May 13 2011 by Yonnie McInnes, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
THE first phase of the new village of Knockroon, near Cumnock, was launched last weekend.
The mixed use, sustainable homes, are being built on land on the edge of Dumfries House Estate, bought by the Prince’s Charities Foundation when Prince Charles rescued Dumfries House for the nation in 2007.
Knockroon is a walkable neighbourhood with a road design where people, rather than cars, come first and two developers, Hope Homes Scotland and Zero C, have helped design, build and market it.
ZeroC were chosen as they have a track record of building sustainable homes, including some at Poundbury in Dorset, the successful model community established by the Duchy of Cornwall.
“Hope Homes were chosen as they are a successful Ayrshire company, employing local people. It is a family business, having been established for over 20 years and built over 900 homes in Ayrshire,” said Anne Hope, director, Hope Homes Scotland Ltd.
“We had a very busy weekend at Knockroon Visitor Centre and were pleased to meet a lot of people who seemed genuinely very interested in living or working here,” added Anne.
“The overall concept was very well received and everyone was delighted with the Edwin Venn illustrations that conveyed how Knockroon will eventually look.
“Each home has a woodburning stove to heat the lounge, enhanced insulation, good natural daylighting and ventilation, low energy lighting throughout, a water butt for garden irrigation, a compost bin, water saving showers and taps, recycling bins in the kitchen, and cycle racks.
“Options include sheep's wool insulation and a socket suitable for electric vehicle charging.
“There will be a certain kudos that goes with being the first person to reserve at Knockroon and I think it won't be long until we get that first reservation,” added Anne.
“The road layout has been designed to the latest Scottish Government guidelines and road signs will not be needed.
“Residents will not only feel part of the historic town of Cumnock but will also feel part of Dumfries House Estate.
“Those living at Knockroon will be able to make full use of all the facilities of the estate including walks, and adventure play area and a cafe/bistro.
“Within the first six just released for sale, prices range from £127,000 to £185,000 and are very competitive.
“Both lower and higher priced homes will be available in future releases.
“Homes are designed to attract a resident population that is mixed in terms of income groups and occupation to help prevent decline.
“The Prince's Charities Foundation is taking forward Knockroon as a development that will serve as a model community for Scotland.
“It is hoped and believed that it will not only create employment and help bring prosperity to the area, but will, in the longer term, generate profits for donation to charitable causes, once loans associated with the development have been repaid.
“Knockroon is a neighbourhood with homes, shops to serve local and daily needs, and workplaces for small businesses”
The Prince's Foundation For The Built Environment led a week long Enquiry By Design to allow local people to shape the new development which has been designed to reflect the rich architectural heritage of Ayrshire.
By drawing on the timeless language of traditional design, it is a community built to last that will continue to look beautiful for years to come.
Natural materials such as slate, stone and timber will be used.
Traditional sliding case and sash windows will be a feature.
Streets and homes each have their own character giving a strong sense of place.
Adam Square will be the centre of Knockroon and will have a public building as its focal point.
There is a very wide range of house types in phase one which has one, two, three, four and five bedroom homes; single storey, one-and-a-half storey, two storey, and two-and-a-half storey which includes flats and FOGS.
FOGS are flats over garages – where a flat is built over a block of four or five garages.
All houses have a single or double garage included in the purchase price and flats have allocated parking.
The new neighbourhood has many sustainable aspects and has been designated a Scottish Sustainable Community by the Scottish Government, meeting stringent criteria.
“There is the opportunity for home-working or having a workplace within easy walking distance,” added Anne.
“Open spaces will promote outdoor activities and play and will be landscaped with native plants and trees that will last.”
Knockroon Visitor Centre is open seven days a week from 11am to 5pm.
Everyone is invited to find out more about this exciting new model community.
Follow the yellow and black signs or use sat nav reference KA18 1AN.
Or your can find out more at knockroon.com and about Dumfries House at dumfries-house.org.uk