Sustainable living at The Paddock

Work is set to begin shortly on stage two of The Paddock Eco Village in Castlemaine after the project took a hit during the recent pandemic.
The Paddock developers Neil and Heather Barrett said they were all set to go on the next stage when coronavirus struck and three of their buyers were forced to pull out.
But as we slowly edge our way forward out of the crisis, interest in the innovative local project has once again renewed.
“We have had a lot of interest from Melbourne buyers keen to start a new life outside the city, particularly after the pandemic, and also from locals,” Mr Barrett said.
“They are attracted to the region and the sustainable lifestyle The Paddock offers,” he said.
Stage two of the project will now consist of a four-home build, down from the original planned eight-home construction.
But with strong interest in stage three, a further four homes could follow shortly after.
“The plans were all in and approved. We have one three/four-bedroom home and a couple of two-bedroom options still available in stage three. It looks like our third two-bedroom home has already been snapped up!” Mr Barrett said.
The Paddock will eventually comprise of 26 architecturally designed energy efficient 8.1 star homes that feature 4kW solar and solar-passive design aimed to reduce heating and cooling costs.
The eco village has been produced to the seven petals of the Living Building Challenge – Energy, Water, Materials/Waste, Place, Health and Happiness, Equity and Beauty.
The homes are complemented by a community centre with extra bedrooms that can be utilised when friends and family visit. The eco village will also feature expansive shared food gardens, native gardens where chooks can roam and orchards supported by two central dams.
Residents of The Paddock said being part of the unique community was a blessing during the COVID-19 crisis. Residents of all ages worked together during lockdown – assisting with shopping, helping with children as people worked or studied, and getting stuck into the gardens.
The Paddock resident Alison Whitten and partner James were among the first residents to settle into the eco village about eight months ago. Their son Lucas celebrated his first birthday shortly after.
“We both work in the field of planning and sustainability so it is fantastic to be able to live what we practice,” Alison said.
“The sense of community here was only strengthened further during COVID. It was wonderful to get outside and get into the gardens together during lockdown. I have a meeting shortly and one of my neighbours has offered to watch Lucas. Everyone has been wonderful,” she said.
If you would like to explore what The Paddock has to offer, go along to one of their site visits scheduled for this Saturday July 4. Tours will be held hourly from 12-3. Bookings are essential and social distancing measures will be in place. To book visit thepaddock.com.au or call 0419 327 791.

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