Having used Aberfeldy-based Blairish Restorations as its “in house” builder for the past 16 years, enhancing its self catering estate with various styles of contemporary holiday homes, Mains of Taymouth Country Estate & Golf Course has spoken of the constructive working relationship the two businesses continue to enjoy.
Their renewed collaboration at Balloch Park, Mains of Taymouth’s residentials, buy to let and holiday home development, comes at a time of expected vibrancy for the post lockdown property market in Highland Perthshire.
2021 is still likely to be a strong year for staycations. Having launched the first phase at Balloch Park in February 2020, a month or so before the first lockdown, demand was immediately strong, with over £2 million worth of property sold to buyers from all over the UK, in the first phase.
Working closely with Robin Menzies, Mains of Taymouth’s owner and managing director, Blairish Restorations previously delivered Castle Gardens, the estate’s first buy to let development.
This contemporary selection of mews style holiday homes secured numerous design awards. This was followed by The Maxwells, and The Gallops, one and two bedroom luxury apartments, in the same contemporary style, which were also offered to the buy to let market.
Having secured planning permission for his first residential development on the estate – Balloch Park – Robin Menzies then tasked Blairish with the design and build of its luxury sustainable timber lodges, with 38 lodges featuring in its first phase, and a further 22 in the second.
Robin Menzies outlined the schedule of works involved in delivering the second phase at Balloch Park, along with an idea of some of the challenges faced on site.
“All lodges are constructed to order at Balloch Park,” he said. “Blairish aim for around a 12-week build time, which is always dependant on weather conditions, and the supply of materials which have been slightly held up due to the summer lockdown.
“It’s a site with good ground conditions though, as you would expect from a piece of paddock land bordering the River Tay. It’s level with good drainage. Blairish Restorations gets involved in the actual construction of the lodges after myself and my team on site have prepared the plots, laying slabs and completing other groundworks.”
Mr Menzies, who trained as an engineer, has his own plant machinery and made good use of the fantastic weather over the Spring and Summer working on Phase Two Groundworks, so that Blairish could hit the ground running.
“There’s a lot of flexibility in the design and construction of each lodge,” he said. “Lodges can be either two or three bedrooms, depending on what the buyer wants, and we can change window sizes, and re-position radiator and sockets. There’s also a good choice of kitchens with a one to one design team at Howdens. This also make our life easier, knowing that the customer is getting the layout they desire.”
He went on to say that each lodge at Balloch Park came with a large selection of laminate floor choices, with carpets standard in bedrooms.
“We have been able to customise lodges with hot tubs and log burners added to some lodges, along with extended patio and slabbed areas,” he said. “Several retired residents are living here permanently at Balloch Park, and they have been able to create a property which entirely suits their needs.
‘We’re delighted that Balloch Park has been such as a success, with buyers coming from far and wide to secure a lodge which they have then been able to put their own stamp on’
“In the early stages, we only had our CGI impressions to show prospective buyers what the lodges, and the development would look like.
“Having other Blairish Restorations properties on the estate, such as Castle Gardens, and The Maxwells on site, enabled them to view the standard of our construction, as well as the aesthetic look, so I’m sure that helped give them confidence in what is a premium, bespoke product.
“We’re delighted that Balloch Park has been such as a success, with buyers coming from far and wide to secure a lodge which they have then been able to put their own stamp on.
“They were attracted by the stunning location, and the sheer quality of the product on offer which far surpasses what you would expect even of a five star ready made lodge from a top UK lodge manufacturer.
“Balloch Park has effectively offered properties as sturdy and built to last as new build bungalows, built as and when they are reserved, so that we can work with buyers to customise their properties, and add any number of luxury touches.
“Phase Two is also shaping up well, with several plots occupying prime locations right next to the River. Now we are offering predominantly three bedroom designs, from £192,000. Blairish Restorations are once again doing a brilliant job and we look forward to working with them for many more years to come.”
If they wish, buyers can opt to have a lodge with two larger bedrooms, but each lodge is big enough to easily incorporate three good sized bedrooms, including master en-suite, plus an additional bathroom.
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