Secure Eco Estate Draws Young Families to Beach Paradise

Nestled along Natal’s North Coast at Westbrook is an idyllic location called Westbrook Beach Club. This collection of “cottages by the sea” offers a breathtaking view of white sands and blue seas. The properties, however, are in fact not cottages as you may imagine, but exclusive and secure ‘eco estates’ in an extraordinary natural setting. The location is perfect for young families who enjoy vacationing by the sea—or desire a permanent change of scenery.

Conveniently located at Westbrook, only 20 kilometres from Durban, five kilometres South of Zimbali and seven kilometres South of Ballito, Westbrook Beach Club also boasts a quick 10 minute commute from New King Shaka International Airport, making transfers easy for travellers.

Westbrook Beach Club consists of 82 freehold stands and up to 29 sectional title units on one stand, with potential for a further 118 on three further separate stands, facing East, West or South. Homes can be built on a stand of the buyer’s choosing, or he or she may own a sectional title unit in the natural coastal Kwa-Zulu Natal environment. Most of the units are two or three bedrooms and are the ideal size for young families. “When fully developed it’ll be home to about 200 families,” says Dave Mommsen, chairman of the Westbrook Beach Club Homeowners Association.

Launched in 2004 at the peak of the property market boom, all the properties sold immediately and construction on the first 29 apartments began. Since then, the first phase of the apartments have been built and sold, as well, 16 of the 82 stands have homes built and lived in, with a further 10 homes as work in progress. Not all owners have commenced construction, so land is available to have a home built on through Caryn Foddering, the estate managing agent and lead estate agent for the property development.

Located directly at sea level, there is beautiful vegetation throughout and a unique red coloured dune sand climbing to the top of the Estate at 95 metres above sea level, as well as a natural wetland that the company spent a million rand rehabilitating. It has seen great results with this initiative and birds and trees are beginning to flourish again. “[The property] is extremely well-placed and it’s right on the coastline,” says Mommsen “It’s not a section of the coastline that has been developed with high-rises.”

Ideal family community

The images of the location speak for themselves. So what else would prompt a family to choose a property at Westbrook Beach Club? Mommsen compares the atmosphere to that of a village, with a lovely family community that has been steadily growing in recent years. There is proximity to a highly regarded private school that teaches primary and secondary level studies, as well as some of the regions best waters for surfing and safe beach bathing.

The estate’s clubhouse acts as a wonderful central meeting point for families and has a pool as well as a trail running through the preserved wetlands. And of course, there is the safety and security that comes with living in a club with full-time security.

To promote the development of Westbrook Beach Club the Homeowners Association is actively seeking new homeowners who can develop the property to its full capacity.

“The first priority is economically focused because you have an estate that can house over 200 homes and you only have 100,” Mommsen explains. “Another thing is to get the right kind of people on the estate.” Although the properties are available for holiday makers, the strength of its future will lie in a strong community of resident homeowners.

Environmentally friendly ‘eco’ paradise

Westbrook Beach Club makes an ideal choice for those who are environmentally conscious, and the Homeowners Association is placing a great emphasis on protecting and rejuvenating the environment and the coastal forest in the area. “They want the environment to thrive,” Mommsen says, noting a number of conditions in place that support that goal, such as guidelines around the number and types of planted trees.

As newer buildings are created, they are also becoming progressively more in line with current environmental practices. “Back then environment wasn’t a huge emphasis and the power pull was heavy,” Mommsen says. “Now they have an initiative that says that all homes will be built with water heating or solar heating systems.” This, combined with efforts to clean up the surrounding wildlife, make the Westbrook Beach Club a great choice for a high quality environmental lifestyle.

Community and people

Mommsen places a great emphasis on encouraging the right people to develop the properties. The Natal area has a wide variety of people and cultures, including one of the largest Indian populations outside of India to blend with the traditional Zulu people and a mixture of post-colonials. “It’s quite a stewing pot of cultures,” says Mommsen “and we need people with a focus on developing environmental values.”

“What motivates people is a problem because when you’re doing a development of this nature, the kind of people who get control decide how it ends up,” explains Mommsen. “Obviously if there’s a multicultural society, there needs to be a guideline to live by. Generally a shared set of values is not prevalent.

Consequently you have some people who have never owned anything more than a bicycle, and then there are people who have three or four Ferraris. And the guy who owns just a bicycle thinks he’s doing a great job with his home. [The goal] is to have people who are not just creating rules for the sake of rules, but that will help encourage the personalities of all the various cultures that we have to emerge and produce a highly valued result.” It’s an attitude that will surely attract those with a similar mindset.

The most important reason families should consider the investment is the simplest—the relaxed, fun, atmosphere. As Mommsen aptly puts it, “it’s simply a beautiful place to live.”