Laurel Bank is a charming development of distinguished homes nestled in the peace and tranquillity of Moneyreagh village in County Down. Long-standing Northern Ireland housebuilder, JH Price & Sons, designed the 71 homes to the highest specification and having worked with Tobermore on a regular basis over the last two decades, the developer found that Tobermore had the ideal paving and walling products that would create the warm, elegant style desired at Laurel Bank.
Henry Price, Owner at JH Price & Sons, explained more about the project: “Laurel Bank was developed to serve the need for housing in the Moneyreagh area. The location offers the richness of countryside living and the convenience of being just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Belfast.
“When it came to sourcing external building products, we wanted to use a combination finish of bricks and blocks to create a unique finish.”
JH Price & Sons had traditionally been an advocate of clay bricks but when Henry saw Tobermore’s concrete alternatives, this was a game changer as he explained: “I was really impressed with the aesthetics and performance capability of Tobermore’s Lansdowne facing brick and Country Stone Walling and I could see how they would work well together.”
Tobermore’s Lansdowne facing brick is manufactured with an aged, antique appearance that creates a rich, charming feel. The best iron oxide colour pigments are used to ensure the product colours are strong and rich, and most importantly, that this vibrancy is retained over the years. JH Price & Sons combined Lansdowne with the natural, rustic style of Tobermore’s Country Stone Walling – a larger wall block that emulates the look and feel of natural stone – as the main housebuilding materials.
JH Price & Sons specified Lansdowne in the warm golden tones of Heather and Country Stone Walling in the subtle natural/grey shades of Slate, creating a beautiful contrast that fused together to achieve the classic finish required. Henry commented: “The facing brick and block finish was stunning and undoubtedly added value to the development. They look like products that would typically cost £800 per thousand. I would advise other housebuilders that are looking for an attractive, competitively priced facing brick to visit the site to see how well this worked for us.”
Next on the agenda for the external finishes at Laurel Bank was the landscape design, an essential element in creating homes with kerb appeal. Paving was the obvious hard landscaping material for the developer: “I’ve worked with Tobermore on a number of successful projects over the last 20 years and there have never been any issues. The paving products produced are the best quality in the marketplace. I simply wouldn’t go anywhere else for paving.
“Penny Murphy, a landscape designer at Tobermore, provided a paving design service to assist in selecting the best suited materials for Laurel Bank. This was a great help.”
Penny explained the design concept: “With Laurel Bank there was much more freedom and creativity than normally granted with a commercial development due to the trust Henry Price placed in Tobermore.
“There was a focus on curvature rather than straight lines as the plots on site were not built in straight lines - the use of curved lawns and paving designs helped tie this together.”
Tobermore’s smooth, hard-wearing Shannon block paving was selected for the pathways and ramps around the homes and the vintage-themed appearance of Historic Flags was perfect for creating stylish patios areas. Sienna Setts were used as a bordering product throughout, as well as being used as infill for steps which were treaded with the tumbled finish of Tobermore’s Kerbstone.
Penny explained: “I chose Historic Flags as a complementary choice for the traditional homes. The larger flag size and random laying pattern was ideal in changing the scale against the small facing brick used on the homes – scaling enables a much more interesting design.”
The paving colours were carefully chosen as the vibrant homes needed to remain dominant over the landscaping as Penny notes: “Using vibrant paving colours would have been overkill – the subtle grey blends of Slate in both the Shannon and Historic Flag ranges were ideal and using the same colour in each range provided continuity around the front and back of the homes. A touch of Silver in the Sienna Setts range was then used to complete the look with some classic bordering details.”
Henry commented on the hard landscaping result: “The paving design was in fitting with the clean, pristine finish we wanted to achieve. The use of a few different products distinguished the different areas whilst keeping a consistent muted colour scheme throughout.”
Henry continued: “In addition to the high quality of the products supplied across the building and hard landscaping elements, Tobermore provided an incredibly efficient service. The products were delivered on the date agreed, as always. Things like this mean a lot.”
The four bedroom detached and three bedroom semi-detached homes at Laurel Bank were constructed in a variety of styles. The site is a testament to JH Price & Sons’ reputation for attention to detail and superb internal and external finishes and is fantastic showcase for Tobermore paving and walling products. Henry concluded: “I’m absolutely delighted with the project. We’ve received really good feedback and there has been great interest from homebuyers – many of which have even enquired where the building materials were sourced from. I couldn’t have wished for a better result.”