EAST Renfrewshire is at the centre of a boom in American-style park living that is sweeping the country.

An increasing number of older and retired people are selling their homes and moving into cheaper accommodation based at privately-owned parkland.

One site at Heatherbank Country Park, off Fereneze Road, on the outskirts of Barrhead, owned by Laird Estates, already has 40 residents, with plans to expand this to 70.

It is set in 18 acres of land, adjacent to the Gleniffer Braes.

The development is aimed at the 50-plus age group who want to downsize and spend the equity from their homes on other things.

Heatherbank manager Robert Forsyth told the Barrhead News: “A lot of our residents then buy a second home in somewhere like Spain or maybe use the money saved to travel and live a little.

“They like the idea of living in the country or a rural-type location but with easy access to amenities like shopping centres.”

Laird Estates is a family-owned company with six parks across the UK, including Heatherbank and another near Kilmarnock.

Although people own the house, they do not own the land it is sited on and have to pay a site fee.

However, Laird Estates insist there are legal protections in place for owners, who can also pay to have the property transported to another plot or development in their group.

The two-bedroom homes situated at Heatherbank cost from £130,000, rising to £180,000.

Residents there range from lorry drivers to engineers. Some have retired from down south.

Taxi driver Eamonn McDaid, 59, moved there two-and-a-half years ago with his delivery driver wife Doreen, 58.

They sold their semi-detached house in Paisley and have never looked back.

Eamonn said: “I’m living the dream and have a better lifestyle altogether.

“I am here for life. When I get home after work, I can sit on the balcony, which overlooks a forest, with a beer.

“I couldn’t do that where I was before.

“The council tax is a lot cheaper and I am only paying £100 a month.”

The couple have used the cash from the sale of their Paisley home to travel more and were in Spain four times in one year before the Covid pandemic struck.

Eamonn came across the site by chance one day while delivering a package.

He added: “I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise.”

Only people over the age of 50 are able to buy properties on the park sites and they cannot be rented out.

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