Welcome to the Solway Riviera: the chic development gracing the village of Kippford

Frank Greer explains how he and his firm have transformed a wedge of the Kirkcudbrightshire village of Kippford, constructing three luxury new-builds where there was once a rat-infested boatyard.
Galbraith

Job title I’m a director of RG Regenerations along with my co-director, Cameron Roy. Cameron ran a successful heating and plumbing business previously, and I have past experience in developing properties.How did you get started? My late father really got me interested in building and always said to look for the worst house on the best street, it is really all about location.

I started when I was still a police officer, firstly building homes for myself and for family, and then when I left the force, eight years ago, I became a full-time property developer. I’m not interested in retrofitting, I like to build from the ground up, because refurbs will never get to the same standard.

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I’ve built previous projects of 25 apartments overlooking Barassie beach, eight apartments neighbouring Troon golf course, and one-off houses too.

Frank Greer

​How did you acquire the site at Kippford? Cameron was on holiday in the area when he spotted it for sale. It was originally a boatyard, which dated back to the early-1900s, and had lately been a chandlery servicing the yachting community in Kippford, but that business had dwindled and the buildings were dilapidated.

Originally the boats would have been built at the top of the site and slid down to the water when complete. So the site really lent itself to three homes, each elevated from the other, to maximise the fantastic location and the views of the Urr Estuary.

​How did you come up with the design? There was previous planning permission for three buildings, but we felt they didn’t fully optimise the site. We went back to the original architects, Robert Potter and Partners, and redesigned.

Galbraith

One of the changes we made was to the interior layouts – to maximise the views from the living spaces they are now upside down houses, with the bedrooms on the ground floor.

We gave the architects a wishlist of big open spaces, kitchen-diners, under-floor heating, excellent insulation, and they came up with the design.

The homes are clad in James Hardie Plank, which is a pressed cement board that doesn’t rot, which is phenomenal for the coastal setting. We wanted minimal maintenance for the new owners. The kitchens are by Creative Designs, based in Ayr.

Galbraith

The homes have a luxury finish, with triple glazing and air-source heat pumps.

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In terms of landscaping, I always feel that everything should be complete including turf, planting, raised bedding and fencing, so new owners don’t have to do anything.

Galbraith

​Was it an easy project? From demolition of the old boatyard to completion of the three homes took about two years. With planning, you always get some resistance but it was a ramshackle old yard – complete with rats – so we believe we’ve improved the village.

Kippford is basically built on granite, which slowed things down. It was difficult because it was on a steep slope and we have to put in a lot of drainage.

Galbraith

​How do you feel about the completed project? I always try and make each one better than the last, and – I may be biased – but Kippford Slipway is the best I’ve ever done, in terms of the houses and the location. It has a lovely feel – it is not overly busy, but in summer there are holidaymakers, sailors, walkers and cyclists.

I feel like we have completed the village as there are no other infill sites left, and it was a very special place to work.

Two of the three new-build homes are for sale at the development, the middle one having been sold off-plan. Now complete, 1 Kippford Slipway, at offers over £695,000, has three bedrooms; number 3 has four bedrooms and is offers over £825,000. Contact selling agents Galbraith for more information.

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