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New Carillion chief executive to start sooner than expected

Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies is to begin work in his new position as chief executive officer at Carillion earlier than expected after an agreement was reached with Wates Group.

Carillion announced the appointment of Mr Davies back in October, though his start date was set as April 2 next year due to his contractual ties to Wates.

The Wates Board has now agreed to allow Mr Davies to assume his appointment with effect from January 22, at which point he will also join the Carillion Board.

Keith Cochrane will step down from his role as interim chief executive officer, and from the Board, on that date but will remain with Carillion in an advisory capacity for a period thereafter in order to ensure an orderly transition.

Carillion chairman Philip Green, said: “We are very grateful to the Board of Wates Group Ltd, and to James Wates CBE, their chairman, for their facilitation of Andrew’s earlier appointment. It is a demonstration of how the sector is willing to cooperate and collaborate to ensure the long term sustainability of UK industry.

“As I said when we announced his appointment, Andrew has the ideal combination of commerciality, operational expertise and relevant sector experience to build on the conclusions of the strategic review and to lead the on-going transformation of the business, and I look forward to his bringing that experience and expertise to Carillion in the New Year.”

Andrew Davies was appointed chief executive of Wates Group in 2014.  Before that he held a series of senior roles with BAE Systems over 28 years.

Plans to demolish every North Lanarkshire tower block over next 20 years

Tower blocks in Motherwell

Every single tower block in North Lanarkshire could be pulled down under new plans being considered by Scotland’s biggest council landlord.

North Lanarkshire Council is to open a consultation with its residents on how to gradually replace its 48 tower blocks, with just over 4,000 households between them, with low-rise buildings over the next 20 years.

The local authority is one of the biggest council landlords in the UK and is understood to be the first with numerous high rise dwellings to consider demolishing all of them.

Council leader Jim Logue stressed that the council’s tower blocks were safe to live in and the demolitions would be part of a half-billion-pound move to breathe new life in to the area’s string of medium-sized town centres, such as Coatbridge, Motherwell and Airdrie, and improve housing.

The councillor said: “These are hugely ambitious plans. We are in the midst of the biggest council housebuilding programme in a generation in Scotland.

“But we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. Towers were once the future of housing and we have invested steadily over the years in them. But there is no doubt that we are constrained in improving them by the construction; some of our towers were built 55 years ago.”

Mr Logue said he wanted to find ways of encouraging more people to live in town centres to help turn around their long-term decline.

He said: “The quality of homes we are now able to build is exceptional, with great access, adaptability and energy efficiency.

“The past few decades have also seen a move away from people living in and near our town centres. It’s essential that we do something to regenerate these towns, which have been hit by the rise of internet shopping and large out-of-town retail centres.

“One of the best ways to do that is to have people again living in our town centres in modern, fit-for-purpose housing with great amenities and good transport links. While not everyone who currently lives in a tower will wish to live in town centres, we aim to create great town centre properties for those who it will suit.”

The first part of the strategy took shape last week when the council unanimously approved the council’s housing revenue budget. The rent proposals approved will allow the council to begin the capital planning to deliver the massive programme. Rent increases will be capped at 5% for the next four years, keeping North Lanarkshire’s rent levels among the very lowest in Scotland.

The council said that if a block was demolished, it could look at how to house current neighbours and friends close to each other if that was what they wanted.

The council will consult its 4000 tower households on the plans in February 2018 to get a very clear understanding of their needs and desires for future housing.

While it plans to replace the blocks with low-rise houses, it still has not decided what form these should take – for instance, how many low-rise flats, semi-detached houses or bungalows could be built. This will be one of the issues which the consultation covers.

Allan Graham, the council’s convener of enterprise and housing, said: “I understand that some residents of our towers will be reluctant about these plans and enjoy living in their current homes. That’s why it’s important we really listen to them as part of a consultation exercise before making final decisions.

“It’s hard to understate the significance of these proposals. They will create thousands of jobs over a sustained period and provide a real boost to tenants and our local economy. We want to see real progress in tackling the waiting list for council houses and our commitment to the biggest housebuilding programme in a generation in Scotland is testament to our ambition for the people of North Lanarkshire. We are also continuing to invest in our existing housing stock with a comprehensive kitchen and bathroom replacement programme.”

In all there are 48 towers with 4090 households in North Lanarkshire. All the blocks (including the total number of properties) are listed below:


  • Cheviot Court              46
  • Merrick Court              46
  • Milton Court                94
  • Pentland Court            46

Airdrie total                232


  • Blairgrove Court          82
  • Burnside Court            44
  • Calder Court               87
  • Coltswood Court          85
  • Dunbeth Court            186
  • Glen Court                  85
  • High Court                  192
  • Jackson Court             192
  • Merryston Court          83
  • Millbrae Court             85
  • Redbridge Court          85
  • Whifflet Court             86
  • Witchwood Court         85

Coatbridge total         1377


  • Airbles Tower               66
  • Albion Tower                   66
  • Allan Tower                     117
  • Anderson Tower               67
  • Avon Tower                     45
  • Barons Tower                  105
  • Brandon Court                 106
  • Burnside Tower                104
  • Calder Tower                    44
  • Clyde Tower                     46
  • Coursington Tower           117
  • Dalziel Tower                   105
  • Doonside Tower               116
  • Draffen Tower                  117
  • Elvan Tower                     46
  • Glassford Tower               104
  • Glen Tower                      104
  • Grange Tower                  105
  • Lodge Tower                    104
  • Merrytown Tower              105
  • Muirhouse Tower              105
  • Netherwood Tower            105
  • Oakfield Tower                  67
  • Shields Tower                   105
  • Whamond Tower                66
  • Woodside Tower                104

Motherwell total                 2341


  • Allershaw Tower                 70
  • Birkshaw Tower                  70

Wishaw Total                      140

New surveyor member appointed to Lands Tribunal for Scotland

Charles Craigie Marwick

The Lands Tribunal for Scotland (LTS) has announced the appointment of Charles Craigie Marwick BSc (Hons) FRICS as its new surveyor member in succession to the late Douglas Gillespie.

Mr Marwick joins the Tribunal on a part-time basis from GVA surveyors where, as a senior director, he headed up the firm’s Glasgow and Edinburgh valuation teams.

Prior to that he had experience in rating with the Lothian Regional Assessor’s Office from 1983 to 1989, leaving as a senior valuer to enter private practice with Donaldsons.

In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Welcoming Mr Marwick, LTS President Lord Minginish said: “Craigie was appointed from a very strong field of candidates and he brings to the Tribunal a wealth of experience across the fields of valuation, compulsory purchase and rating. He has all the hallmarks of being a worthy successor to the late Douglas Gillespie and my colleagues and I very much look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”

Mr Marwick takes up his post on 3 January 2018.

Building Briefs – December 20th

Aberdeen student accommodation shortlisted for BREEAM 2018 Award

The Fraser Studios student accommodation at Causewayend in Aberdeen, overseen by Hardies Property & Construction Consultants for developer Visage Properties, has been shortlisted for a BREEAM 2018 award as one of the best examples of sustainable design and construction completed over the last year.

Shortlisted in the commercial, design stage category, the 173-unit Causewayend project is a cutting-edge pre-fabricated panelised system construction which achieved BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and is testament to a cohesive project team, which included Robertson Construction and GWP Architects.

Murray Warner, Partner at Hardies and project manager, said: “This project was a great success, completing the works ahead of the 2017 student intake and on budget. The key to success was ensuring the project team shared common goals and worked together in a collaborative manner to overcome the inevitable challenges that were thrown up.”

BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.


UK house price growth set to come to a halt – RICS

House price growth in the UK will likely come to a halt over the course of next year as the number of transactions reduces slightly, according to the RICS housing forecast for 2018.

However, the body said that it should be noted that the national prediction includes price growth in some regions offsetting declines in London and the South East.

Overall, RICS said that levels of activity across the residential sector have been a little underwhelming throughout 2017, with the latter part of the year in particular proving something of a disappointment.

The RICS UK Market Survey has recently shown buyer enquires stalling, sales volumes stagnating and sentiment turning altogether more cautious as a result.

The likely theme impacting the behaviour of the housing market over the course of 2018 is again expected to be the overriding issue of supply with stock on estate agents books close to all time lows. As such, there are no signs as yet that 2018 will see a turnaround in supply across the second hand market.

Going forward, and looking at sales activity, RICS said the market looks unlikely to breach 1.2 million sales in 2018 with political and economic uncertainty proving a hindrance as well as the lack of stock, stretched affordability, tax changes and interest rate rises.


Inverness school children kick off construction at historic Midmills site

Two aspiring young builders joined experts from Robertson Northern to help lay the first bricks on a new block of homes in Midmills, Inverness.

The firm has begun works to transform the area into a development of 31 affordable apartments as part of its £3.6 million contract with Highland Council.

To mark the start of construction, site manager Andy Young and trainee site manager Steven Baikie welcomed two local Primary 3 schoolchildren from Crown Primary School, Logan Balfour and Aroush Iqbalto to the site to help lay the first blocks.

The site at Midmills will boast 31 apartments creating sought-after affordable housing in the local area. These will be available via Highland Council for rent in 2018.

The work at Midmills started in November and is expected to be complete by December next year.


Midlothian Council to spend £1.13m on classrooms 

Councillors in Midlothian have agreed to spend £1,130,000 to provide extra classrooms to accommodate pupils at Burnbrae, Mayfield and St David’s primary schools for the next school year.

At the full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors heard the three schools are among 14 primaries where the number of P1 pupils living in their catchment area exceeds current school capacity. A further two primary schools are likely to experience pressure from placing requests, and the number of pupils attending Lasswade High School in 2017 exceeds the school’s published capacity.

Intake limits for August 2018, will therefore, be applied at Bonnyrigg, Burnbrae, Cuiken, Hawthornden, King’s Park, Lasswade, Lawfield, Mayfield, Newtongrange, Sacred Heart, St Andrew’s, St David’s, St Luke’s, Stobhill, Tynewater and Woodburn primary schools and Lasswade High School.  In addition, the £1.13 million will be used to provide space for two additional classrooms at Burnbrae, three additional primary classes in Mayfield Library and the creation of a nursery and an additional class at St David’s. A further report will come to council in February about how to accommodate the required number of pupils at Lawfield, Woodburn and Newtongrange primary schools and Lasswade High School.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead, said: “With house building continuing apace and our population rising at the highest level in Scotland, we now have a long term plan to accommodate the growing number of pupils. For example, there will be the new joint campus at Hopefield, a new primary school on the site of the current Newbattle High School and an additional primary school for Dalkeith. The issue is making sure we have enough high quality learning spaces for our pupils until these schools are built, so we have to take immediate action now.”


International architecture award for Dundee’s Verdant Works

The Verdant Works’ High Mill in Dundee has scooped an international award in recognition of its transformation.

The collapsing jute mill warehouse building was resurrected and turned into a modern museum and tourist attraction in 2015.

It has now won the conservation category in the 2018 Civic Trust Awards for its outstanding architecture, planning and design.

The popular landmark acts as both historical attraction and practical venue, having hosted the Great Tapestry of Scotland in 2016 and The Courier’s 200th anniversary celebration in the same year.

The work to transform the building took more than a decade to complete, with the mill coming dangerously close to falling down before its rebirth.

One of the architects responsible for the project, Doug Reid, a partner with James F. Stephen Architects, said it was “exceptionally satisfying” to see the High Mill rewarded with international recognition.


BAM Nuttall lifts new footbridge into place at West Calder station

Work to lift a new footbridge into place at West Calder railway station is now complete.

BAM Nuttall used a 300-tonne crane to lift nine sections of the structure, weighing more than 21 tonnes, into place on Sunday, 17 December.

The sections and staircases were connected to the lift towers which had been positioned earlier to complete the main frame of the structure. Works on the scheme will continue onto February 2018 and create step-free access across the railway, improving the station for people with impaired mobility, travelling with luggage, children or cycles.

Overall, the bridge forms part of Network Rail’s wider work being delivered on the Shotts line ahead of the electrification of the route by March 2019.


Additional funding released for Glasgow flood protection project

Glasgow City Council has approved £1.4 million funding towards the Camlachie Burn (Biggar Street) flood protection project.

The extra funding, 80% of the scheme’s cost, will allow the construction of a new 185-metre channel (12 metres wide by three metres deep) including connections with the existing upstream and downstream culverts.

Overall, the scheme will create greater drainage capacity within the Camlachie Burn catchment so reducing the risk of flooding and making possible the regeneration of vacant and derelict sites in the area.

The remaining 20% of the development’s cost will come from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.


P1 Solutions wins Inshes District Park phase 2 contract

P1 Solutions has won a new £580,000 contract to build the second phase of Inshes District Park in Inverness.

The Edinburgh-based company will begin building a new entrance plaza within a 6.3ha site set in rising ground between Stevenson Road and Inshes Road. Construction will begin in the New Year and works are scheduled to take 18 weeks to complete.

The first phase of Stevenson Road was completed in 2012 and forms an important green open space in a fast developing area of the city regularly used by the local community.

Phase 3, the largest phase of the park, is a 14.4ha site that rises steeply from Inshes Road towards the north western boundary of Milton of Leys. This final phase is expected to proceed as developer contributions from adjacent housing developments accrue. A separate planting and landscaping contract will follow on from the works and is expected to take place in the planting season of 2018/19.


HLF awards £127,300 towards Zetland Park upgrade

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £127,300 towards a park enhancement project in Falkirk.

The award is the first stage of a bid that is being prepared to attract a further £920,000 for works at Zetland Park in Grangemouth in 2019.

Features include restoring the park’s historic fountain, creating a wildlife pond and a heritage wall. A full programme of events and activities will celebrate the heritage of the town and aim to involve a wide range of volunteers in the rejuvenation of the park.

In addition, the funding will also unlock £18,000 from Historic Environment Scotland towards the repair of the fountain. If successful, improvements will also be made to the Cenotaph, footpaths, playpark, toilets, kiosk and paths.

The local community also raised just under £60,000 towards the bid, led by the Rotary Club of Grangemouth who donated £12,000.


Eildon to acquire Borders homes to keep them available for affordable rent

A total of 41 homes in Galashiels and Innerleithen are to be sold to Eildon Housing to ensure they remain available for affordable rent.

The 21 houses and flats at Chris Paterson Place in Galashiels, and 20 flats at James Hogg Court in Innerleithen were developed by Tweed Property Leasing and acquired by Tweedside National Housing Trust 2011 Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) after Scottish Borders Council agreed to provide affordable homes through the Scottish Government’s National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative. This enabled the council to borrow and then lend to the LLP to buy the properties.

However, the programme set out that the homes had to be made available for mid-market rent for at least five years, and up to a maximum of 10 years, but then had to be sold at market value to repay the loan to the council.

Following negotiations between the council, Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust, Tweed Property Leasing and Eildon Housing, a deal has been reached that avoids the need to sell these homes in the open market and sees Eildon Housing purchasing the properties instead. The current tenants have been given the option to buy their homes at market value or to remain in their homes on the same arrangements as under the NHT initiative long term.


Superfast broadband rollout to prioritise rural areas

The first phase of the £600 million ‘Reaching 100%’ broadband programme will focus on delivering superfast broadband access to Scotland’s rural and island communities, the Scottish Government has revealed.

The procurement will be made up of three regional Lots (North, Central and South), with each containing a mix of the commercially attractive rural areas and harder-to-reach communities.

This model has been designed to ensure the best possible chance of maximising competition whilst driving value and innovation.

The North Lot, incorporating Highlands & Islands, Aberdeen, Dundee and Angus has been allocated £384m, with the South of Scotland awarded £133m. The remaining £83m has been given to Central Scotland & Fife.


New online programme allows Springfield Properties buyers to visualise personalised home

Housebuilder Springfield Properties, which offers private and affordable housing, has launched a Choices Interactive programme that creates hyper-realistic 3D images for customers to visualize and tailor their new home.

Similar to customising a car online, such as choosing paintwork or seat coverings, the programme helps buyers select their house layout, tiles, kitchen cabinets, worktops, flooring, paint colours, door handles and even switches and sockets – all available with no additional charge.

Springfield Properties has been tailoring homes for customers with its Choices programme since the late 90’s and the new online format creates a visual of each of these combinations to show users how their home could look.

Choices Interactive is available at and in the Bertha Park sales office in Perth via touch screens. These screens will also soon be rolled out to Springfield developments in Dundee, Motherwell, Elgin and Forres.


McDermott Group makes special Christmas delivery to Glasgow and Inverclyde communities

Two of the fleet of 13 McDermott Group vans loaded and ready to make their special Christmas delivery

Children and families in need across Glasgow and Inverclyde will receive a generous donation of money, food and gifts courtesy of building contractors McDermott Group this Christmas.

A fleet of 13 Santa-driven McDermott Group vans has been delivering the company’s donation to local foodbanks in Scotstoun and Greenock and to national charity Action for Children’s local services for disadvantaged children in Greenock and Glasgow city centre.

In total, the company is donating more than £3,000 of cash, food and gifts to help vulnerable people in Glasgow and Inverclyde this festive season.

The donation to Action for Children will be distributed to a number of vital services operated locally by the charity. These include Silverton Short Breaks, a residential service in Glasgow for disabled children who stay for up to five nights at a time and are given access to specialist equipment, sensory toys and therapies they wouldn’t have at home.

In Inverclyde, Family Support Volunteers offers families facing lots of challenges extra support to make sure children are living in happy, healthy homes while Moving on Scotland works with ex-prisoners, and their families, who have turned their lives around. McDermott Group’s donation will provide the children in these families with a gift to open on Christmas Day when they otherwise might have nothing.

More than £1,000 of food is being delivered to the Glasgow North West Foodbank in Scotstoun and to Inverclyde Foodbank in Greenock, both part of the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network, helping to stop hunger amongst those living below the poverty line this Christmas.

McDermott Group is also donating food to the food redistribution service run by local North Glasgow housing association ng homes for the benefit of tenants in need.


Morrison Construction brings Christmas cheer to Perth nursery

Morrison Construction is spreading Christmas cheer this festive season donating two food hampers to the Four Seasons Nursery in Perth.

The hampers will go towards the nursery’s Christmas raffle drawn today.

Half of the money raised will go to Perth Autism Support, a local charity the nursery works closely with.

Morrison Construction is currently undertaking nearby underground services works on West Mains Avenue.


Tulloch Primary pupils score new school kit thanks to Robertson

(from left) Gerry Hampton, project manager for Robertson; Colin Donaldson senior site manager for Robertson; Jill Burton acting Deputy Head of Tulloch Primary; Morgan Connaghan (11); Ben Bunde (11) and Joe Hill (11) testing out the new kit with the new Tulloch Primary visible behind

Pupils from Tulloch Primary School in Perth have welcomed the delivery of a new set of school kit following a £250 donation from Robertson Group.

50 specially designed sweatshirts and t-shirts have been delivered to the school, and will provide pupils with a recognisable identity when representing Tulloch Primary at key events, including sports games and interschool challenges.

The delivery comes as pupils prepare to move into the new state of the art £11 million Tulloch Primary in the New Year, which forms part of a wider transformational investment in the area’s education estate – with Robertson Tayside primary contractor for construction works.

The new two-storey primary school includes 14 open plan teaching zones with capacity for 434 pupils, a nursery and a purpose built Additional Support Needs (ASN) base. An external play area will also provide a grass pitch, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), outdoor teaching facilities and eco-features.


Lovell Scotland Christmas jumper raises £320 for Clyde Radio’s Cash for Kids

(from left) Secret Santa, assistant quantity surveyor Richard Lind with ‘Best Christmas Outfit’ prize winners John O’Hare (contracts manager); Rosann Knox (sales executive); and Andy Corrigan (design manager)

A day of wearing Christmas jumpers, eating mince pies and exchanging Secret Santa gifts at Lovell’s Scotland head office has raised £320 for Clyde Radio’s Cash for Kids charity.

All staff wearing a Christmas jumper on the day made an individual contribution to the charity, raising a total of £159.65, which Lovell then raised to a grand total of £320.

First, second and third prizes were also presented for best outfit on the day.


Graham lends green fingers to nursery garden

Apprentice joiner Connor Sartain alongside a NWC project site manager with pupils and staff from the nursery

A team of volunteers from Graham Construction have revamped a garden area in the grounds of St Ninian’s Nursery, Dumfries.

The company was approached by Nursery Nurse, Jenifer Fergusson, when its team was giving a presentation in the adjoining Primary School about the dangers of playing near construction sites.

Together with teaching staff, pupils created a ‘wish-list’ of enhancements to their existing garden, which included edging around their sand pit, vegetable and her gardens.

Graham got to work, building a full-size playhouse which children can use for games or even as a small teaching space. The company also donated sand, bark and carried out landscape gardening work to modify the green-space.

Much of the work was undertaken out by Connor Sartain an apprentice joiner who recently started his placement with the firm alongside one of the project site managers.

Being built by Graham Construction, the North-West Campus in Dumfries is due to complete in Autumn 2018, when staff and pupils from Lochside and St Ninian’s primary schools, Langlands Special Secondary School and Maxwelltown High School begin using the state-of-the-art facility.

It will have the capacity to hold almost 1,000 pupils, aged between three and 18.

And finally… Construction worker exacts revenge on rude driver

When a construction worker in Larkspur, California, encountered a woman who refused to move her car from a construction site reserved parking space, the worker known as BBQLunch on Reddit, decided to extract some revenge.

We’ll let the man himself take up the story….

So this happened earlier today and was too perfect to not share with you guys. I work in construction as the foreman for a new house build. The location is kinda strange, the house is 250 feet up a hill via a foot path only. All of our materials have to come up this foot path by hand, it’s a pain in the ass to manually carry, quite literally, an ENTIRE HOUSE up this hill. One of our saving graces is having the two parking spots on the street at the bottom of this hill marked with official No Parking signs.

Unfortunately there is an elementary school about half a block away and the parents of children seem to regularly (at least twice a day) think it’s ok to park in our spots. Now I consider myself a reasonable person, so if someone is parked in the spots and we don’t have a delivery or a need to park a truck I will let it go. If we need the spots and there’s someone parked there, however, I will ask them to move nicely and most of the time they do so immediately. Until today.

I get a phone call from the lumber delivery truck that is en route to our location, he says he’ll be there in about two or three minutes. I let him know I will meet him at the street and make sure he has space to park. He’s carrying all of the material to frame the roof of our house, which is a lot of really big lumber and will take easily an hour to bring up the hill, so naturally I didn’t want him parked in the middle of the street with his hazards on for an hour, when we have a perfectly good parking spot for him.

As I begin my trip down the hill, I notice there is a school parent sitting in her car idling, assuming she’s just waiting to pick up her child, I walk up to her car and politely let her know that she is parked in a no parking zone and we really need her to clear it to park a delivery truck. She scoffs at me and rudely states back, “I’ll just be a few minutes, and your truck isn’t here, take a chill pill dude.” Before I can respond, a giant lumber truck comes around the corner and I wave to him, and then gesture towards him to the woman in the car who has now put her window back up to ignore me. I put on my best customer service smile and wave at her through the window, she put it down halfway and angrily shouts “WHAT!”

By now the truck has pulled up alongside her car and I politely ask her again, with a stronger tone of voice to move her vehicle, reminding her that she is illegally parked in a tow away zone. Then she gives me this wonderful idea, she says, “Can’t you guys just unload around me? Jesus, it’s not that hard.”

I give her another smile and walk away, a brilliant plan forming in my head. I instruct the delivery driver to park as closely to her as possible and block her in with the porta potty that is at one end of our reserved spots and the parked car that is parked just adjacent to our spots on the other end. He smiles because he immediately gets what I’m trying to do, and proceeds to expertly block this lady and her car into a little two parking spot jail. We unstrap the lumber and my guys begin humping material up the hill, meanwhile I call the police parking enforcement to let them know the situation.

At this point in time I wasn’t trying to get her in trouble, I just wanted a record of why we were blocking part of the street so we don’t get in trouble with the city. The very friendly traffic officer lets me know that she can be there in about 30 minutes and deal with the situation for me, wonderful! As we continue to unload lumber the child of the parent shows up, and wouldn’t you know it Mom is just now realizing that the lumber truck is parked so close she can’t get out of her driver door to meet her kid. She awkwardly clambers across the inside of her car and stumbles out the passenger door, shooting glaring looks at me and the truck driver in the process. She loads her kid into the back and then begins to realize that she has no way of leaving. She comes storming up to myself and the driver and states, “I’m in a big hurry, you need to move your damn truck right now so I can go.”

Before I can respond the driver gets a grin on his face and says, “Ma’am in order to unload the lumber on the truck we had to unstrap it, and per our company policy I’m not allowed to move the truck with any unsecured load on it. Sorry.” This sends her into near aneurysm levels of blood pressure, meanwhile I can barely contain my laughter. “Fuck your policy I have somewhere to be!” She barks back at him.

At this point, with impeccably convenient timing the parking enforcement officer shows up and parks behind the truck. She doesn’t see the officer arrive and while the officer is still getting out of her vehicle I just casually say, “Can’t you just pull out around it? It’s not that hard.” With the biggest shit eating grin I’ve ever had I watch as she realizes that I just used her line on her. “Fuck you!” She yells, and storms back to her car and angrily clambers back in through the passenger door and into the drivers seat.

At this point the officer is walking up to myself and the driver, before she can even introduce herself the Mom in the car slams it into reverse and stomps on the gas, crashing into our porta potty and knocking it over, and then throws the car into drive and tries to mount the curb and drive on the sidewalk. The officer, driver and I are staring in disbelief as she gets halfway over the curb and gets stuck. I can hear her screaming obscenities over the idling truck from inside her car.

The officer promptly walks up to the door of the car and orders her out. My favorite part of the entire thing is watching her face go to shock as she realized she just did all of that in front of a police officer. She gets slapped in cuffs as the parking officer calls for a second unit and she is promptly sat on the very curb she tried to drive over.

She sits on the curb yelling to the now two officers about how we told her she could stay there and that we never asked her to move. The traffic officer responds that she was the one who was originally called when she first refused to move and that she already knows what’s going on. While myself and the driver are giving a report to the second officer, my guys finish moving the remainder of the lumber and the driver finishes his statement and takes off to go back to the yard.

By the end of the ordeal she was arrested, charged with Child Endangerment, (her kid was in the back of the car the whole time) Reckless Driving, Destruction of Property, (the porta potty) and Driving on a Suspended License. On top of all that she also got her car towed, the kid went home with his grandma and she went to spend some quality time in a cell. I never expected her to actually heed my advice to “Just pull out around it.” But I think next time she’ll probably think twice about parking in a tow away zone, if she ever gets a license again.

Development Manager – Kingdom Housing Association

Development Manager

Salary: £42,081 – £46,273 (spinal points 42 – 46) per annum


This is an exciting opportunity to join Kingdom Housing Association, which is one of Scotland’s leading developers of new affordable housing. Our aim is to provide a growing number of new quality affordable homes. We work in Fife, Clackmannanshire, Perth & Kinross and Falkirk delivering more than 400 new build properties each year for Social Rent and Mid Market Rent, as well as other tenures, commercial properties and a range of initiatives that benefit local communities.


Are you a strong leader and negotiator? Can you develop and manage New Build Development Programmes? Do you thrive taking forward a challenging workload? Can you demonstrate that you have the skills, knowledge and experience we are looking for? If yes, then you should apply to join our Team.


As one of our Development Managers you will implement our strategies, including direct management of key projects, land banking and site acquisition. You will establish & manage Development programmes and manage a team of staff delivering exemplary outcomes for the Kingdom Group and all our Partners.


There is an attractive salary and benefits package with 37 days annual leave per year (pro-rata for part time employees) and an additional 2 days leave after 5 and 10 years service respectively. Other benefits can include Relocation Allowance in line with our Relocation & Disturbance Policy.


The post is subject to a Standard Police Act Disclosure Scotland check and a current full UK driving licence and use of car for work purposes is essential for this post. Further information and Job Application packs are available:

Please note the office will be closed from 3pm on 22 December 2017 to 9am on 3 January 2018 and no emails or voicemail messages will be picked up during this time.

Please quote vacancy number 484.

The closing date for applications is at 12 Noon on Friday, 26 January 2018.

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Construction leads and tenders – December 20th


Applicant: Westpoint Homes Ltd

Planning Authority: Glasgow

Details: Demolition of unlisted building to facilitate construction of residential development.

Location: Mount Carmel 61 Hamilton Avenue, Glasgow

Agent: Iceni Projects Ltd, Per Pamela Turner, 177 West George Street, Glasgow


Applicant: Miller Homes Limited

Planning Authority: Glasgow

Details: Construction of residential development with associated infrastructure, landscaping and engineering works: Potentially Contrary to IPG6 Green Belt and Green Network and SG7 Natural Environment of the Glasgow City Development Plan.

Location: Vacant site within Leverndale Hospital Grounds, Crookston Road, Glasgow

Agent: Geddes Consulting, Per Stuart Salter Quadrant, 17 Bernard Street, Edinburgh



Applicant: Mr James Gilroy

Planning Authority: Glasgow

Details: Construction of subterranean mews house with associated garage and bin store

Location: Site to the rear of 2 Botanic Crescent, Glasgow

Agent: US Architects, Per Duncan Scott, 25 Hyndland Street, Glasgow



Contract Authority: North Lanarkshire Council

Details: The works include removal of existing safety fencing and parapets and installation of new safety fencing and parapets at three locations within Cumbernauld.

Location: Cumbernauld


Publication Date: 19/12/2017


Contract Authority: Fife Council

Details: Construction of a Multi-Use Games Area with synthetic turf surface

Location: North Queensferry


Publication Date: 19/12/2017

Procurement reform needed to deliver affordable housing target, say builders

The Scottish Government is unlikely to meet its target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021 without reforms to housing procurement, according to a survey of Scotland’s building companies.

The latest Scottish Construction Monitor, a quarterly survey of the membership of the Scottish Building Federation (SBF), also found that by focusing on price, current procurement practices will not deliver the mix and quality of housing Scotland needs for the future.

Industry employers responding to the survey were asked how likely they think it is that the Scottish Government will achieve its target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes over the lifetime of the current Scottish Parliament. More than three quarters said they thought it was “unlikely” that the Scottish Government would achieve the target. Only 9% said they thought the target was likely to be met with a further 13% of respondents predicting that the Scottish Government definitely will not meet this target.

SBF members were also asked a series of questions about their experience of housing procurement practices in Scotland. Most reported that, based on this experience, procurement decisions tend to be taken mainly on the basis of price with other considerations like quality, the use of local subcontractors and the creation of local employment opportunities treated as much less of a priority. In the future, respondents to the survey said they would like to see quality in particular given much greater priority in reaching housing procurement decisions.

Scottish Building Federation managing director, Vaughan Hart, said: “There is obviously a genuine concern within the construction sector that, based on its current approach to procurement, the Scottish Government is not going to reach its affordable housing target. At the same time, there is equally a concern that current housing procurement decisions are too much driven by cost above all other considerations. That is not going to help us to deliver the types of housing Scotland needs for the future.

“Applied correctly, procurement has the potential to be a powerful tool that helps to deliver a combination of benefits to Scotland’s society and economy. It should be delivering the right mix and quality of housing in suitably large numbers and in the right locations – while delivering associated benefits in terms of supporting local building contractors that are able to offer sustainable local employment opportunities. Our members’ concern is that, with price treated as the overwhelming priority for procuring authorities, this simply isn’t happening at the moment and that is a huge missed opportunity.”

Employers responding to the survey are always asked to rate how confident they feel about the prospects for their business over the next 12 months compared to the past year. For the second survey period in a row, industry confidence has been rated negative at minus 3, a marginal improvement on the previous survey rating of minus 5.

Commenting on the latest industry confidence rating, Vaughan Hart said: “I think this latest negative confidence rating reflects the fact that the construction industry dislikes uncertainty and the reality is that we are currently living through very uncertain times. I think the outlook for Scotland’s economy also remains challenging and this is also impacting negatively on industry confidence.”

Vaughan Hart added: “As an industry federation, we want to work with government to find new approaches to procuring and building new housing that, by partnering with SME construction businesses who can offer direct employment opportunities, meets these targets in a way that is sustainable in the long term – for the industry, for local communities and for the Scottish economy as a whole.”

Continued housing demand keeps Springfield Properties on track

Chairman Sandy Adam, housing minister Kevin Stewart, CEO Innes Smith and group partnership director Tom Leggeat at an affordable housing development in Muirhouse

Housebuilder Springfield Properties is making good progress with the five new village style developments it is creating across Scotland and is on track to deliver revenues in line with management’s expectations, the firm said today.

In its first trading update since its flotation in October, which successfully raised £25 million for the business, Springfield told investors that the continued demand for more housing in Scotland was underpinning growth in both its private and affordable housing businesses.

As a result, the Elgin-based company said it expects to report revenues for the first half of 2017/18 in line with management’s expectations and declare an interim dividend for the period.

Detailing the progress of its new village developments, Springfield said sales at Dykes of Gray in Dundee are ahead of the company’s target for the year to date. In September, the first homes at Springfield’s new 3,000 home village in Perth went on sale and work on site commenced.

The company will shortly be submitting the plans for another 3,000 home village at Durieshill, in Stirling, for planning approval and the legal agreement for 870 of 2,500 new homes for a village at the south of Elgin is being finalised.

The affordable housing division also continued to perform as expected, Springfield added.

The company will provide further details at the time of the interim results in February 2018.

Scotland to ‘learn any lessons we can’ from interim Grenfell Tower review

Image of the Grenfell Tower fire courtesy of Natalie Oxford via Twitter

Communities secretary Angela Constance has pledged to learn any possible lessons from the publication of an interim report into UK building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Dame Judith Hackitt, the former chair of the Health and Safety Executive, was commissioned to carry out the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety in the wake of the tragedy which claimed the lives of 71 people earlier this year.

Investigating the culture of the construction sector and how the regulatory framework could be more effective, the damning report found regulations that allow landlords and contractors to take “shortcuts” are “not fit for purpose”.

Dame Hackitt said she was “shocked” by some of the practices she encountered and called for a “new intelligent system of regulation and enforcement” for high-rise buildings.

The report’s main findings were that regulations and guidance are “too complex and unclear” and that the means of assessing the competency of key people involved in the system is “inadequate”, with those involved with high-rise buildings needing no special qualifications. It also found that the route for residents to escalate concerns is “unclear and inadequate” while sanctions against those who fail to follow the rules “are too weak”.

In the review, Dame Judith writes: “As the review has progressed, it has become clear that the whole system of regulation, covering what is written down and the way in which it is enacted in practice, is not fit for purpose, leaving room for those who want to take shortcuts to do so.

“This should not be interpreted as meaning that buildings are unsafe. Major building failures, including large-scale fires, are very rare and there are many construction firms, building owners, landlords and others in the system who do the right thing and recognise their responsibilities.

“The unprecedented verification, interim mitigation and remediation work undertaken by fire and rescue services, local authorities and building owners since the summer have ensured that measures are in place to assure residents of high-rise buildings of their safety.”

The Scottish Government has worked with Dame Judith’s team and shared information from the Ministerial Working Group established to consider building regulations and fire safety in Scotland.

Ms Constance said the government will continue to work with Westminster on a number of possible actions resulting from the report.

The minister said: “This is the first of a number of important reports, from which we can start to learn lessons from the Grenfell tragedy. I welcome the engagement that Scottish Government officials have had with Dame Judith and her team on this report.

“We are pleased that Dame Judith recognises that the situation in Scotland is different. We believe our system is robust but there is always room for improvement. We also specifically welcome the work being done and recommendations being made on building industry products and the system of accreditation, which is shared across the UK as a whole.

“We have commissioned two building standard reviews – into fire regulations and compliance – which will ensure that our system of building standards remain clear. The Ministerial Working Group will now look in detail at the recommendations within the interim report and ensure the scope of our reviews are consistent with the issues being considered by Dame Judith. We look to continue our on-going engagement and will seek to work with the UK government on a number of possible actions resulting from the report.”

Dr Paul Stollard, chair of Fire Regulations in Building Standards Review Group, said: “We have already made good progress on identifying where changes might be required to the fire sections of the Scottish Building Standards, with our second Review Panel meeting planned for January and our international comparison group meeting again in February. It is now very helpful to see the proposed areas of change to the English building regulations system as set out in this interim report and it appears that there might be some opportunities joint work on certification schemes which could cover the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Professor John Cole, chair of Compliance and Enforcement in Building Standards Review Group, added: “I welcome Dame Judith Hackitt’s report. From her initial findings I recognise there are many common themes to the work I am currently undertaking for‎ the Scottish Government. In particular the need to ensure that all involved in procuring designing and constructing buildings play their part in delivering buildings compliant with regulations and are safe for building users.”