Farm moves closer to makeover

The old homestead before it was gutted.
The old homestead before it was gutted.

About 40 people attended the meeting where developer Burditt Krost spoke of the plans to plant one million plants in the area, offer mixed social housing blocks and a range of price choices over the 290 housing lots.

Mr Krost said the Heritage Council of WA was keen to see the former Belle View homestead and its associated buildings restored, as well as a significant part of the land to maintain the integrity of the property.

‘The plans submitted to the WA Planning Commission are to subdivide the farm and create a housing estate, which will restore the original homestead and re-build a wetland with the reinstatement of the Helena River water flow,’ he said.

Mr Krost said the proposal had been on and off the table for the past 13 years and the developers were now waiting for the re-zoning approval before taking the next steps.

The group plans to spend $1.5 million on the restoration of the original homestead which, in its heyday, was reportedly more beautiful than Woodbridge House.

In previous Hills Gazette articles from 1994, the comments of Mrs Elsie Stevenson, who was then 82, quoted her father and local identity John Goodchild, who managed and worked the farm from 1910 to 1960.

Mrs Stevenson said Belle View (as Bellevue was known then) was steeped in history and was ‘a magnificent farm’.

She lived in the homestead and recalled that the home ‘was as good as Woodbridge or any other and probably better’.

Mr Burditt said he would love to honour the history of the homestead in the restoration after the building was gutted in the ’80s by a previous owner.

Today only a shell of the former historic monument remains. Local residents also showed they were keen for the Bellevue Primary School to be preserved.

Mr Burditt said all the suggestions would be considered.

The blocks in the Bellevue development are expected to sell for between $250,000 and $400,000 each.

Resident Martin Chape said the proposal was exciting and the meeting was positive with all parties working together well.