WIMPEY Homes created a major talking point a couple of years ago when

they imitated Scottish baronial style on their showhouse at Glasgow

garden festival. The in-house architect who recog-nised the unusual

always com-mands attention served them well.

People were curious. Even those nostalgic for the virtues of century

old properties regarded the house as an anachronism. But after viewing

it visitors left praising an interior that would be a pleasure to live

in and would adapt easily to different needs. Several wanted to buy it

before re-erection elsewhere. So last spring the company built and sold

eight festival-style houses on Ryelands Estate at Newton Mearns. The

turret was surplus to the ambitions of some potential buyers who opted

for bay windows in the sitting rooms and main bedrooms in place of the

original oriels.

Later in the year 11 more of these substantial 1830sq.ft five-bedroom

houses, all brick built, were started on a wooded site at Strathaven.

Again all sold quickly so another 13 are being built at Ryelands, of

which five have sold already. But the biggest triumph for the festival

design is that it has been taken into the Wimpey repertoire.

The separate regional company that operates in the East of Scotland is

building seven of the houses at Peebles on a fairly tight site just off

the Glasgow Road. The district council has named the estate Clement Gunn

Square to commemorate a local historian who died in the thirties, and

boosted by this historical tag the company has provided small turrets on

two units and clad all the houses in buff-coloured stone with redstone

detailing and slate effect roofs.

They are using similar external treatment on some four-bedroom houses

in the #150,000 range, each with separate dining room, study, untility

room, and double garage, now under construction at Dollar. In country

towns this cladding looks less inappropriate than it would in a city

suburb and at a casual glance the houses could be mistaken for more

mature products.

Already three of the festival- designed houses in Peebles have been

sold. Without a turret the house has more or less every feature

top-of-the-market buyers look for. A separate dining room is linked by

double-glazed doors to the sitting room with its chimney for a living

flame gas fire. In the west both rooms have patio doors to the garden.

In the east, keeping up the period show, these become French doors.

There is a double garage, ground-floor cloakroom, and a quiet study well

removed from the noise of the rest of the living quarters.

But the showpiece of the ground floor is the 13ft 6in by 9ft kitchen

which has a pleasant 9ft by 8ft breakfasting area off. This has its own

window and in smaller houses would count as a dining room. Behind it is

a separate good-sized utility room.

Upstairs it is the main bedroom suite that attracts admira-tion. In

the original plan a communicating door led from the en suite area with

its four-piece suite into a bedroom furnished as a nursery. In the east

the communication area has been replaced by a dressing room with extra

storage. Both options are available as are other modifications if

requested sufficiently early. One Peebles buyer wanted only four

bedrooms and asked for a partition to be omitted in order to create a

huge second bedroom with windows at either end.

The Peebles estate is aimed at Edinburgh commuters. It is only a

25-minute drive to the ring road, but it is estimated prices would be

around #50,000 higher in a suburb such as Balerno because of the higher

price of land.

In Peebles the houses cost from #191,000 to #215,000 according to the

plot, but buyers can deduct #2145 if they choose to provide their own

electrical appliances for the kitchen, and can deduct a further #5760 if

they supply their own carpets and curtains.

At Newton Mearns where gardens are generally larger, prices are almost

the same, and again there are deductions for those who prefer to create

their own furnishing package.

It seems strange that right through the price range Wimpey Homes shoot

themselves in the foot by quoting prices including curtains and carpets

instead of offering these as optional extras -- which they are -- since

it makes their prices appear higher than need be. All prices quoted can

be discounted by anyone intent upon getting as much house as possible

for their money.

Their lowest-priced estate in the west is at Hawthorn Hill, an airy

and promising site at Spring-burn which will respond well to

environmental improvement. They are refurbishing 210 ex-council flats

for private sale. Aid from Glasgow District Council and the Scottish

Development Agency is helping to keep prices down, and the company will

refurbish remaining property in the area on behalf of the council.

A showhouse opened on Saturday with 48 flats priced at #24,500 for a

one-bedroom property, #28,000 for two bedrooms, and #30,500 for the

three-bedroom design. A priority purchase scheme restricts sales to

council tenants or those on the waiting list for the first month.

In both west and east Wimpey can claim now to be building right

through the price range. One innovation is enclosed courtyard

development of one and two-storey terraced properties with a variety of

elevational treatments, ranged around small landscaping and curving

roads set with paviors. Pends give access to parking at the rear. This

produces an attractive overall environment but has to be paid for in a

high price per square foot so the units are best suited to the

well-heeled young.

For instance a two-bedroom flat with electric heating at Torburn

Court, Giffnock, (living room 12ft 7in x 12ft) costs #64,090. Yet a

short distance away at Darnley, now a fast- growing private suburb, one

can buy a double-fronted three-bedroom detached house with through and

through sitting room nearly 18ft long, separate dining room, and ground

floor cloakroom with additional loo, and with gas central heating for

only #66,190.

Another three-bedroom detached house with ground-floor cloakroom, gas

central heating, and integral garage, costs #73,360 at Gourock, #76,110

at Abronhill, Cumbernauld, and #88,110 at Green Farm, Newton Mearns, a

middle-priced Wimpey estate adjacent to Ryelands. The best bargains for

most buyers are in the middle range.

Shortly at Mid Calder the Edinburgh company will introduce even larger

five-bedroomed houses. And at Humbie Road, Newton Mearns, the most

prestigious site they have ever built on in the West of Scotland, the

Glasgow company is about to start on 17 houses built to designs that

originated last year in Wales. These will be built at a low density of

3.6 to the acre and judging by the plans and photographs the houses will

be relaxing to look at and a delight to live in.

With floor areas ranging from 2200sq.ft to 2650sq.ft prices are

expected to run from around #300,000 to #350,000 when they appear next