Work on the Bethanie Esprit expansion is set to start on Sunday after the first sod was turned yesterday by resident Beryl Cooper, chief executive Chris How and Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett.

The expansion will involve the construction of 34 new cottages, all of which will be smaller and more affordable compared to the existing 82 properties but still feature a full-sized kitchen, double garage, alfresco area and a rear entry double garage.

Mrs Cooper was one of 10 residents to have already purchased one of the new cottages and said turning the first sod was an honour and would be a life-long memory.

“I am so excited the project is commencing, I can’t wait to move in,” she said.

“I’m excited about downsizing into a brand new, more manageable property and joining family and friends who already live in the Village.”

Stage one of the three-stage development sold out in record time, just weeks after its initial release, something Mr How was thrilled about, despite work starting a month late.

“I am so excited to see construction beginning for this brand new development,” he said.

“It will be fantastic to be able to welcome our new residents to the Esprit community soon.

“As a result of selling stage one so quickly we have been able to release stage two earlier than expected which required us to increase the scope of the civil works, thereby causing the slight delay.”

BGC Constructions South West will be responsible for the build, with stage one set to be finished and ready for residents to move in by April 2020 while the project in its entirety is expected to be finished by August 2022.

Mr Bennett also attended the event and welcomed the soon-to-be-new residents to the shire and the community.

“The more people and bigger population all works well for our local businesses in the area ... it’s fantastic,” he said.