pay attention to the types of materials used, incorporating non-toxic and low-VOC paints where possible.

Castle units centre on a large, private and central interior park accessible to residents and their families. The design is reminiscent of a medieval castle, with stands measuring between 180m² and 1,555m² and secure parking for two cars. Castle Midblocks offers smaller, more affordable accommodation options in comparison to the larger stands of around 503m² in the Castle Villa and start from R 502 000.

The Castle Corner allows for large units positioned in the corners of the castle as well as mixed-use commercial opportunities. Several large properties are situated along the agricultural edges of Castle Ridge, offering residents a small farming opportunity. The buildings envisioned for these stands are based on the traditional forms and structures of sheltered farmyards found throughout the Eastern Cape. The earthy designs will include simple barn-like structures with usable courtyards and generous outside living spaces, with stand sizes approximately 1,692 m² priced at R 1.1 million. Homes on Castle Ridge Kloof Edge are spacious and border on pristine fynbos with uninterrupted views over the Van Stadens River Gorge. Stands range from 1,042 m² to 3,587 m² with prices starting at R 760 000 to R 1.6 million.

Entirely unique to the estate is the House Rhino, believed to be the first of its kind on the African continent. Built on a 1,100 m² stand, this 450 m² home is designed by CMAI Architects. Read more on page 44.

Phase 2 of the development is called North Rocks and features 38 unique old-style homes that boast a contemporary finish. Already half sold, North Rocks introduces a new house design plan called the Bailey, inspired by the French word ‘baille’ meaning ‘enclosure’, which shelters the north and mountain-facing outdoor space. The neighbourhood also allows for the design of the Agri-Terrace House, Village House, the popular Farmstead House and one Mixed-Use stand for a commercial opportunity. Stands range in size from 222 m² to 3,566 m² with prices starting at R 285 000 up to R1.5 million.

Generous outside living spaces, stunning courtyards and edible gardens allow residents the opportunity to grow their own fresh produce and to enjoy the outdoors, some of which borders the Crossways Flower Reserve. Sustainable practices are integrated into the service offering to ensure minimal impact on the environment. The development buys bulk water and electricity supply from the regional municipality, but all the onsite facilities (sewer treatment, electrical substations, water reservoirs and roads) are built and owned, via the development company, by the Home Owners Association (HOA). All the distribution and billing of services, and maintenance are handled by the HOA. The staff of ten including labourers, admin and maintenance personnel ensure efficient service delivery.

Security will be generally controlled at the outer perimeter, and if required on the street block and in each neighbourhood rather than through exclusive gated enclaves to ensure a more inclusive environment. Patrolled security will further reassure homeowners who will have their own access cards and there will be a state of the art security control room that will monitor the cameras, infrared beams and internal booms. An identity card system is enforced for all contractors and employees of the village and an external almost complete electrified fenced has been constructed.

The estate’s central location and varied combination of housing options makes it increasingly popular with a wide variety of homeowners. Just off the N2, about 25 minutes west of Port Elizabeth and 37 kilometres from Jeffreys Bay, it is perfectly positioned for young professionals commuting to nearby cities, and families who are attracted to the local Woodridge College. Having been earmarked as a potential stop for the Apple Express, the existing onsite station will eventually link Port Elizabeth and Baviaans Kloof. A planned shuttle service will also connect the estate to Nelson Mandela Bay and the recently opened Baywest Mall. The Crossways Country Kitchen situated on the estate offers a wide selection of fresh foods and enjoy a earth to plate concept, they are open to homewoners and the public.

In recent months, an escalating number of foreign investors have purchased and built properties on the estate, enjoying the attractions of the infamous Garden Route, prestigious Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve and the silky beaches which frame the area.

For those looking for a change of pace and an environment that functions off the grid in terms of sustainable energy practices, privately controlled service delivery and fibre optic connection, as well as being away from the hustle and bustle of city life, look no further than this unique development.

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