Thursday, January 20, 2011

What do you think of 'gated' villages?

Little boxes on the flat land.
from w
Wouldn’t it be loverly to live in a neat strong house half-way up a hillside with a magnificent view of the city lights at night, and parkland and a winding river by day – such as Highton or Queen’s Park area. Instead of the rough and tumble of all kinds of neighbours in an ordinary suburb on the flat land.

But when I read in tomorrow’s Geelong Independent, Kim Waters’ article, I couldn’t help thinking what have we come to when they are building a ‘gated’ community development in the little town of Lara just out of Geelong. It’s not exactly a retirement village for oldies over 70 but intended for baby-boomers – maybe empty-nesters – over 45. The hype is that there is excellent security. ‘The $75 million Lara estate would provide a ‘secure environment’. Gates would be locked between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Homeowners would screen visitors during lockdown to determine who could enter. Lara had great potential says Mr Hollett as it is near the Great Ocean Road and shops. Hey, get a map will you! It’s far from the Great Ocean Road and twenty minutes out of Geelong CBD.

I cannot imagine myself ever wanting to live in such a place. I’m not interested in bowls for a start. Where is the Op shop, the art studios, the church, the musos jamming? What’s happened to the old ‘hippy’ spirit of these baby-boomers that they would be satisfied with such a sanitized environment.

Little boxes, not on the hillside, but sometimes on a very flat flood plain. They say the Armstrong Creek development on the other side of Geelong might have to have a rethink about the potential for getting rather damp.

Meanwhile, my old hometown, where I got my values about ‘home,’ living in a Californian bungalow 1930s house in a household of seven plus dog, in a street named Boys Street where we knew all the neighbours, climbed most of the trees and played all day long, now has a serious flood threat. Not the town itself but the Tyntynder flats north of the town and also a new subdivision near the Little Murray where there are lovely new homes. The water is expected to rise in about three days time. In a phone call to my brother, he said they will have to build large banks to try and stop the water flooding homes. The Murray apparently is about twenty miles wide upstream because the land is so flat.

The photo is of revisiting our family home in Swan Hill. Different owners but they allowed us to have a look through. Nostalgia of course.

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