Natural Living

Located in the idyllic Eastern Cape and only minutes away from Port Elizabeth, Royalston is a unique residential property nestled within 1,000 hectares of natural game reserve, offering prospective residents the best of both worlds: the conveniences of city-living and the awe-inspiring experiences of waking up to the sounds of the wild.

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” -Vincent Van Gogh

With a rugged landscape as blessed as South Africa’s Eastern Cape, building a desirable residential development that not only embraces, but incorporates, the land’s rich beauty and wildlife seems like a natural fit.

Royalston is one of such developments currently taking place in the country’s idyllic Eastern Cape and when this residential estate and private game reserve is completed, it will offer prospective residents a style of harmonious eco-friendly living like no other.

Royalston is a split between residential homes and 1,000 hectares(Ha) of natural game reserve, offering an affordable and viable opportunity of a secure, convenient and premier lifestyle within one of the most beautiful settings in Port Elizabeth.

What gives Royalston its edge is its proximity to the Nelson Mandela Metropolis and the city of Port Elizabeth, truly offering homeowners the opportunity to live in a community that is harmoniously integrated with the natural environment, yet minutes away from the conveniences of urban living. The International airport is only 20 minutes away, Walmer Park shopping centre – one of Port Elizabeth’s biggest – is just 15 kilometres down the road, and the exciting new Bay West Mall currently under construction is just 10 km North of Royalston.

“When you are on the Royalston development, you feel as though you could be out in the middle of Kenya, nothing for miles to see except natural undisturbed landscapes and wildlife,” says Nick Howcroft, managing director of property management group Genesis Civilis and development manager of Royalston. “Reality kicks in when you are 10 minutes out of the front gate at a Woolworths buying groceries, or picking up a friend at the airport just a few minutes after having to negotiate with a giraffe on your driveway and stopping to watch a Fish Eagle catching lunch. This property is truly a green gem and a blessing to everyone who has the opportunity to live their dream here.”

The property

Royalston is a unique split between 310 residential freehold stands and 1,000 Ha of a natural game reserve. The finished project will also include a 60-bedroom lodge-style hotel, 30-room frail care centre, a wildlife and education centre, Lake de la Vie Wedding and Conference Facility while the rest of the property is dedicated to a private nature reserve home to a diverse array of fauna and flora, including many critically endangered species.

To give one context to just how much of the property is remaining untouched, Howcroft says approximately only five per cent of the land is being developed with the rest remaining pristine and wild.

The residential portion is split into five villages, each carrying a unique trait in situation, plot sizes and views and catering to a range of prices, starting with plots for R 395 000 and Home Development Packages from R 1 450 000. Howcroft says there are also architectural guidelines on the homes to be built, encouraging a common aesthetic throughout the property. The designs are based on the Eastern Cape Colonial homes of yesteryear “that evoke a sense of establishment and a reminiscence of real country living,” he says.

The first village is the Salisbury, which is made of 81 plots, situated along the sea view stream and among several dams. Kipling is the second village, comprised of 44 plots, and is located along the opposite side of the sea view stream.

Villages Three, Four and Five, named the Canterbury, Livingstone and Winchester respectively, are currently nearing the end of construction with the first homes going up this month.

The Canterbury is made up of 86 plots situated between open plains and a natural cut off drainage area with views down the lake farm valley. The Livingstone is comprised of 86 plots and is located across rolling valleys and surrounded by forests. While the fifth village, Winchester, is the smallest with 13 plots, but is located on south facing slopes with views of the Indian Ocean across open valleys.

Howcroft adds that this development has, so far, contributed significantly to the local community in terms of socio-economic upliftment, with over 4,000 job years and 500 permanent operational jobs created.

Eco-development at its best

For those who love the outdoors and the idea of living in a community committed to making as small of an impact to the environment as possible, Royalston’s dedication to eco-conservation and sustainable building practices are a true selling point.

Royalston has installed a complete water-borne sewerage system to negate the damaging effects of soak away septic tanks and carry the benefit of recovering 300,000 Litres of water per day through bio-reactor treatment. This treated grey water is then re-used on the development to maintain dams and irrigate areas of the estate.

Homeowners will also be encouraged to integrate some of the approved bio-gas reactors, rain-harvesting tanks, SANS 10400 architecture and solar panels within the residential developments.

In fact, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has given approval for embedded generation at Royalston, says Howcroft.

“What this means is that you can effectively feed surplus energy generated from your photovoltaic system on your roof, back into the community grid,” he explains. “Although as an owner you won’t physically be paid the value thereof as you would on a commercial scale, you will be credited the value on your metre, thus making your renewable energy unit substantially more affordable.”

This is one of the first residential estates to gain this approval from NERSA and will act as a pilot project for the local municipality.

Future Plans

Construction on project began last year and Phase 1 – comprising of villages three, four and five – is close to completion, says Howcroft. These villages make up approximately 200 plots, which are earmarked for transfer in the first half of this year.

Villages One and Two will begin construction in the second half of the year.

Although Royalston will offer a limited number of homes due to the team’s commitment to preserving the natural landscape and game reserve, they have been planning ahead and have already begun acquiring more adjoining land, so that as the primary development reaches critical mass, similar opportunities will become available.

“The different development areas are being planned in such a way to complement the existing ideal that is Royalston and to ensure ever greater value is added to these Western periphery areas of Port Elizabeth,” says Howcroft. “This also offers and compliments smaller enterprises in the area further sustainability and market value, ultimately creating a greater nodal area of country living activities and enterprise.”