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Havelock Europa chief executive to step down

Eric Prescott

Eric Prescott

The shop and office fitting firm, Havelock Europa, has announced its chief executive, Eric Prescott, is to step down sometime this year, according to the BBC.

It follows a profit warning from the Fife-based company, issued last year, after a number of shops and financial sector customers deferred orders.

However, Havelock said a number of its divisions were seeing improvement.

In healthcare it said it had won its first two significant orders, which will be supplied mostly during 2015.

The firm which is headquartered in Dalgety Bay said in retail it was “developing new customer relationships from which we expect to benefit during the coming year”.

And as expected it said education activity was “beginning to show signs of recovery” with an order book of £25m compared with £14m last year.

Last May, Havelock Europa announced the resignation of its group finance director. It said the search for a new chief executive was beginning.

Taylor Wimpey to build over 600 new homes in Cambuslang

Scotland Range 2011 The Geddes

Taylor Wimpey West Scotland has secured detailed planning consent from South Lanarkshire Council to deliver 612 homes as part of the master plan vision for Newton Farm in Cambuslang.

The development will consist of five individual phases of new homes and each one will offer a range of two, three, and four bedroom homes in a variety of styles and sizes.

The development will embrace the Scottish planning guidance principles of ‘Designing Streets’ which aims to create varied streetscapes and spaces, and will include features such as focal points within many of the street-scenes, as well as character areas which are essentially shared spaces in a residential zone to provide a focus for social interaction, as well as an equipped play area.

As part of the wider Newton Farm master plan, Taylor Wimpey will provide a new primary school complete with 3G sports pitch, retail space, plus wider infrastructure improvements which will include new cycleways and off-site roadworks, as well as further play areas which will be delivered at varying stages as the wider development is constructed.

Stephen Andrew, associate technical director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland said he anticipates that the first families will move into the first phase of the development towards the end of 2015.

West Edinburgh expansion step closer to reality

Edinburgh International Business Gateway

Plans to turn fields and scrubland into a new district filled with office space, shopping streets and more than 2000 homes have taken a major step forward.

According to the Scotsman, developers have submitted blueprints for an International Business Gateway next to Edinburgh Airport, stretching from the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn to the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston, that will become an “extension to the city of Edinburgh”.

First suggested in 2011, the business-friendly zone has been valued at £310 million, with the potential to pump £4.4 billion into the Scottish economy and create 3600 jobs.

A new tram stop is set to be built as part of the development, which aims to create a 24/7 neighbourhood with a thriving community life long after office workers head home.

New artist’s impressions released by developers reveal how the land – currently empty fields around Gogarburn – could one day be home to gleaming, modern office blocks and apartments.

If an initial request for planning approval is accepted, full details will be submitted in the first half of this year.

The scheme is being proposed by a partnership of four different companies, including New Ingliston Limited, the firm that originally purchased the majority of the site in 1988 with the aim of developing the area.

A spokesman for New Ingliston said: “This is an exceptionally important and strategic development for Edinburgh.

“The provision of the tram makes for a unique place of the highest quality that is truly linked in to Edinburgh and will function as a 24/7 extension to the city.

“The balance of business, residential and leisure accommodation will undoubtedly create a community of merit.”

Edinburgh reveals proposed designs for Mortonhall memorials

Mortonhall Memorial Garden Design 2

Draft designs for permanent Mortonhall memorials have been revealed in a new report by the City of Edinburgh Council.

In line with parents’ wishes two memorials are being proposed, one at Mortonhall Crematorium, and another at a location still to be identified in the city.

The crematorium was the scene of a scandal which involved families whose children’s remains were disposed of without their knowledge. The local authority has also today decided on the proposed settlement scheme with solicitors representing families.

Mortonhall Memorial Garden Design 3

The draft designs are detailed in the Mortonhall Action Plan: Update report which will be discussed by the City of Edinburgh Council next week (Thursday 05 February).

The report also outlines the progress made by the Mortonhall Multi-Agency Working Group which was set up by the council to take forward the recommendations set out in Dame Elish Angiolini’s Mortonhall Investigation Report.

The group has been working closely with independent garden landscape designers to develop a range of initial design options, on which parents are being asked to give their views. The designers have waived their initial consultation fees in support of this project.

Sue Bruce, chief executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, said the parents will now have a say on which plans the council to take forward with the aim to have the memorials completed by the autumn.

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Building Briefs – January 30th

Councillor Cammy Day is joined by Craig Sanderson (chief executive of Link Group) and Roy Stirrat (chairman of Link Group)

Councillor Cammy Day is joined by Craig Sanderson (chief executive of Link Group) and Roy Stirrat (chairman of Link Group)

New affordable homes unveiled in Ratho

A new £2.5 million affordable housing development was unveiled in Edinburgh yesterday.

Developed by Link Group, ‘The Mooring’ was officially opened by the City of Edinburgh Council’s vice convener of health, social care and housing, Councillor Cammy Day.

Located in Ratho, The Mooring consists of 19 modern, energy efficient properties that will soon be available for social and intermediate rent. A mixture of one and two-bedroom flats, three-bedroom maisonettes and cottage flats, the homes will accommodate individuals, couples and families. An additional two-bedroom flat specifically designed to meet the needs of wheelchair users also forms part of the development.

The properties, which are the first affordable homes to be built in Ratho for a decade, will also be managed Link Group as Registered Social Landlords. Built by CALA Management Ltd, each property has gas central heating and hot water systems, high thermal insulation and double glazing to create warm, comfortable and economical homes.

The Mooring is next to the Union Canal within the Ratho Conservation Area and is close to a marina and open public space.

The development has also achieved Police Scotland’s Secured by Design approval.

The development was funded by private finance and a Scottish Government grant allocated by the City of Edinburgh Council. It was made possible through the council’s Affordable Housing Policy, which aims to meet the growing demand for deliver more properties available for social rent.

 

Inverclyde Council leader calls for replacement prison

Inverclyde Council leader Councillor Stephen McCabe has called on the cabinet secretary for justice to press ahead with a replacement for HMP Greenock prison now that the plans for a women’s prison have been scrapped.

In a letter to justice secretary Michael Matheson Mr McCabe said the council appreciates the underpinning rationale for the decision not to proceed with plans to build a new female prison in Inverclyde but asked that the original proposal of a replacement prison for HMP Greenock should go ahead instead.

The original proposal locally was to replace the existing prison, HMP Greenock. This was expected to be on the same site which was more recently being cleared for the women’s prison.

 

Wrekin Products adds Scottish expertise

Richard Stewart is heading up the Scottish expansion for Wrekin Products in a newly created role of regional sales & operations manager.

With 14 years’ experience in civil engineering, Richard comes with an impressive level of knowledge and understanding of the market.

 

Glasgow primary rebuild plans submitted

Glasgow City Council has submitted plans to replace the 1950s era Broomhill Primary School, Hyndland, with a £5m new build property on Edgehill Road – part of a city wide commitment to overhaul all primary schools.

Providing 18 classrooms the school will offer a hall, gymnasium and drama studio for shared community use with interior spaces arranged around a central atrium.

 

Major improvements for Cambuslang junction

Major improvements at a road junction in Cambuslang get underway next week.

The £275,000 works will include the construction of a new dedicated left turn lane from Western Road onto the A749 East Kilbride Road.

The works will take place from Monday 2 February and are scheduled to last until Friday 13 March.

 

Work begins on £33m Forfar school campus

Work is under way on the £33 million Forfar community campus.

The campus will replace Forfar Academy with a 1,270-pupil secondary school on the north-east side of the existing school grounds.

A swimming pool and sports facilities for the wider community are also included in the plan.

Early works are focusing on the north-east corner of the academy, and access to the development will be taken from the A926 Kirriemuir road.

A pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained from Taylor Street.

Angus Council is working in partnership with the East Central Territory hubco, which has been established to cover the Tayside, Fife and Central areas.

The campus building will be constructed before the existing school is demolished and car parking and a synthetic sports pitch are provided.

Work on the campus building is to begin in April and will be ready to receive pupils by August 2016.

The project is due to be completed by early 2017.

 

Third Grantshouse wind farm bid unveiled

Plans to build a third wind farm near the village of Grantshouse in the Scottish Borders have been unveiled.

Livos Energy wants to locate eight turbines on land at Howpark Farm – about two miles away.

The site is adjacent to the already operating Drone Hill wind farm and sits to the south of Penmanshiel, which has consent for a new wind farm.

Livos Energy has submitted a scoping request to Scottish Borders Council for the site between the A1 and A1107.

Confidence among Scottish firms up but skills ‘time bomb’ is ticking

Brian Berry

Brian Berry

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned of a ticking construction skills time bomb with skills shortages on the increase across a number of trades and professions.

Results from the FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey for Q4 2014 show small construction firms are experiencing particular difficulties recruiting carpenters, joiners and bricklayers.

However the survey also revealed an increase in confidence among Scottish firms.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said thousands of workers leaving the sector coupled with an increase in workloads will mean the skill shortage “getting worse before it gets better”.

He said: “As the shock waves from the latest economic downturn continue to reverberate through the construction sector, concerns over diminished workloads have been replaced by concerns over skills shortages.

“This time last year, only 27 per cent of firms were struggling to recruit bricklayers – that figure now stands at a sizeable 42 per cent. For carpenters and joiners, the figure has nearly doubled with 23 per cent of firms reporting issues in Q4 2013 and 44 per cent of firms now saying these tradespeople are hard to come by. We’re also seeing a rising and significant shortage of roofers, plasterers and site managers.”

Berry added: “The skills time bomb has arisen for a number of reasons. Around 400,000 construction workers left the industry since the downturn hit in 2007 and many will never return. If you combine this with an increase in workloads as the economy recovers, all the signs point to the skills shortage getting worse before it gets better.”

Berry called on ministers to review its proposed apprenticeship funding reforms which he said prevents members from being able to train apprentices.

“In the midst of a skills crisis, it’s the last thing the construction industry needs,” he said.

Confidence among Scottish firms, a figure determined by workload, expected workload and enquiries, moved back into positive territory as it improved by 9 percentage points to +4.

Around a quarter of weighted responses were negative, down from 29 per cent while the proportion of weighted responses which were positive rose to 29 per cent from 24 per cent. Approximately 46 per cent of weighted responses were neutral, marginally down on the 47 per cent in the previous quarter.

Earlier this week, FMB said at least 30,000 new homes a year need to be built in Scotland to tackle the country’s housing crisis.

The trade body said only half the number of new homes needed were being built, and called on ministers to adopt the ambitious annual target until 2020.

The Scottish Government has committed to delivering 30,000 affordable new homes in the lifetime of the current parliament. However, a significantly more ambitious programme would have to be initiated if the FMB target is to be met.

Green light for R&A’s golf testing facility at Kingsbarns

The proposed RA Equipment Testing Centre at KingsbarnsPlans for a new equipment testing centre at Kingsbarns Golf Links near St Andrews have been approved by Fife Council.

Designed by Wellwood Leslie Architects, the new 22,750 sq. ft facility is to be located to the north of the practice area at Kingsbarns.

Utilising the latest technology, the building will provide a world class testing and research facility that will house The R&A’s Equipment Standards department, which currently operates from three locations, under one roof. It represents a major investment for The R&A that will enhance its ability to monitor and apply the Equipment Rules on behalf of its 152 affiliated organisations around the world.

The building has been designed in an energy efficient, environmentally sensitive manner. As well as maximising the use of daylight, it will incorporate a range of features, such as air source heat pumps, and use sustainable materials, including an extensive sedum roof that will allow it to sit comfortably in its setting at Kingsbarns.

The new centre will incorporate an indoor test range to evaluate golf balls. On the range side of the building there will be a biomechanics testing bay, equipped with golf ball tracking radars and a marker tracking system capable of producing three-dimensional videos of golfers’ swings. Two golf robots, which are used for both research and the testing of clubs and balls, will be housed at the centre.

It will feature specially designed areas for the testing of clubs and other equipment using a mixture of bespoke and other more standard pieces of equipment. The testing equipment ranges from a container full of water, which uses the Archimedes principle to measure clubhead volume, through to an optical metrology system for iron clubs capable of measuring to sub-micron precision.

And finally… Workman saves his pal from electrocution by hitting him with a plank of wood

A file picture of the Network Rail site in Basingstoke

A file picture of the Network Rail site in Basingstoke

A workman saved a pal from electrocution by hitting him with a plank of wood.

Mark Bradley, 50, was struck by a reported 11,000-volt shock when a metal lamppost he was installing hit overhead power cables, the Mirror has reported.

Ade Savage desperately tried to free him by pulling and punching him – but suffered shocks himself.

So he grabbed the plank and hit Mark until he broke the grip of the current.

Wood is an insulator of electricity, meaning electrical current does not pass through it so Ade was no longer affected by the electric shock.

Mark, a dad of one, from Gosport, Hants, was taken to hospital with burns to his face and arms and blood coming from his ears.

He is being transferred to a specialist burns unit in Swansea.

Mark’s brother Michael paid tribute to Ade, saying: “The man is a hero. He saved my brother’s life.”

Ade was also treated for burns after the accident at a Network Rail site in ­Basingstoke. An ­investigation is being carried out.

BAM Construction said: “We can confirm there was an accident on our Basingstoke site late on Monday afternoon, where we are working for Network Rail.

“We deeply regret that this has happened, and our thoughts are with those affected.”

Construction Leads – January 30th

MIXED USE and NON-RESIDENTIAL

Applicant: Tony Allen and Belinda Snoxall

Planning Authority: Perth

Details: Construction of environmental visitor centre with associated car parking and formation of new access

Location: Land to the north of A827 Killin

Agent: ARC Architects Ltd, Tom Morton, 31A Bonnygate, Cupar, Fife

 

RESIDENTIAL – FEWER THAN TEN UNITS

Applicant: Zolfo Copper Fao Ms Liz Douglas

Planning Authority: North Ayrshire

Details: Construction of 2 detached dwelling houses with garages

Location:  Site to north east of 1 Glen Road, Fairlie, Largs

Agent:  DM Hall, Baird Lumsden, Fao James Reilly, 15 Alva Street, Edinburgh

 

Applicant: Miss Shona Bain

Planning Authority: East Ayrshire

Details: Alterations to existing building to from 4 dwelling units

Location: 22 Townhead Catrine, Mauchline, East Ayrshire

Agent: Fleming Muir Architects, 20 St Quivox Road, Prestwick

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