ONE minute you are on Circular Drive, surrounded by suburban sprawl and rush hour bumper- to-bumper traffic.
The stresses and strains of city life are all too evident.
But then, literally a minute later, you are in the middle of the country, in a verdant, pastoral area with fields of grazing horses and cattle completing the back-to-nature feel craved by so many urbanites these days.
This is an area which you would imagine is reserved for the elite, of gentleman farmers and of children with ponies and later horses which can be exercised freely, despite the close proximity of the city. This is Heatherbank Road, where cricket, tennis and swimming parties are the order of the day.
It is also, as resident Natus Ferreira succinctly puts it: “People talk about PE’s best kept secrets. Heatherbank is THE secret.”
And surely it is: from a vantage point on the land that Natus owns on Heatherbank Road you can pick out six shopping centres each a mere eight minutes’ drive away and, on a sunny day, the port at Coega can be clearly seen, its lights at night, a sort of industrial star formation.
Natus grew up in this area and in 1962 single-handedly built the house which became home to his wife, Ursula (who bakes a mean scone), their sons Jason and Ryan and their son’s friends who all clamoured to know when the next tennis/ cricket party would be held in the grounds.
But then the children flew the nest – Jason now lives in Plettenburg Bay and Ryan in the US – and it was time for Natus to set about realising his dream: to build an elegant, freehold estate where 14 other families could share his privileged lifestyle.
That dream takes the form of Heatherbank Manor, which is finally ready to begin set rising adjacent to his house.
Already in existence is the state-of-the-art gatehouse, which cost R500000 to build and is somehow extremely discreet but also imposing.
The elegance of the gatehouse will be echoed in the 14 houses which are just waiting to be built on 1000m² stands which each have access to a back-up generator and borehole water. There’s also water-borne sewage, which means none of the septic tanks which often accompany country living.
An array of versatile floor plans have been drawn up for prospective owners and, while they are encouraged not to make drastic changes to the Balinese-style exterior theme and colours, the interior plans can be swapped at will to create a unique home.
Boundary walls can also be erected if desired, while those who prefer the open-plan feel can simply allow their home to flow onto the communal garden area – security in this instance is not an issue as the whole development will be edged by Balinese-themed walls topped (sadly but a necessity in this day and age) by electric fencing.
As an added bonus for horse-lovers there’s a number of riding stables in close vicinity to the estate, where the animals will be groomed and cared for after a hard day’s riding.
Being in the country, the area also attracts a variety of birds including the Knysna loerie and guinea fowl.
For those looking for refined country living while at the same time needing a regular dose of retail therapy – Walmer Park is no more than a hop, skip and a jump away from a housing venture which is a very special one indeed.
Heatherbank Manor is being marketed by Re/max and the project will be officially launched at the site tomorrow.
Leon Erasmus of Re/max will be on hand from 3pm to 5pm to answer any questions. – Helen Crooks