The ecovillage has long been the dream of founder, Lyndall Parris, and her husband, Dave. Since 1997, this determined couple has worked tirelessly to achieve their dream. Along the way they've attracted a talented team of over 800 interested supporters.
In October 2012, the co-operative successfully bid for the 64-hectare site of the 100 year-old Gosford Horticultural Institute at Narara. This magnificent site is 15 minutes from local ocean beaches, and about 1.25 hours north of Sydney’s CBD. It’s backed by the Strickland State Forest, with around 12 hectares zoned for residential development. It includes offices, workshops, houses, orchards, greenhouses, power and water. There's also a large dam, beautiful views, a creek and lots of natural bushland.
Schools nearby are Narara Valley High School, Niagara Park Public School and Glenvale Special School. There's also a Rudolf Steiner School at Fountaindale. There are school bus and public bus services and Narara Railway Station is only 1 km away. It's only 4.5 km to Gosford Hospital.
The Narara Ecovillage Co-operative (NEC) currently consists of around 55 people who want to live as sustainably as possible. We plan to use the best technology presently available, including rooftop photovoltaic panels, solar hot water, rainwater tanks, grey-water recycling and on-site sewage treatment (subject to council approval).
Many co-op members want to build homes using natural materials like straw bale and rammed earth, while others want to build with more conventional materials. All residents are encouraged to build well designed, smaller homes that are thermally efficient, meet bushfire regulations and have a low environmental impact. (see inspiration for examples).
We purchased the land on May 31st 2013 and now it's all systems go to get our Development Application in! We envisage that the development will progress in 3 stages of approximately 40 freehold lots per stage. For Stage 1 we have approval to build single houses, houses with granny flats and duplexes on lots of at least 550 square metres (there may be some scope to reduce lot sizes in certain cirmcumstances). In later stages, subject to council approval and re-zoning, we aim to reduce lot size and cost through medium density development. Existing orchards, offices, workshops, houses and greenhouses will gradually be renovated, relocated or removed.
The co-operative structure gives all members direct input into decision-making throughout all stages of the development and the lifespan of the village. This includes a say in how any profits made by the co-op are used. All residents must join the Co-op. Membership costs $20,000. Members also own a share of community land, buildings and infrastructure. Further levies may be required to maintain these assets.
Current board members are Stuart King (Chair), Lyndall Parris (Director), John Talbott (Director), Mark Fisher (Director) and Richard Cassels (Director). There are also 6 working teams that assist the board to deliver the project - Development, Legal and Finance, Sales and Marketing, IT and Website, Site Management and Community Development.
This is something only you can decide. Getting to kow our members will help (see member profiles, "the people" video and the vision video to the right...better yet, come to an open day!). Also get to know the site (at an open day or via video) and understanding the process of developing our village. It is both challenging and immensely rewarding!
As George Bernard Shaw said:
"Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not"
An ecovillage isn't quite something that never was... but it's a pretty exciting alternative to the way things are (for most of us!).
Contact us to arrange to come to an open day or a NEV function.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Download our flyer (A4) (also available in DL and A5)
Or call Lyndall on 0419 279 711
We'd love to hear from you!