Just half an hour from the Ayrshire coast, amid rolling moorland of the Scottish lowlands, lies a park home estate with panoramic views – and some high-end show homes with enticingly good-value prices!
Words by Val Chapman
Photography Richard Chapman
Amid the lowlands of East Renfrewshire lies a park home estate with an enchanting character. Heatherbank Park is surrounded by open countryside; views stretch as far as the eye can see. Yet this park is only 25 minutes from the shopping, cultural and eating enticements of Glasgow. Half an hour in an easterly direction brings you to the coast of Ayrshire.
Heatherbank Park is one of six parks in Scotland and England owned by Laird Estates. It's a place with a fascinating history. The land was once associated with the defence of Glasgow and the Clyde ship-building establishments.
The family-run Laird Estates company has owned Heatherbank for 15 years.
It's a 20-acre park which has been a park home estate for many more years than that; currently there are about 30 homes here.
Now, new homes are arriving, 20 new bases have already been created for more homes, there is planning consent for a total of 145 – and space to create large plots set at different angles, most with views of open countryside. You'd never know you were 25 minutes from the centre of a major city.
The small town of Barrhead is three miles from the park. Two supermarkets, are here plus all other necessities. The park plans to run a mini-bus service to Barrhead, initially once a week;
from Barrhead you can get to Glasgow by bus, so avoiding parking costs and hassles.
Silverburn Shopping Centre is 15 minutes from the park, a complexity of department stores, high street shops, restaurants and a cinema.
Heatherbank overlooks Glennifer Brea Country Park, 480 acres of moorland where wildflowers, birdwatching and endless walking trails are the attraction.
In under an hour you can be on the shores of Loch Lomond and, from there you can take the famous Jacobite Express train on its spectacular journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct to the little fishing port of Malaig.
For Laird Estates, the development of this park has strong family significance. Bill Laird junior, who is showing me around the park, explains: "My granddad was from Glasgow. My dad, who founded the Laird Estates company, wanted to do something in Scotland because of the family history," Heather Bank is one of three parks in Scotland owned by Laird Estates.
As Bill shows me around the park we remark on the amount of ground maintenance to keep this park looking good; snow is on the ground on the day of our visit but it's nonetheless obvious that this is a well-kept park.
The man responsible is Richard Standen, the Park Manager who, with his wife Janet, has lived here for 18 months. They came to live in Scotland from the Midlands, initially buying a park home at Laird's Cunninghamhead Estate in Ayrshire, then moving to Heather Bank to take on the new role.
We reach an area of the park where Bill points out the park's own water pumping station: "We pump all our own water from a borehole; we've just got a new tank (all part of the huge investment going on to develop this park."
Most of the new homes here are made by Omar, Wessex and Stately-Albion, though Laird Estates can obtain homes from any other manufacturer too.
Laird Estates designed this home; it's an amalgam of a Platinum and a Topaz. Bill explains: "The Topaz kitchen impressed us so much that we incorporated it into the design of the Platinum."
The price of this 50ftx20ft home will be £131,500; this is a special price for the first few show homes only. Homes in the next phase will be more expensive.
This home has an awesome kitchen with a central island unit, real granite surfaces and a range cooker with a five-burner hob and double oven. A Belfast sink is a feature, too, together with a grooved work surface on both sides, to create drainers.
The kitchen is your first impression of this home as you step inside – and its style sophistication, top quality and space serve to give you a strong clue that you'll find all those elements throughout this home.
This home's attraction is its rooms are entirely separate, with no open-plan aspect. Bill tells us it's the best-selling home on all his parks. Perhaps a reason for this is its layout is so much like you might expect in a bricks-and-mortar bungalow.
The kitchen is rectangular, with a separate utility room. From the hallway, the corridor leads, first, to a splendid bathroom with a roll top bath and a spectacular wall of horizontally-aligned quartz tiles above the bath. It's a beautiful bathroom.
The Wentwood is a 46ft x 20ft home and is priced at £125,000.
Laird Estates operates a part-exchange scheme for all its parks. It works like this:
Two local estate agents give prices for the house that the park home purchaser part-exchanges. Laird Estates buys the house and pays the solicitor's fee for the conveyance.
This means there is no delay in moving into a park home and takes away all the stress of moving. Furthermore, there is a week's gap between taking possession of the park home and moving out of the original home, so the moving process doesn't have to be done all in one day.
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