Hilton College opens residential village, which will assist pupils’ funding

2013-06-19 00:00

THE Gates at Hilton, a new exclusive residential village to be set on a 44-hectare portion of the Hilton College estate, has officially opened its gates for public viewing.

The development, which has been more than five years in the making, is the result of an integrated development plan (IDP) for the entire Hilton College estate drawn up by the college’s board.

There are 81 freehold sites of 1 800 to 2 000 square metres planned. The construction of services for the 50 north-facing sites in this first phase have reached conclusion now and the remaining 31 will be added in a second phase of development.

Former Hilton College board member Mick Hyatt explained that the residential development, for sale in freehold title, would fund the school’s endowment foundation, which stands behind the school and provides bursaries for pupils. More than a quarter of pupils at the school rely on funding assistance. The annual basic fees at the school are close to R200 000.

The foundation is the sole shareholder of Gwens Stream Estates (Pty) Ltd, the company that has undertaken the development, and all funds generated by the project will return to the foundation.

“Unlike buying a piece of land elsewhere, when buying here, you are making a contribution to the education of future leaders,” said Gwens Stream Estates director Iain McMillan.

As is the case with similar institutions around the world, as an independent educational institution, Hilton College needs to ensure that it is backed by a strong endowment, McMillan said.

He insisted that this should not be seen as the school selling off land and turning its back on it.

Residents of The Gates will have the opportunity to share the Hilton estate, and will have the freedom to walk, run or cycle on the property. The proclaimed Hilton College nature reserve will also be open to residents.

“Our intention is that residents — to the extent that they want to — will be a part of Hilton College,” said McMillan at the opening of the development.

The village offers views over the uMngeni valley towards the Drakens­berg and a stream linking two dams, and will include a clubhouse, swimming pool and tennis court, and large commonage areas.

Former and current Hilton College employees are also benefiting from the development — through a public-private partnership with the Human Settlements Department and uMngeni Municipality, Hilton College has helped provide freehold housing for the employees and their families. A total of 84 houses have been built in Howick West, said Hyatt, with about 65 still to come. The school has matched the housing grants provided by the department, effectively doubling the spend on each house, which are located close to schools, shops and other amenities.

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