Most neighbours compare cars or their roses. But a newly approved housing development south of Adelaide will have residents swap notes on their aircraft.
In a first for South Australia, Airpark Goolwa, at 1-58 Boetcher Rd, has received approval for the residential development of 58 lots, ranging from approximately 2000sqm to 3400sqm, with prices starting at $165,000.
The development will allow homeowners to roll their planes straight into their driveways at the end of a busy day — storing planes in their hangars at their homes.
Airport facilities include a 24-hour, 1350m long bitumen runway, suitable for light and medium-size piston or jet aircraft, two grass runways, refuelling facilities, and 50 existing hangars.
Residents can also expect to be treated to private air shows, with the facility already home to a number of historic planes, including a WWII Boomerang — one of only two still operational in the world.
Owner Geoff Eastwood said the development had been 16 years in the making and aimed at bringing together local aviation enthusiasts.
“The best way to explain this development is by comparing it to a private marina, where you have a boat docked outside your home. This is much the same but with a plane,” he said.
“But to be honest, you don’t have to own a plane to live here. You may simply enjoy watching planes coming in or are seeking a rural lifestyle.
“We currently have 10 blocks ready to go and the only main council regulation is that the house is built on the far side of the block, so they are far enough from the airstrip.
“There’s also a taxiway between the runway and the blocks, so there really isn’t any major noise concern at all.”
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The concept of residential airparks first gained traction in the United States after World War II.
In order to put countless deactivated military strips across the nation to good use and to accommodate a pilot population that had ballooned from fewer than 34,000 in 1939 to more than 400,000 by 1946, the Civil Aeronautics Administration proposed the construction of 6000 residential airparks throughout the country.
While that number was never fulfilled, the momentum created by the initial proposal paved the way for more than 630 fly-in communities around the globe in existence right now.
Australia is currently home to around half-a-dozen airparks, the majority of which are located in New South Wales.
Selling agent Nigel Christie, of Harcourts Wine Coast, said the development offered a point of difference to both owner-occupiers and investors.
“There is so much potential here and will delight anyone who loves planes,” he said.
“As a pilot, you could build your own home here and be surrounded by a like-minded opportunity, or as a plane watcher, you can simply enjoy your private air show day in and day out.
“I’m actually currently looking for a builder to design a concept home with a hangar down the bottom and a house with a viewing platform at the top.
“The other type of buyer this development could suit is developers, as you could set it up as an Aero BnB; so people from anywhere in the country could fly here, put their plane in a hangar and enjoy a holiday in Goolwa.”