By LUKE VOOGT
THE failed retirement village in Collendina has some new residents, though probably not who the original owners intended.
Several cows took up residence in the unfinished Bonnyvale Road site last month.
The Belted Galloways belong to neighbouring farmer Bill Steains, who revealed they help guard the property.
“The guys doing the graffiti don’t like them,” he said.
“And they clean up the grass – which is a fire hazard.”
The site has reportedly been the target of squatters, graffiti artists and vandals since work stopped there in 2006.
Bill decided to move his cows onto the property – with the owner’s permission – after activities there began to affect his own home.
“I was getting vandals going into my place,” he said.
Collendina resident Cassandra Thieme found the bovine security guards amusing when she drove past.
Her son Noah took photos of the “panda cows”, which she posted on social media.
Local residents responded with a herd of ideas for the abandoned village, which included converting the village into housing for refugees or the homeless.
Cassandra said it would be a shame to waste such a prime location.
“Someone who’s got money could build it into anything,” she said.
Like many local residents, she’s sick of the “hideous” empty houses.
“It’s an eyesore – it feels like it’s been there for ages,” Casandra said.
“The graffiti, burnt out interiors and smashed windows are a real disappointment for those of us that have to look at it every day.”
The village was the subject of a legal battle between developer Giuseppe De Simone and celebrity lawyer Michael Brereton which began in 2006.