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New Sovereign Hills digs a welcome focus for garden expert

As communities and businesses across the country adjust and respond to the COVID-19 situation, one Sovereign Hills man feels fortunate to have something positive to focus on.

Malcolm McKinlay is the proud new owner of Lot 31 in Sovereign Hills’ newest residential precinct The Heritage.

For most new land and homeowners, the landscaping comes after the keys have been handed over, but for the Bonny Hills Garden Centre expert, his dream home has been planned around one element – the garden.

“I’m wanting to have an open plan with plenty of natural light and a strong focus on the outdoor alfresco area, maximising the summer breeze,” he shared.

“I’m planning on creating a tropical style garden with lots of different foliage and colour. Most rooms will have an outlook onto the garden…. Thorough soil preparation will make it a very waterwise garden. With the location and careful planning I’ll be able to create microclimates.”

The former Hunter Valley man moved to Sovereign Hills two years ago and has been renting a home while planning his new digs.

“Having to wait for some time for a property to settle in the Upper Hunter Valley allowed me time to consider my requirements in building my new home. This enabled me to try before I buy at Sovereign Hills.

“I enjoy the sense of community, the space and having a local town centre with well-planned roads and cycleways, and NBN fibre to the premises with reclaimed water being made available soon.”

Sovereign Hills’ proximity to the Pacific Highway was also a big tick allowing an easy commute to his workplace at Bonny Hills and beyond. He’s looking forward to watching construction start upon the land’s registration soon.

The land sales, display home and construction industries have been able to continue to operate amid the COVID-19 restrictions, with appointment-only bookings, and social distancing and hygiene rules in place.

“We are fully functional, however we are being socially responsible and practicing safe social distancing in the workplace,” shared Sovereign Hills Land Sales Manager Luke Moreta. “We are still open seven days, however it’s by appointment only. We can also offer virtual land inspections and estate tours so there’s nothing stopping potential purchasers from finding their new home site.”

Mr Moreta said Sovereign Hills’ latest land release has been extremely popular with 80% of the 46 lots in Stage 1 of The Heritage already under contract.

“On the back of really strong sales over the past 6-8 months, there are as many as 100 homes in the planning and construction stage making our most recent land stages a hive of construction activity which is really good to see,” Mr Moreta commented.

Over the past 12 months the developer of the Sovereign Hills master planned community Lewis Land Group has completed the bulk earthworks for 500 lots in The Heritage precinct.

“We are proud to be contributing significantly to the growth of our local area,” added Mr Moreta.

For Malcolm McKinlay, while he’s enjoying planning his new home and garden, he’s also relishing helping locals improve their patch amid the homegrown and home improvement surge.

“With people staying at home and having more time, we have seen a huge interest in gardening with a strong emphasis on vegetables and herbs, soils and mulches; our gardens have never had so much attention.

“I feel confident that we will return to a more normal time in our lives… With the difficulties everyone is currently facing, it has helped having something positive to stay focused on, and of course then once completed having a new space to share with friends and family.”

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