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BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Outeniquasbosch is an eco-estate located on the outskirts of the coastal town Mossel Bay,
between the Hartenbos and Brandwag rivers. This area is known as the Garden Route, a
popular holiday destination which stretches along the Southern Cape coast from Mossel Bay
in the west to Natures Valley in the east.
The closest town is Hartenbos to the south-east, conveniently within easy reach of the
development. Both George and Mossel Bay, two major towns in the Garden Route, are
accessible along the N2 motorway and are both not more than 30 minutes’ drive away by
Outeniquasbosch will be developed on an undulating terrain with prominent ridges and
valleys rich in indigenous vegetation.
A number of game species was introduced more than 30 years ago and these roam freely
along the slopes and valley thicket. The entire property is game fenced along its perimeter.
It is within this natural habitat that approval has been granted by the authorities for the
development of the Estate.
1.2 THE ECO ESTATE CONCEPT
The eco estate concept is distinctly different from that which is commonly referred to as
suburban security or walled estates. The main focus of eco-village living is primarily the
experience of being in a built environment responsive to its natural setting.
This type of development encourages a lifestyle of embracing nature and being sensitive to
an environment where both the homeowners and the wild animals share the same domain.
In order to create the framework for the development of such an eco-village on the
property, a number of detailed studies were commissioned to inform the planners on the
most suitable approach to follow on this challenging terrain. These recommendations by
various specialists were adopted in the final approvals issued by both local and provincial
authorities. It is imperative that these recommendations be adopted as the foundation on
and spirit in which all development of Outeniquasbosch will take place.
The town planners adopted the concept of creating clusters or pockets of erven where the
houses are to be developed. These developed areas will be surrounded by natural areas that
will result in a whole network of grouped houses and natural corridors. These corridors are
important to allow the free movement of game throughout the entire development.
The most important challenge proved to be the way in which built structures or a modified
landscape would impact on the natural landscape. It was clear that any intervention on
certain areas of the site would be highly visible from outside the development. The impact
on neighbouring clusters within the village also had to be considered.
A whole host of “visual mitigations” were suggested and approved and these have been
incorporated in the Outeniquasbosch Design Manual (ODM).