Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Plan - Submitted

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Our Development Application has finally been submitted - HOORAY!!!

Sorry for being cryptic about our plans over the past couple of weeks. Despite the excitement I was unable to say anything for fear of getting the important sequence of consultation, finalising and submitting of all the information in the correct order. I am told these application processes need to be managed carefully to make sure you get the best possible result and we had neighbours who were still overseas and had not yet been informed.

We are there now so I am free to talk until my hearts content about "Coal River Farm".

So what is it? Put simply, we basically wanted to restore our lower 18 acre paddock to it's former glory by turning it back into a mixed produce farm (Top Photo). It is currently sown with oats, which doesn't do justice to it's full horticultural potential or it's location along the main tourist route to historic Richmond Village. The idea is to bring together the best artisans we can find, showcase them and their craft and allow people to interact with the process.

There will be a Farm-Gate at the bottom of the paddock while up the hill a modern interpretation of the traditional farmhouse will house our chocolate, cheese and charcuterie artisans along with a cheese cave, restaurant and other more intimate public areas.  Orchards, Berries, Flowers and a Vineyard also feature prominently, being planted as a pick-your-own experience (Landscape Master Plan). The idea is to link the produce and livestock grown on the farm and in the surrounding area directly to the product made and consumed on site.

Although it is only step 2 in what will be a lengthy 5 Step process, so much work has gone into these first 2 steps (Concept Development and the Development Application) that we have to celebrate each and every milestone. If the Plan is approved, there is still the hard task of raising capital to fund the project, then comes the building process followed by the challenge of opening the doors and establishing a new business. Daunted? Yes, absolutely.

It seems like it has taken years to get to this point but there was a flurry of activity these last few days. The Plan was submitted last Wednesday, the local paper contacted us on Friday, they came out and took a photo of us on Saturday, the story was run on Sunday and that evening we collapsed on the Sofa and woke up with the flu. It's been an exhausting process thus far. The reality is that it will still take up to 2 years before the doors will officially open, if all the stars align and we get to the next stage. You can read the article here if you are interested.

I'm including the photo that was in the article to show the site and it also just so happens to be the only family photo we have since Flynns birth 7 months ago (so sad I know!!!). Oh, and we tried and tried and the photographer tried and the Grandparents tried to cajole the Whippet off the picnic rug but to no avail - he dug his paws in and was not going to miss this once in a blue moon family shot.

So what do you think?

57 comments :

  1. How exciting and wonderful, all wrapped up with a little bit of magic fairy dust, I hope things run as smoothly as possible

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  2. It's fabulous Mel! I hope it all goes smoothly from here and wish you all the best for your project.

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  3. Oh WOW Mel!!! How fabulously exciting and what a significant thing you are doing - for your dreams, for your family, for your community. I cannot wait to hear more about it. Congratulations. Jen x

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  4. All I can say is WOW! That is one AMAZING concept, and I wish you guys the best of luck getting this project off the ground. I am so, so excited for you. (btw - I love your family portrait.)

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  5. Dear Mel,

    I am completely and totally thrilled for you and your family. Look at the exciting work you have ahead of you ... not to mentions all those dreams put into reality.

    St├ęphanie

    ps Where do you get your energy from, dear Mel? :-)

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    1. Thanks so much Stephanie!

      Energy? Not much of that left but I try to catch up on some extra sleep on the weekends :-)

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  6. Wow Mel. This is huge and amazing. Love all of it- the pick your own fruit, the onsite restaurant. x

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  7. Love that Remi is in the photo - wouldn't be the same otherwise!

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  8. Mel this is AMAZING!!! what a life changing, wonderful, brilliant plan for you and your family! The plans above are just amazing, and that talk of turning your land into something everyone can prosper from, enjoy, and really see where their food comes from is just mind blowing! In a society whereby we really are fighting the big consumers to move away from imports and mass produced, this is one step closer to real community sustainability! I applaud you xx

    ps - Book me in for the first day opening!
    pps - gorgeous photo! love it x

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  9. Wow that is exciting. You have been v busy. I had best start saving for a trip to Tassie. What grand plans.
    PS love the family photo esp FLYNN'S little Pixie hat (and of course the whippet)
    All the best with progressing through the next stages and heres to open day.
    Sounds amazing!

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  10. Hobos exciting! I've got everything crossed for you! :) x

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  11. Your plan looks fabulous! If this all goes through I am putting Tasmania at the top of my "must see" travel list. I love the picture of your family, and it wouldn't be a true family photo without your whippet! :-)

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  12. Wow. This is so exciting! I am so eager to hear more as the plans unfold. I would love to visit someday. Best wishes to all of you!

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  13. Oh, Mel, this is so EXCITING!!! People dream of doing this but you are actually making it happen. It's going to be fantastic. I would totally come and visit if I didn't live on the other side of the world. I really hope everything goes through smoothly. xx

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  14. Wow that is super exciting, and the plans look amazing!! Goodluck with it all, hope that stage 2 is successful. Xoxo

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  15. Crikey - what a huge, scary, thrilling and inspirational project you are taking on - I can't imagine how much you have going through your head at the moment! Lovely family shot too - we haven't done one for years so I think you're doing very well! Hope you are feeling much better - boo to flu! Jane x

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  16. That's an amazing project to take on, no wonder you're daunted! How long do you expect it all to take to become established with all those different elements? Good luck with the next steps & I love the photo; quite right that the whippet was included.

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  17. Oh so so so fabulous! have you slept at all lately? This is amazing and so very exciting. I love it! When do you think it will all be completed? xo

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    1. 2 years, maybe. A year to raise the funds and a year to build. Could be more or could be less, it all just depends on so many things x

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  18. I'm a bit speechless I have to say! What a fabulous and exciting project. And you are going for it. I doff my hat to you. I look forward to hearing about the developments unfold in the next few years!!

    And your family photo is gorgeous.

    Leanne xx

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  19. How exciting ... you must be thrilled ... it all sounds wonderful ... and what a gorgeous family photo ... Bee xx

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  20. Wow wow and wow again Mel. Fantastic project.... what a great plan and concept for your family. You must be so excited with all this going on. I'm sure it will be a flying sucess. Great family portrait .... and I think Remy def fits in! All the best. cheers Wendy

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  21. I'm thinking 'Hurrah!' And 'Good Luck!' And why would you want to move Remy out of the family shot! (And that the very next thing I must do is reply to your emails!)

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    1. Annie, of course we wanted him part of the photo but he was still up at the house when left to go down the hill so we had a whole cheese platter and champagne and glasses set out on the rug which we then had to move as soon as we saw Remy galloping across the field towards us - think he heard the lens cap come off the camera :-D

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  22. That sounds so exciting Mel, what a brilliant project, the plans look great, I wish you all the success in the world, you have a busy and exciting few years ahead! xx Julie PS. beautiful family photo!

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  23. Oh my god I am so excited for you! This all sounds amazing. I am going to put this on my must visit list one day. I. Keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for you that the next three stages go along without any hiccups. And that is a gorgeous family photo! You all look so lovely.

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  24. How exciting for you Mel! It looks amazing and I wish you every success with it. It is going on my "one day when I get to Tasmania" list :) Love the photo, and Remy just completes it. Hope the flu doesn't hang round for too long x

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  25. my goodness!...nothing short of spectacular!. well done on all your hard work getting it this far....fingers crossed for all that's ahead. truly a fab concept Mel (& mr mel)...and the family shot is wonderful!...looking forward to hearing more. Al x

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  26. Wow! Seriously impressive and soooo exciting for you!!! I also adore the whippet photo bomber, what a star!! xx

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  27. So wonderful! I can't wait to see it up and running! And I love that the whippet refused to budge! Bless him! x

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  28. WOW! Big plans. Fancy plans. Exciting plans. If you need any help with your DA negotiating the planning system, give me a hoy. I've not had any dealings with the tassie system, but the basic principles are pretty universal.

    rachel xo

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    1. Thanks Rachel! They have 42 days here to either approve or reject the application - will let you know if we hit a snag during the process :-)

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  29. WOW WOW WOW
    I love how you follow your dreams. So very exciting.
    I'm also glad the whippet wouldn't budge.
    Xx

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  30. Oh wow Mel, I'm so very excited for you all. Such amazing plans which I hope all eventuate for you with things passing smoothly though council! Your vision is so clever, community-based and just brilliant. I will look forward to visiting your farm when we next visit Tasmania!! P.S So glad your darling whippet insisted on being in the photo, it wouldn't have been the same without him... such a gorgeous photo of you all xx

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  31. Wow! Good luck - it looks amazing! Gorgeous family pic too. x

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  32. That looks incredibly impressive! We are all wishing you guys the best of luck for the next 3 stages! Also, I'm quite excited about the idea of having a farm-gate to call into on my way home. Keep up the inspirational work Mel! xx

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  33. Oh my, this looks incredible! So much work, but the end result should be well worth it. How exciting for you - good luck for everything! (Also - of course the whippet should be in the photo!)

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  34. Sounds very exciting Mel! What a fabulous dream. I hope it all goes well and I will look forward to updates on progress x

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  35. How exciting. Very best of luck - looking forward to reading about the progress of the project.

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  36. Wow, this is so super exciting. Fingers crossed it all goes well for you, and that family pic is just beautiful. I'm not sure if we have even one photo with all four of us in it, disgraceful situation that must be remedied! mel x And of course the pic had to include the whippet, thankfully not sitting atop the cheese platter.

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  37. How exciting for you. Good luck with the rest of the steps. Lots and lots of work but so worth it in the end. The family photo is absolutely gorgeous. And why not the whippet. He's part of the family too. :)

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  38. Only just found your blog and wow - good luck with the coal river farm - love the concept. It reminds me of the farming community closeness in the UK when we visit relatives over there. Looking forward to seeing it come to reality!

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  39. Sounds wonderful, hope all goes well for you. Lovely family photo.

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  40. Oh Mel! Can I pleeease be your neighbour? That sounds absolutely amazing, AMAZING!
    I'm thrilled for you and all your family. Awesome, can't wait to see what happens next.
    xx

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  41. Oh Mel. You know what I think. I'm contorting myself to cross everything crossable! J x

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  42. I love the photo and think the plan is fabulous - wishing you every success!!
    It all sounds perfect for that area!
    x

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  43. First off ... the family photo is wonderful, and I'm glad the nameless whippet stood her ground and got her mug in there too. The whole "plan" sounds truly amazing!! How exciting to have such an amazing concept start to take shape. I look forward to hearing more. Wendy x

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  44. This is so exciting!!!!! Can't wait to see it all come together. This would make a fantastic TV series! xo

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  45. Oh my Mel - how exciting! I hope it all goes to plan, it sounds utterly fabulous...I just wish I lived closer.

    Big fingers crossed it all goes through and all your dreams come true.

    Nina x

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  46. Holy dooley! That is exciting Mel. Wishing you loads and loads of luck with the process. x t.

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  47. This is a brilliant plan Mel. Exactly what the area needs. Good luck with all. p.s I stumbled across your blog while doing a google search on Thylacines in the Coal River Valley. I live locally so will take much interest in your plans. Cheers, Graham

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    1. Thanks Graham! And now you have me curious about those Thylacines :-D

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  48. Cath @ Chunkychooky (http://chunkychooky.blogspot.com.au/) wrote:

    This is going to be amazing. The land is lucky you landed on it.


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  49. I am so behind in my blog reading. So very exciting! Looking forward to reading about how it all happens. Another great reason to visit Tassie (we've been talking about catching the ferry over for years).

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  50. How exciting! I will certainly be venturing from my valley to yours to cheer you on (and maybe sample a berry or two). Good luck in the preparations.

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  51. Mel, this is amazing. We spent the school holidays in country Victoia where my hubby grew up and every year driving home we talk about 'Our Dream': the sustainable farm with a guest cottage, gallery and cafe (cheeses, wine) etc etc
    We can all dream right?
    But you're actually living it. Lucky you.
    If ever you need a artist to fill up your walls, i'm your lady!
    http://www.themagicandthemundane.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/best-dad-in-world.html

    Liv x

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  52. Wow Mel no wonder you are tired. Just imagining how much work you have been doing behind the scenes makes me exhausted. Bless that Remy has to be in the photo. hope you find some time to chill out not that the application is in.

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