DESPITE years of experience, property developing couple Tracy and Lance Abson faced their biggest challenge yet when they took on an ambitious project in Fixby.

The couple had built up an impressive property portfolio since starting Abson Developments in 2002.

But it was their next project in Lightridge Road that was to prove their most ambitious to date.

The plan was to buy a plot of land and build two family homes on the site, but when the couple were unable to find a suitable plot they had to compromise.

In March 2007 they bought land with an existing house and applied for planning permission to demolish it and build the homes in its place by splitting the plot in two.

This was a gamble, but the couple had a back up plan in place in case their original plan failed.

Tracy says: "We had been looking to build in the area and while it was impossible to find land we did find this 1970s-built dormer bungalow which was sat on a large plot.

"It was in a great location and we always work with the ethos that location, location, location is most important.

"So we bought the house knowing that we had the fallback of renovating and extending the existing property if we didn’t get the planning permission.

"That meant we still had a development project and we knew it would sell because it was in such a superb spot."

Luckily the couple were granted permission and in January last year building work on the two detached homes– to be named Brackenhurst and Ridgeview– began.

Tracy and Lance had earmarked Fixby as an ideal spot for developing, as they loved the location, with its excellent motorway links, shops and schools.

But it was the plot’s stunning far-reaching views that really clinched it for them.

Tracy says: "The views are absolutely stunning, they’re what makes the properties really special. When we were working with our architect on the design we made sure we made the most of these postcard views.

"The views from the rear of Castle Hill and Fixby Golf Course are particularly lovely, so that’s where we had the lounge and dining rooms.

"We also had balconies built on the rear and big windows put in– I didn’t even put curtains up because I didn’t want to block out the view!"

The couple spent years renovating properties part time before starting their own company and quitting their jobs to go into property development full time.

Former computer programmer Lance manages the company, while builder’s daughter Tracy oversees the projects and uses her flair for interior design to decide the individual style of the properties they work on.

The couple slowly built up the business to achieve an impressive portfolio, but says Tracy their Fixby project was the biggest challenge yet.

"We’d done renovations and large extensions and had our own house built from new, but this project was our largest development– a significant step up for the company.

"We wanted the homes to be contemporary without being uncomfortable, with spacious and flexible accommodation.

"The architect came back with a three-storey house, with the third storey dropping down into a lower ground floor. This was a great idea and the possibilities for this floor are endless."

The couple’s vision and attention to detail means they have created two lovely family homes, nestled in a picture-perfect location.

Brackenhurst has been completely finished while Ridgeview has been left as a shell, giving buyers the option to buy it unfinished or choose their own kitchen, bathrooms and finishes.

For Brackenhurst, Tracy used her creative flair to conjure up a light, modern interior that oozes style.

Tracy explains: "For kitchens the trend is have black worktops and oak doors, but I wanted something different so I went for off-white granite worktops with dove grey and black gloss doors – which looks lovely and very contemporary.

"In every development we do we have a different kitchen fitted, which helps things fresh for us and adds to the homes’ individual identities."

In the bathrooms, natural stone flooring has been teamed with crisp white suites and funky two-headed showers.

The couple don’t compromise on quality and stylish extras, like the inbuilt TV and home entertainment system and the cooly designed balconies, built with stainless steel and glass balustrades, show just how well-thought out the project has been.

Tracy, who has a graphic design background, says: "With interior design it’s important to keep up to date with key trends. I like natural, earthy finishes with that added bit of a design twist.

"I went for neutral magnolia shades, except the hallway, stairs and landing which are a very pale green and bring a splash of colour.

"In the lounge and master bedroom I had feature walls done in cappuccino and dark chocolate."

It may have been their most challenging project, but says Tracy she and her husband couldn’t be more pleased with the stunning homes they’ve created.

"This was our biggest project and we’re absolutely delighted with the result.

"We always create homes we would want to live in ourselves and this is definitely the case here – we would already be living there if we hadn’t built our own house!

"We feel that we’ve made the most of the plots and the homes look fantastic. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved."

Brackenhurst and Ridgeview at Lightridge Road, Fixby are priced £415,000 to £499,000.

For more details contact Simon Blyth or visit