Waterford Rise wins UDIA premier award

March 30, 2021

Waterford Rise in Warragul has won the 2020 Best Residential Development Award by the Urban Development Institute of Victoria (UDIA).

The 1365 lot master planned subdivision, 105 km east of the Melbourne CBD, is now in the running for Australia’s Best Residential Development, competing against the winners from around the nation.

Launched for sales in 2013, Waterford Rise was the first ever masterplanned community for Warragul and it has since become the pre-eminent residential housing estate in the region consistently topping the sales charts. More than 1200 lots have been sold to date while the final lots will be sold in 2021 and delivered in 2023.

The development has been undertaken by a group of local businessmen who 20 years ago purchased farming land on the fringe of Warragul with a dream of creating a new residential community within the Baw Baw shire.

The undulating nature of the site, together with issues of water management, flood mitigation, cultural heritage and native flora & fauna considerations, combined to present many challenges along the way in terms of the engineering design, provision of services, Planning Permits and the ongoing construction itself.

One of the key outcomes was the benching approach to lot design by using the developer’s own purpose designed and built reinforced concrete retaining walls. This method has derived many benefits including relatively flat, ready-to-build-on lots that maximize the land available, alleviating the guesswork and site-cost concerns of buyers, delivering consistent, stepped elevations and more appealing streetscapes throughout the Estate. This practice that has since been adopted by several other Estates.

Other important design elements were to orientate the streets up the contours of the land wherever possible rather than across, as well as the decision to reinvigorate the several creeks running through the property and integrate them into the five substantial wetland parks on the Estate.

Successfully bringing to fruition such a large scale residential development has only been part of the story of Waterford Rise. Upmost in the mind of the developers was to lay the foundation and provide the necessary amenity for a new community to be established and flourish on the site. Residents from all walks of life have embraced Waterford Rise as a place to call home and a real sense of community has taken hold. The Estate is now home to around 1,800 residents from a wide demographic, many of whom have relocated from Melbourne to take advantage of the more affordable land prices and enjoy the all the benefits that country living has to offer, whilst still being in close proximity to Melbourne via nearby the M1 freeway.

The contribution the development has made to Warragul and the Shire more broadly has been significant and extends into many areas including social and economic. Examples include the donation of the land to establish the Two Towns Trail along Princess Way as well as the land to create the new sporting oval on Tarwin Street. Many jobs and ongoing work have also been created and sustained over the past 20 years in a host of development and ancillary related fields. In a financial sense, fees and levies paid to the Baw Baw Shire for the Stages built so far already exceed $6M and the rate revenue for the Shire generated from the land components alone is now well in excess of $1M annually.

The growth of Waterford Rise over the years has been closely followed by old and new residents alike and it’s done much to help satisfy the ever growing demand for residential land. The developers are proud to have been acknowledged by winning the award but more importantly to have seen their dream of a Waterford Rise community being realised.