by Scott Douglas

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

Property PR experts help tell property agent’s ingenious building solutions

Property PR photography of narrow homes in Sciennes, Edinburgh

BUILDERS have created the ultimate in niche properties – by erecting two three-bedroomed homes in a gap just six meters wide.

In Edinburgh’s extremely competitive housing market, where space is at a premium, Peter Walker Developments has shown new levels of ingenuity by building in a gap between two existing buildings.

While the new building literally fills a niche no wider than a double garage, it also has a host of other specialist qualities to delight estate agents and purchasers alike – including the rare prospect of a three-bedroom home with garage and garden in central Edinburgh for less than £300,000. Both homes are also packed with the latest hi-tech mod cons which have become a must-have among discerning young property hunters.

Gary Middlemass, Property Manager for selling agents Hunters-psm, a division of the PSM Law Group, said the two villas filled a gap in the market place as well as an ugly gap in between two buildings.

He said: “These properties really are the ultimate for young professionals looking for somewhere in the city centre although the special thing about them is that they are so different from anything else in the area.

“They are packed to the brim with the latest in what you would call boy’s toys and I think even James Bond would be proud of some of the gadgets. But it is not just about the technology because the whole building has been designed superbly and makes unbelievable use of what little space there was when construction started.

“In fact it is a bit like Dr Who’s Tardis because although it looks narrow from the outside when you get inside you forget that it is only six metres across at it’s widest point. It is truly remarkable when you consider what the builders have managed to fit into such a small space – the lower villa even has a garage which is a major plus point for anyone living in the centre of Edinburgh.”

The villas, at 36 and 38 Sciennes, are in one of Edinburgh’s most sought-after residential areas, just a few hundred yards from The Meadows and close to Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, so expected to prove a major draw for young doctors.

Despite the many extras on offer, the properties have been put on the market at a fixed price – £295,000 for the ground and first floor property, which also has a garden and garage, while the upper property, boasting a study and a balcony, is for sale at £285,000.

Gary Middlemass of PSM Law Group in legal PR photo

Each property has three-bedrooms and three bathrooms. The deceptively spacious interior is further enhanced by the number of hi-tech features subtly integrated into the building, which has the latest Cat 5 wiring throughout enabling the owner to enjoy life’s luxuries at the flick of a switch.

Key rooms in the building have built in speakers so wherever you are in the house the buyer can listen to any CD or radio station –  or even have different music on in different rooms. The sophisticated wiring system can also be easily modified to enable everyday activities such as opening and shutting blinds to be done at the flick of a switch.

The garage door in the lower villa is already remote control operated – head to the United Garage Doors site to find out how to manage that in your garage – and every main room and bedroom in the house is wired up for internet access, extra speakers and enough power points for all the latest technology.  Both properties also have the most up-to-date alarm systems, including smoke alarms wired up to the mains and even video entry phones to see who is at your front door from the comfort of your living room.

There is also a perk for the most committed of telly addicts since each house is finished off with a massive 42 inch plasma screen TV hung in a prime position in the lounge and right next to the German designer kitchens, which feature integrated fridge freezer and washer drier.

John McCormack, Director of Commercial Development at Peter Walker Developers, added: “It is amazing what has been done with this space because if you had seen it before you wouldn’t have believed that it could be done.

“It was just an empty gap site and nobody knew what to do with it. But we saw it as a challenge because we always like to do things that are a bit different but still to a very high standard.  When we started building we had people walking past asking if we were building garages because the space just didn’t look big enough for anything else. But when we told them what our plans were they were amazed and I don’t think they really believed it would work.

“The most pleasing aspect is the space which has been created considering the gap it was built in. The outside is also visually stunning and stands out on the street. We made sure the building contrasted with the existing streetscape because it is in keeping with everything else that differs from the usual city-centre properties.”

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Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

Scott Douglas

Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood PR, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

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