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First Residents at Bend

On 1 August 2009, years of planning by developer BEND, and lots of toil and determination from Lot 2 owners Tina and Carsten, culminated in the first human residents in the subdivision. For more about the strawbale house, appropriately number 1 Millowine Lane, see their building blog.

Work has also commenced at Lots 8, 14, 21b, 21a and 20, with owners of other lots designing for more homes in the near future. CHL (see affordable housing page) has also started building on lots 3, 4, 6, 15 and 16, where 10 houses are expected to be completed by December 2010.

New Management

Since buying the site in 2004, the developer BEND cared for the land and nurtured the vision of an eco-neighbourhood through to fruition. Upon finalising the sale of one-third of the subdivided blocks in March 2009, ownership of the overall community title lot legally passed to Bend Neighbourhood Association (NA) and the Management Statement (see Resources tab) came into force over the 21 building lots.

The Neighbourhood Association had its inaugural Annual General Meeting on 2 May 2009, ending a transition period in which BEND the developer and Bend the neighbourhood shared some responsibilities. Office bearers and 'focus group' members were appointed, who will continue to oversee the care and development of Bend. BEND remains involved both as an interim owner of the Affordable Housing lots and while it completes included works such as the building of a Neighbourhood House.

To contact the Neighbourhood Association, email the secretary on bendNA(at)bend.org.au or write to the NA at 24 Millowine Lane, Bega NSW 2550.

The Journey to this Point

For some years, people who hoped to be residents at BEND (hope-to-bes or H2B) met for mutual encouragement and to provide a residents' perspective to the developers. This included providing feedback about the finer detail of the Bend Neighbourhood Management Statement or about preferences for specific inclusions in the infrastructure provided. The group included intending private purchasers and also some who hoped to be residents of Not for Profit Rental Housing dwellings. Some were living interstate, and a specific email discussion list helped to keep everyone informed.

Once final infrastructure works were contracted on a fixed-price basis, a final block price was set and contracts exchanged with private purchasers. In line with BEND's commitment to the development's Affordable Housing component, first choice of the three most purpose-specific blocks was granted to our Not For Profit Rental Housing group. Blocks were then offered to private buyers, and the allotting of most blocks was finalised at a meeting onsite on 27 January 2007. In accordance with BENDís commitment to consensus decision-making, those present considered each other's block preferences as part of a complex whole, with the aim of optimising the overall outcomes for all parties.

As of September 2009, one block (lot 17) remains available for purchase. All intending residents/purchasers are advised to consult our Management Statement (the officially approved version is downloadable from the BEND resources page) as it spells out various binding systems and constraints in place in the Neighbourhood. This version forms part of the block sale contract.

Lead-up meetings of intending residents occurred at Mumbulla School on Saturday 7 February and 23 March 2009. Details of how the completed neighbourhood could be administered were discussed, helping to ensure the smooth transition from BENDevelopers managing the site to the new Neighbourhood Association taking this role.

Bend members and supporters give a big 'whooosh' to celebrate Development Application approval, December 2006.
Bend members and supporters give a big 'whooosh' to celebrate Development Application approval, December 2006.
A pumphouse for the community greywater system is adjacent to a planned Neighbourhood House.
A pumphouse for the community greywater system is adjacent to the Neighbourhood House, which was completed in late 2010.
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