An eco-village project slated for Saddle Road near the Brunswick Heads interchange and highway has been shelved.
Around five years ago, landowner Kelvin Daly proposed to transfer some of his land ‘to the end users at a significant discount’ and established the Brunswick Eco Village (BEV).
More recently, other surrounding landowners came on board and presented a planning proposal for the entire ridgeline to Council.
While the urbanisation proposal included an affordable-housing component, it met with resistance from other neighbours.
In a statement Daly said, ‘It is with great sadness and regret that I inform you all that my wife Skai and I cannot sustain the BEV project any longer’.
‘Our bank has reached the threshold of funds that it is willing to lend us and we are unable to spend more borrowed money on a project with an unclear planning pathway and elusive timeline. The professional counsel given to us across the board is consistent in advising us not to proceed in the current circumstances’.
A Village Development Program (VDP) also ran as part of BEV and provided training for 150 people wanting to live in an intentional community.
Daly said the VDP was ‘quite a feat for a new course and a testament to the work of the VDP and BEV project teams’.
‘Nearly 50 of those VDP participants went on to join the BEV Aspiring Resident Network. Those wishing to continue the journey that the residents’ network has started are planning to form an eco-village action group, Northern Rivers Eco-Village Network, a much needed initiative in this Shire. Any residual monies paid to be part of the Aspiring Resident Network will be offered back to those wishing to opt out.
‘BEV’s five-year journey has been rich in learnings and has inspired many people locally and internationally.
‘We hope that variations of BEV will one day manifest up and down the east coast and provide a much-needed experience of community living.
‘The original BEV vision would have seen the land transferred to the end users at a significant discount. We will now need to consider an interim land steward, someone who can see the value of what has been co-created, can purchase the land, complete the planning process, and sell the land to the end users. I thank all those who followed our journey, celebrated our achievements, were inspired by the vision, and acted in good faith’.