Innovative new home designs for rural village

May 31, 2012 | Property News

An exciting slice of New York life could soon be transplanted into a South Lanarkshire conservation village. 

Innovative plans have been drawn up to create a number of commuter-busting ‘live work units’ in Lesmahagow as part of the transformation of a brown-field site. 

Hamilton-based Banks Property, which is renowned for its development with care philosophy, is seeking permission to create a housing development at Wellburn Farm on the outskirts of the village. 

The centrepiece of the site would be of 21 of the combined work and home units which are increasing in popularity since being pioneered in New York’s trendy SoHo district.

The ‘live work’ concept includes any accommodation that allows for both residential and business use. Initially it was popular with artists and artisans who wanted a space where they could live, while also keeping a separate studio space. 

However, the mobile and broadband revolution which allows more people to work remotely has seen the popularity of ‘live work units’ mushroom and spread from the US to the UK. 

They have proved particularly popular with web developers, graphic designers, new media professionals, architects and IT support works and with professional services such as architects, accountants, lawyers – and even vets. 

So far there are only a handful of such units in Scotland. However the sustainable benefits of ‘live work’ units are making them increasingly attractive in green-conscious times, because they dramatically reduce commuting, so helping lower carbon emissions. 

Colin Anderson, managing director of Banks Property Developments said: “Many people struggle to strike a balance between work and play. 

“Typically they will endure long and expensive commutes on a daily basis. However, the number of people working from home is increasing and we believe these ‘live work’ units will be much sought after.” 

The number of people setting up businesses from home is growing faster than any other part of Britain’s economy, according to recent figures from the Government’s Labour Force Survey. 

Meanwhile the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which represents small and medium-sized enterprises estimates 23 per cent of its members now work from home. It also says the growth of home working in rural areas has been particularly marked, thanks to the rise of faster and more reliable broadband connections. 

Colin added: “However, the ‘live work’ units are just one element of the exciting proposals for Wellburn Farm, which reflect a growing demand for all types of flexible, modern and sustainable housing. 

“We are justifiably proud of our record in working in close partnerships with local communities to deliver developments that are well thought out, sensitive to the needs and wants of local people and considerate of the environment.  

“An important element of our plans is sustainable design and architecture that will use renewable energy technologies and give the development a strong, green character.” 

If you are interested in purchasing a live work unit or require further information about the Wellburn Farm proposal, please contact the Banks Property Team on 0844 209 1515 or email 

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