An application for a planning permit for an additional 31 homes on the 17 Smith St development has been lodged by Hygge Property with Hepburn Shire Council.

The homes have been designed by the firm Breathe, an architecture firm specialising in sustainability. They will form part of Middleton Field, a project by Hygge Property located off Raglan Street at 17 Smith Street.

The Middleton Field project received planning approval mid-2021, following a lengthy process culminating in a positive report from an advisory committee set up by the State Government to assess priority projects.

A key component of the approval included the provision of affordable housing. Joseph van Dyk, Director from Hygge Property said, “Since the launch of the Middleton Field project in October last year, Hygge Property has remained committed to planning and delivering (affordable housing).”

A spokesperson for Safe Place Homes Inc, which has been advocating in this area, commented that any addition to affordable housing is to be welcomed and hopes that Hygge and other developers will do more in response to the great need.

Alongside the more traditional housing lots at Middleton Field (ranging from lots around 530sqm to 800sqm), the eco village homes will provide an option to purchase a home with a smaller footprint.

The plans submitted with the application provide for a mixture of one, two, and three bedroom homes. On completion, four of the homes will be owned and operated as affordable housing by Women’s Property Initiative (WPI) a not for profit, community housing provider for women.

Hygge claims sustainability is at the forefront of the eco village design with all homes prioritising passive design principles and achieving a minimum 7.5* NatHERs rating. It is proposed that every living room will have access to northern sun with openings to regulate internal temperatures. Building materials will be sourced locally and will be carbon free where possible. A communal garden and EV charging station will also be provided.

Jeremy Mcleod, Design Director at Breathe, said, “The eco village at Middleton Field is about delivering housing that is truly sustainable. Housing that reduces carbon in its construction and reduces carbon emissions during its operation. It is about connecting people together to form a community and importantly it is about connecting to nature and to landscape.”

Hygge wants Middleton to be a fossil fuel free neighbourhood.  Guidelines for all new homes at Middleton Field require energy efficient, innovative design solutions with landscaping and bio-diverse habitat complementing the character of Daylesford.

The name ‘Middleton Field’ pays homage to the name of the original homestead on the land at 17 Smith Street which is currently for sale with local sales agent, Belle Property Daylesford. All lots in the first stage at Middleton Field have sold with construction works due to be completed next year.

The permit application provides the eco village homes are proposed to be sold as ‘land and home packages’, which can facilitate more accessible financing for purchasers and reduce the overall cost price for homes.

Mr van Dyk said,  “While we see the eco village homes as an attractive and unique feature of Middleton Field, the new application responds squarely to housing diversity and supply issues within the Hepburn region.”