Tycoon aims to make his 'White House' the country's finest home

THE millionaire businessman Willie Haughey has unveiled plans to build Scotland's most prestigious home.

The Labour Party donor and former Celtic director wants to turn a disused farm he owns into a baronial country mansion.

He has modelled the property on colonial homes in the United States and its design is similar to that of the White House.

If he gets the go-ahead, it is thought the building, in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, will be the most expensive home in the country, boasting a grand hall, six bedrooms, formal dining area, games room, swimming pool and gym.

Mr Haughey said: "I am hoping to build the finest home in Scotland. It has been a labour of love and it has taken me five years to get to this stage.

"I have never wanted a yacht or any of those things, but I was dreaming about building this house.

"I will be able to see Parkhead, Ibrox and Hampden from my window. I hope people will be talking about the property for a long time."

Mr Haughey, 51, who owns City Refrigeration Holdings in Glasgow, bought the land for 300,000 earlier this year.

The scheme has been given the go-ahead by South Lanarkshire Council's planning committee, but it caused a heated debated as the proposed site is on greenbelt land.

The final decision will rest with the Scottish Government, because the proposal is contrary to the area's development plan.

Councillor Graeme Simpson wants Mr Haughey to look for somewhere else to build his dream home.

He said: "It is an impressive house that is just over half the size of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and it certainly has the 'wow' factor. However, it's design is not the issue but where it is planned to be, which is designated greenbelt land.

"If you look at the council's policies, then this application goes against what the greenbelt is to be used for.

"I feel Mr Haughey could look elsewhere as this house does not need to be built here."

It may be several months before Scottish ministers reach a decision on the plan.

Earlier this week, Mr Haughey was revealed to have been one of the donors to Wendy Alexander's campaign to be the leader of Scottish Labour.

STILL FALLING

HOUSE prices fell for the third month in a row during November, dropping by 1.1 per cent, according to Britain's biggest mortgage lender.

Halifax said it was the first time they had fallen for three consecutive months since early 1995, while it was the biggest monthly drop since December last year. The latest fall pushed the average cost of a home in the UK further below the 200,000 barrier, to 194,895.