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The Aussie backyard is dead.


red750
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Or at least in Melbourne.

 

It is amazing the number of houses  that get sold, only to be demolished and replaced by two or three town houses. No. 23 High St becomes 23a, 23b and 23c High Street. As if the high rise units are not bad enough. Where the hell are the kids going to play - in the lounge on the X-box? No room for the good old Hill's Hoist.

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Blame the councils,  it,s to their advantage  to get more ratepayers per block.

My area Was " low density residential ",

The council changed it, now it,s " medium density Mixed ", 

And the public tenniscourt was sold to the sport centre,

ONLY To be replaced by a large block of flats !, the majority " low income " tenants. 

THERE GOES THE NEIBOURHOOD !.

spacesailor

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It's all about turning us into another Europe, where people are crammed in like rats. But this is Australia, and we like our space!

I was lucky enough to be brought up in a semi-rural area and even when we moved to the suburbs when I was 13, we still had a lot of room! 

 

Dad bought an old (1932) timber framed house on 485 sq m., and it is the smallest property I have ever lived in. Within 18 mths, we'd shifted a couple of kms away, to a 5 acre property

 

I left the city at 16, lived in a rented farmhouse (in the middle of a farm) in the wheatbelt for 7 years, then moved to a nearby town, and lived in a house on the outskirts of town, on 5 acres, for another 13 years.

Then I moved to the Goldfields, and lived on our minesite, and other minesites for another 5 years. I had tons of room everywhere I went!

 

I live on a 580 sq m block in an inner city suburb now, and have done for the last 30 years. I live here because SWMBO is a city girl and hates living in the country. She can't do without lots of shops, and heaps of people around.

I can't complain, because we live in a nice leafy suburb that is largely heritage-listed homes now. All homes in this area, built before 1960, are heritage listed - and our house was built in 1957.

The house is double brick and tile, and has a raised timber floor and high ceilings with large rooms. It was built by a builder.

It's a nice liveable house, and we have plenty of trees and greenery, and room to park three cars alongside the house, and two cars out front of the garage, on a paved area.

 

But all the suburbs adjoining us are gradually suffering from "urban infill", with many block sizes down to 250-300 sq m. These houses virtually occupy 90% of the block, there's bugger all open areas around them.

The side walls of the houses are nearly touching, and there's no room to park friends cars. It's not the way I'd choose to live, but I guess many people have no choice. 

 

We keep looking at what we'll do "when we get old and decrepit". Of course, quite a few people probably view us as old and decrepit now, as we're both over 70.

But we reckon we'll probably stay here until we die, because I can't see anything else (like a retirement village) being anywhere near as attractive, as what we have now.

Maybe if we win Lotto, we'll move to a leafy beachside suburb, and a multi-million-dollar house - but at present, this place looks like it's where we stay!

 

We have very little crime and we're located conveniently situated to many things - the CBD, 3 shopping centres, major arterial roads within a couple of kms, the airport within 10 kms and 15 mins, and the beach is only 20 kms away.

I see a lot of people selling up and moving out to regional centres, or much further up the coast - mainly to get cheaper housing - but I reckon they will regret it as they get older, and find everything is too far away.

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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I think people gradually adapt. I'll have to have a go at it soon as I'm relocating to the last port of call and have to downsize to a 5 acre or less block so it doesn't affect the pension. At the moment I can't see any other houses, but with a smaller block, that will be something to get used to. I can't get my head around having someone else living only a few metres away, but it's all about what you're used to I guess.

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As a kid, I lived on a dairy farm in Gippsland, and the nearest house was half a mile away. We moved a number of times during my school years. When I married, our first home was the rear unit in the photo below:

 

 1094686406_northernhayst.thumb.JPG.121ca64a9124d6ca55b795737c61c0ba.JPG

 

We then spent 3 months in Adelaide in the middle unit ground floor,  below:

 

361404602_10HenrySt.thumb.JPG.f9ee37a4dd438bea09b02e3752c3a4db.JPG

 

(Thanks. Google Street View.)

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During the depression, most houses were on a quarter acre block. A city was about a third self sufficient food-wise. You could keep some chooks and grow some veggies and have a fruit tree or 2.

The reason for the block size was the drop-dunny. You needed it away from the house.

The tenements they are putting people into now will turn out to be death traps when the food shortage hits. No land at all. No chooks or veggies or fruit.

We sure picked the best time to live, us old guys.

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13 minutes ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

The tenements they are putting people into now

I took these pictures of a townhouse development that was approved for my suburb after the application for high rise buildings was refused.

 

image.thumb.png.af567affaff410a480d8bbe6b71b78dc.pngimage.thumb.png.3f81622f6ef182a76287bca4b5a00eb0.png   

Each of the slabs is for two residences, which you can tell by the two groups of white pipes sticking out of the slabs. This development is in a suburb originally developed in the 1990s with blocks approximately 1/3 of an acre - about 1500 m^2, so these townhouses are completely out of kilter with the rest of the suburb.

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Agree there Will.

I recall reading somewhere, some time ago, that around 80% of fruit and veg sold in Sydney markets was once sourced from market gardens around Penrith area.

It's all suburbia now. I suppose  it's resulted in a nice boost to the trucking industry - from NT.

 

And more expensive, lower quality food for the masses, from 'The Fresh Food People'.

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Our house in Vermont is on a former orchard. It is clay as hard as concrete, but after a decent rain, doors stick or scrape the floor, windows are hard to open or close, and there are cracks in a lot of the walls. The house is about 50-55 years old. we are towards the bottom of a sloping street, and cop runoff from the houses above.

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I first saw 150 sq m blocks in Palmerston in Darwin.

They were $150,000 each, and there was nothing but cheap land ( cents per acre ) all the way to Melbourne.

Well, thought I at the time, this is what you would expect from an uncivilized place. Then I saw similar blocks near Adelaide.

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Back in the late 40s, my Mum and Dad bought a quarter acre block and built a house.

 

There are 43560 square feet in an acre. A square with sides 208' long is an acre. If you divide 208' into 4 equal lengths you get 52'. That's the lengths of the sides of a quarter acre block. The 52' was the road frontage.  In metric that's 16 x 64 metres.

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I worked it this way:

If I have a square whose area is 43560 sq ft, then that area is calculated by multiplying the lengths of two adjacent sides. Since all sides are equal (x), then the area is x.x, or x^2. Therefore the value of x is the square root of 43560, which is 208.701, or 208 for practical purposes. To get quarter acre residential blocks along a street, divide one side by 4 and you get 52 feet. Which gives you 10816 sq ft, which is 74 sq ft less than the mathematical quartering of 43560. And a square with an area of 74 sq ft has sides each 8.6 ft long, but that square can be cut up into lengths equal to the factors of 8. 

 

I've got a copy of the deed for the land.

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This was a one-house block. The previous owners even added a garage to the righthand side of the house before selling. Now it is two units.

 

IMG_0490.thumb.JPG.5e5b1cb287e1295c24b07792ecfec229.JPG

 

This could possibly be called a battleaxe block. The house being constructed is in the backyard of the other house.IMG_0491.thumb.JPG.29a5d613b2d0ba66aae2ee24ee223d71.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

The hillside above my place was farmland with contour banks all over it, 2 gullies and wildlife all over. When we bought our place we were told it was the edge of the building zone and we would always have a rural outlook at least, 1 acre block. Now developers from Sydney have bought the hill, and digging and scraping all over, causing flooding below throughout our area. They build culverts to minimum standards which block up with rocks and mud when it downpours here. I stopped counting kangaroos one rainy day at 200 from my verandah, now we are lucky to see  a couple. Hares used to be everywhere, all gone. I am not looking forward to having houses learning over our place when they get built in a year or so. Some in the other half of the new build look like commercial tennis clubs, some look like shipping containers( not in the cool real shipping container home type either). And lights everywhere like they are scared of the dark. I will miss going outside and stargazing on the dark side on a good clear night.

A5EDC559-9788-4790-BC71-5523CDCBE761.jpeg

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Change "live" to "exist".  Sydney is now unfit for human habitation. Houses with NO eaves and with dark rooves and dark bricks. No room for trees which if grown will start fights about leaves and overhanging etc and wreck your pipes and foundations. No privacy unless high fences. Airconditioners pumping out hot air and noise. IF EVER Aviation gets going again you will get extra shade from the 8 octas aluminium flying overhead with 2 aerodromes to aim for.. Just imagine how lovely it was 250 years ago. The best harbour in the world. unpolluted.  Nev

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