Cala Group

CALA Homes reveals LBTT offer to homebuyers

CALA’s Ravelrig Heights development in Balerno

A housebuilder is offering homebuyers in the east of Scotland the chance to buy a home without having to pay the full Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).

In many cases, CALA Homes (East) is even covering the entire cost of the tax applied to the purchase of a home, at a number of its developments across Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian – on reservations made by January 31st.

LBTT replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland in 2015, and is a tax applied to residential land and buildings transactions over £145,000 (when the property purchased is your only home). Recent changes in tax-bands mean that £13,350 is now due for a house bought for £400,000, for example.

The view from a home at Liberton Grange in Edinburgh

CALA said its ‘Life Less Taxing’ offer aims to allow homebuyers to make their dream move with more certainty and without added financial stress.

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director at CALA Homes (East), said: “We fully understand that a house move can be stressful with many upfront costs to take into account.

“The tax can require large cash reserves and can even put a move back months if not years, or possibly make it unaffordable altogether.

“This kind of support is not available in the second hand market so we’d encourage potential purchasers to find out how CALA can help make their dream move possible.

“At this moment we have an especially wide range of luxury developments throughout the region appealing to downsizers, young professionals and busy families alike.”

Last year Mactaggart & Mickel Homes said it will pay the LBTT for first-time buyers purchasing homes priced at up to £300,000 until the end of April 2018.

CALA submits plans for new homes in Inverurie

CALA Homes (North) has submitted a planning application for a proposed residential development in Inverurie.

Located in the Conglass area, on Crawford Road, the development would see the creation of 57 homes comprising four and five-bedroom detached houses as well as an allocation of affordable properties.

The application follows the housebuilder’s previously submitted plans for a development in nearby Oldmeldrum.

Mike Naysmith, managing director of CALA Homes (North), said: “We are pleased to progress with plans for this luxury pocket of family homes in Inverurie.

“It has been many years since we last built homes in the town but we have been very keen to return and invest in the right developments in the area, so we are particularly pleased to have plans for this site at Conglass and also in nearby Oldmeldrum.

“Our proposal has been carefully considered to ensure the new neighbourhood will complement the existing surroundings.

“We look forward to releasing more details of our exciting plans for Conglass as they move forward.”

Meanwhile CALA has launched its latest development of new homes on the former grounds of the Scottish Fire Service College in Gullane.

Careful renovation is ensuring that the coastal village’s iconic Henderson House is restored to its former glory and transformed into apartments.

The renowned and much loved building was formerly The Marine Hotel before becoming the college and eventually mothballed following Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s relocation to Cumbernauld.

Work is currently being finalised on two townhouse showhomes due to launch in April, with a show apartment expected to be ready by early summer. A refurbished apartment in Henderson House will join the roster of showhomes around August.

In total, CALA is bringing to market 125 homes, including the Henderson House apartments, mews, terraced and semi-detached housing.

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director with CALA Homes (East), said: “Gullane is an ideal area for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city living, while maintaining easy access to the capital.

“As well as opening the door to new families in Gullane, our homes will provide a much needed option for downsizers, commuters and holiday makers alike.

“From the development’s name, inspired by Henderson House’s previous life as The Marine Hotel, to red stone features and natural timber touches, every detail of the new development has been carefully designed to reflect the area’s heritage.

“The site has been left unused for years so we’re excited to put the valuable space back to good use and our new homes will create a village feel and a new neighbourhood, with plenty of green space for the whole community to enjoy.”

Flooding claims fail to prevent Newton Mearns housing plan

A legal bid to prevent the development of more than 800 homes at Newton Mearns has been rejected by the Court of Session.

The joint CALA Homes and Taylor Wimpey project at Maidenhill Farm is set to deliver a new neighbourhood of 834 new homes in total with pockets of land provided to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing, a new primary school and a number of community facilities.

However Colette Patton from the Newton Mearns Residents Flood Prevention Group took East Renfrewshire Council to the Court of Session for a judicial review of the authority’s decision to grant permission for the development last year.

Ms Patton is concerned that an existing flooding problem will be greatly exacerbated by the new homes and argued that the report to the council’s planning committee was inaccurate.

But in a written judgment, Lord Glennie ruled East Renfrewshire Council acted in accordance with the law.

He wrote: “It was not seriously in dispute that there is a well-recognised and long-standing risk of flooding in Newton Mearns, Mearns Village, and the surrounding area. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has designated Newton Mearns a potentially vulnerable area as part of the wider White Cart Catchment. This fact is a material part of the background to the dispute presently before the court.”

He added: “I am satisfied that the committee had before it all relevant material. The report adequately summarised that material. I do not find it established that the committee was misled, either because the report omitted relevant material or because it was misleading in any way.

“Nor was its decision irrational. It seems to me that the case for the petitioner amounts, in substance, to a disagreement with the decision taken by the committee in granting the planning application. It is well established that the court cannot interfere on that basis.

“Provided the committee is properly informed of the issues, of the material, and of the planning law and guidance to be followed, the court will not interfere simply because there is an argument, however honestly pursued, that it should have arrived at a different decision. I am far from persuaded that its decision was wrong, but even if it was, that would not be a basis for interfering.”

New developer introduced at Haddington housing development

Gerry More

A residential development in Haddington that includes a new primary school is making considerable progress with the introduction of a second developer.

Included in recent milestones at the Letham Mains site, CALA Homes (East) is looking to split its previously approved original share of 376 homes, with Stewart Milne Homes now seeking to take on 155 homes.

Despite not altering the total number of homes, the like-for-like substitution of plots between the two developers requires fresh planning approval, due to variations in home styles and small on-site design changes, with proposals by Stewart Milne Homes recently submitted.

Derek Lawson, strategic land director with CALA Homes (East), said: “We’re pleased to be able to work with Stewart Milne Homes to enable them to take over half of our original site.

“This ensures our team can focus on delivering high-quality homes, while facilitating the new purpose-built primary school.”

CALA is on schedule to commence construction on its remaining share of the homes in January 2018, with Stewart Milne Homes anticipating starting in the summer, subject to planning outcomes.

Managing director of Stewart Milne Homes Central, Gerry More, added: “We are seeing strong demand for quality family homes across Central Scotland and, by increasing the number of active developments, through collaborative working with other homebuilders, we’re in a firm position to cater to this demand.

“Subject to planning approval, we are looking to create an attractive neighbourhood of 155 homes at Haddington. With attention to detail in both the craftsmanship of our homes and in the design of the settings, streets and green space, we will deliver a distinctive and desirable place to live which, with the plans for the new primary school, will be ideal for families.”

Meaningful progress has also been made at the development following a major earthwork project to prepare the site. These works include spine road infrastructure, regrading of levels, delivery of services and will include off-site works on West Road.

Likewise, the CALA Homes-led programme to deliver the serviced school site is on track for early summer 2018 when it will hand over to the local authority.

Derek Lawson added: “Letham Mains is a major project for us and a very important element of East Lothian Council’s release of housing across the region.

“We are delighted to now have the housebuild start date very much in sight and will begin to provide a welcome boost to house hunters offering high-quality premium product from our new Light and Space range.”

CALA looks ahead to another year of growth in Scotland

Alan Brown

The chief executive of CALA Group has highlighted the “exceptional progress” the business has made in transforming its size and scope as it looks ahead to deliver another year of growth in 2018.

In its full year results for the year ending 30th June 2017, the hosuebuilder announced record profits of £68.5 million (2016: £60.1m), and completed 1,677 units over the period, an increase of 46% on the previous year (2016: 1,151).

Alan Brown, CEO of CALA Group, said: “2017 has been another excellent year for CALA. We made exceptional progress in transforming the size and scope of our business, delivering our fifth consecutive year of record revenues and profits.

“Trading in our business across Scotland remained strong throughout the year and pleasingly we saw a stabilisation of market conditions in Aberdeen, which gave us the confidence to increase the number of homes sold and invest in new land.”

Despite the “challenging” Scottish housing market, Mr Brown said he remains confident in CALA’s ability to build on its progress.

He added: “Looking ahead to 2018, although continuing uncertainty will no doubt present further challenges to the Scottish housing market, the fundamental supply and demand imbalance remains. We are confident our strategy will deliver another year of growth and enter 2018 with strong trading momentum.

“While we have been increasingly encouraged by the direction of travel among policy makers, there remains several areas where reform would further help housebuilders more effectively get on with building the homes that Scotland needs in 2018.

“The Scottish Government’s pragmatic approach to planning, especially in relation to the delivery of new housing allocations from local plans, has been positive. However, reforming the planning process through extra funding for local authority planning departments would support the further acceleration of housebuilding. Likewise, it would also be helpful to address the inconsistent approach of local authorities, along with the delivery disconnect between national housing policy and local plan delivery. While we have grown significantly during the year and remain on course to achieve our growth ambitions, our output would have been considerably higher had we not encountered some entirely avoidable issues stemming from these delays.

“We’d also like to see the government look again at the Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) along with the focused delivery of all types of housing through a robust planning system. The new draft planning bill in Scotland, which is currently going through the consultation process, looks to address some of these challenges.

“The most important point is the actual ‘timely’ delivery of increased housing numbers in the early years of the local plan periods, to reinforce the importance of housing delivery as a key national policy. We hope these key elements are not lost during the consultation process and the final bill does not further create delays or complicate the planning system.

“Maintaining the bill’s clear focus on the delivery of housing will be crucial to speeding up the decision making process and enabling housebuilders to deliver the new homes Scotland desperately needs.”

388-home Leith development given unanimous green light

An aerial view of the proposed development

An aerial view of the proposed development

Long-running plans have been approved to revitalise disused land opposite Leith’s Ocean Terminal with 388 new homes.

The ‘Waterfront Plaza’ proposals, which were strongly backed by local community and business leaders, were given the green light after councillors voted unanimously in favour at a planning hearing yesterday.

CALA Homes (East) is now hoping to begin construction of the 388 homes as early as summer 2018 with fist completions late summer 2019 – along with 1500sq.m of flexible workspace units similar to The Arches, Market Street.

As well as the major economic benefits and the creation of a public realm, a wide range of the local housing supply will be boosted, with 97 affordable homes also included in the plans.

Craig Lynes, land director at CALA Homes (East), said: “We are thrilled to have received the backing of Councillors who recognised the importance of bringing much needed new homes to the area.

“This derelict site is well-known to local people and we hope to ensure that our plans bring a notable boost to the local economy and contribute to a vibrant community.

“We’ve also worked closely with the community and leading local figures to ensure that the commercial units the site will create are in keeping with demand – bringing opportunities designed around Leith’s leading creative industries.”

How the homes will look from Ocean Terminal

How the homes will look from Ocean Terminali

In the week leading up to the hearing at The City of Edinburgh Council development sub-committee, a joint-letter was issued on behalf of high-profile backers, including Port of Leith Housing Association, Leith Chamber of Commerce as well as Ocean Terminal and 41 of its businesses.

The letter “strongly urged” support for the residential-led proposals located on historically disused land opposite Ocean Terminal, citing the urgent need for new private and affordable homes and the huge potential boost to the local economy.

Further public backing came from local councillor Gordon Munro, who called the project a potential ‘catalyst’ for the regeneration of Leith – as well as the vocal support of Lord Provost Frank Ross, Gavin Barrie and John McLellan.

The amended plans present a range of apartments and family homes, to include 33 semi detached and terraced townhouses, 27 colonies, 328 apartments, plus 29 ground floor workspaces fronting Ocean Drive.

It is anticipated that an eclectic mix of ‘workspace’ units complimented with the proposed public realm, to include an urban square and public green space and café building fronting Victoria Dock at Waterfront Plaza will draw more visitors to the area and keep them there for longer, in line with local ambitions to increase the retention of visitors in Leith.

CALA unveils housing plans for former Broomhill Hospital site

A potential street scene from the proposed development

A potential street scene from the proposed development

A joint planning application for a proposed housing development at the former Broomhill Hospital in Kirkintilloch has been submitted by CALA Homes (West) and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The applicants seek to create a high quality development of 162 private and affordable homes, on a site that is allocated for housing in the adopted East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan 2, 2017.

The proposed private housing mix will comprise of apartments, cottage flats, townhouses, terraced and detached properties. Forty affordable homes will also feature a range of cottage flats and terraced houses.

The affordable housing provision equates to 25% of the total number of homes proposed on the site and is expected to be delivered by CALA for Link Housing Association.

CALA’s proposals represent an investment in excess of £30 million in the long-term future of the community with the creation of over 100 direct and 50 indirect construction jobs expected.

It is further thought that the development will generate in excess of £300,000 per annum for East Dunbartonshire Council in council tax receipts.

After closing in 1995, the majority of the former hospital buildings were de-listed and demolished in 2013/14, turning the site into a now vacant brownfield development opportunity within the town. CALA was selected as preferred developer by the NHS in early 2017, following the most recent open marketing process.

A Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) was submitted to East Dunbartonshire Council in May, and a successful public consultation event was held at William Patrick Library in August.

The feedback from the public consultation, together with the extensive pre-application discussions with key stakeholders, have shaped the designs, culminating in an attractive site proposal that will meet all planning and environmental requirements.

If approved, the development will embody CALA’s distinctive style and will be crafted to the high specifications synonymous with the premier homebuilder.

Graham McNeil, land director for CALA Homes (West), said: “The submission of the planning application shows CALA’s commitment to delivering a range and choice of high quality homes on this allocated brownfield site in East Dunbartonshire.

“Strength in design excellence and sector-leading build quality sets us apart from other developers.

“We are looking forward to progressing the application with East Dunbartonshire Council and believe that the proposals respond well to the site’s unique characteristics and setting, and will positively enhance this area of Kirkintilloch.”

David Loudon, NHS GGC’s director of property, procurement & facilities management, said: “I am delighted that the detailed planning application will now be progressed with East Dunbartonshire Council and that the site of the former Broomhill Hospital can be reused to help in the delivery of much needed housing in the Kirkintilloch area, whilst offering open space for potential community use.”

The applicants are targeting a positive planning decision from East Dunbartonshire Council around springtime next year.

If planning permission is granted, work is expected to start on site in late summer 2018, with the first residents taking occupation around 12 months later.

Dozens of businesses pen joint letter in support of major Leith development

An aerial view of the proposed development

An aerial view of the proposed development

A long-running Leith development has received a timely boost from its supporters today ahead of its determination by councillors.

Plans for “Waterfront Plaza” have been praised in a joint letter of support sent to councillors on behalf of Port of Leith Housing Association, Leith Chamber of Commerce as well as Ocean Terminal and 41 of its businesses.

The letter “strongly urges” support for the residential-led proposals located on historically disused land opposite Ocean Terminal, citing the urgent need for new private and affordable homes and the huge potential boost to the local economy.

This, along with public backing from Councillor Gordon Munro, as well as the vocal support of Lord Provost Frank Ross, Gavin Barrie and John McLellan, is hoped will encourage the panel to deliver what the developer describes as “much needed housing”.

Craig Lynes, land director at CALA Homes (East), said: “The strong support is especially welcome and recognises the importance and complexity of this site.

“It is hugely important that well considered residential developments on brownfield sites can support the delivery of much needed homes across the city.

“A site such as Waterfront Plaza, making use of a disused plot of land and located in such a vibrant part of the city will hopefully get the backing of the committee on Wednesday.”

The hearing is taking place following a committee in November which unanimously called for a hearing to assess and consider in more detail CALA Homes’ proposals.

Ahead of the November committee, Lord Provost Frank Ross called for “common sense to prevail” and urged “these houses to be built, not only to provide much needed homes but a boost to Ocean Terminal.”

CALA’s proposals have received widespread backing from across community, housing and business leaders and also includes the support of the Leith Trust.

How the homes will look from Ocean Terminal

How the homes will look from Ocean Terminal

The development will consist of 388 homes, including 97 affordable homes and will include around 1500 sq.m. of flexible ‘workspace’ units, similar to The Arches development on Market Street, offering a wide range of potential uses including shops, cafes, galleries, creative space and offices ideally suited to start-ups.

The amended plans present a range of apartments and family homes, to include 33 semi detached and terraced townhouses, 27 colonies, 328 apartments, plus 29 ground floor workspaces fronting Ocean Drive.

It is anticipated that an eclectic mix of ‘workspace’ units complimented with the proposed public realm, to include an urban square and public green space and café building fronting Victoria Dock at Waterfront Plaza will draw more visitors to the area and keep them there for longer, in line with local ambitions to increase the retention of visitors in Leith.

A hearing to consider and determine the application will be held at The City of Edinburgh Council development sub-committee on December 13.

The joint letter reads as follows:

Dear Councillors

We are aware that the planning application for the CALA development at Waterfront Plaza is to go to a Hearing at the Development Management Sub-Committee on 13th December.

As key local stakeholders we would strongly urge you to support this planning application, an application widely supported by the local community, with 89 letters of support as opposed to 18 objections registered.

We acknowledge that this land has been allocated in the Local Development Plan for commercial-led mixed use, but it should be noted there is little demand for this in the current market, and indeed in the foreseeable future. This is despite the site being ever present within masterplans, the Leith Docks Development Framework and Outline Planning Permissions for mixed use development dating back to 2005, none of which have come to fruition.

Noting such a lack of demand, Ocean Point 1 has lain vacant for a number of years, and one of the floors in the heavily-subsidised block has lain vacant for 16 years.

In addition, while there is no demand for significant Grade A Office space currently, regeneration through significant investment delivering development at Waterfront Plaza could act a catalyst for further development within the area. In this context there is the potential for the neighbouring Scottish Government land, which also forms part of the Local Development Plan allocation for mixed use, to deliver some commercial use at a more appropriate scale in the future.

There is, as you will be aware, a massive demand for housing here in the area and it should be noted that there were over 3,400 household applications for the 96 unit development at Western Harbour. Demand for affordable housing is very high for both mid-market rent and for social housing as demonstrated by the fact that Port of Leith Housing Association is receiving an average of 260 bids for each available social rented home this year.

It should also be noted that while residential development was proposed for Britannia Quay in the Local Development Plan, Forth Ports have decided to retain it for business and industry uses. This has clearly heightened the housing shortfall in the area.

This proposed well-considered development therefore offers the most significant and realistic opportunity in many years to see this area developed and the site brought back into use.

The delivery of development in Leith has slowed down and this scheme will bring considerable benefits, especially in this challenging economic environment. Not only will this development deliver housing, including much-needed affordable housing (94 units to be delivered by Port of Leith Housing Association), but the introduction of flexible workspace will serve to meet a local demand for smaller start-up units.

This will bring a site which has lain vacant and derelict for a number of years, only being used for temporary events and as a spill-over car park for Ocean Terminal, back into productive use.

We welcome your support for this development and please let us know should any further information be required.

Yours faithfully

  • Leith Chambers of Commerce
  • Port of Leith Housing Association
  • Ocean Terminal
  • Retailers:
  • Marks & Spencer
  • French Connection
  • Debenhams
  • Scottish Design Exchange
  • Cono Brella
  • Superdry
  • Mobile Plus
  • Wagamama
  • Handmade Burger Co
  • Pizza Express
  • Schuh
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • GAME
  • Card Factory
  • Claires Accessories 
  • The Little Shop of Memory 
  • Royal House of Scotland
  • Mr Nicks Green Kitchen
  • Trespass
  • Bags Etc
  • HMV
  • Herbal Inn
  • E-VR
  • Starbucks
  • Dark Room
  • Mostyn McKenzie
  • Waltons
  • Zizzi Restaurant
  • Wed2B
  • Costa Coffee
  • Fat Face
  • Toy Town 
  • Holland & Barrett
  • H + M Occupier
  • Vision Express
  • New Look
  • The Body Shop
  • Ragetta
  • Gap
  • Ocean Play
  • Imrah
  • Charlie Miller Hairdressing

Residents vow to fight on as Jordanhill campus housing development wins approval

Cala - Jordanhill 3Plans to deliver more than 400 homes on the University of Strathclyde’s former Jordanhill campus have gained planning permission, with residents already planning to continue their campaign against the development.

CALA Homes (West) submitted proposals in March to develop the 31-acre site in Glasgow, which was put up for sale in 2015 after Planning Permission in Principle was obtained by the University for a residential developer.

Councillors voted 12-2 in favour of the development ranging from one bedroom flats to detached family homes.

The developers said the proposals will “create a wide range of much needed, high quality homes” and maintained that half of the development will remain as greenspace.

However over 900 objections were made to Glasgow City Council amid concerns over a lack of social housing, the absence of amenities within the development, traffic management and the impact on local schools.

Cala - Jordanhill 1Jordanhill Community Council, which has led the rejections, insists it will continue to try to halt the plans.

The body has already launched legal action, with a judicial review petition being heard in the Court of Session last week, although the outcome is not yet known.

“We will continue to seek justice and look forward to the outcome of our judicial review petition,” said the council.

“We would consider it a breach of natural justice if any work was to commence on the campus site prior to a court verdict.”

Ken Robertson, a spokesman for the community council, said: “We simply cannot understand how the planning committee voted this through and ignored the objections of 900 residents and three local councillors.

“We cannot accept the way things have been handled.

“At a time when climate change is high on agenda, the loss of open space along with the destruction of protected mature trees is unacceptable.

“To make this decision while the outcome of the judicial review is still awaited makes things even worse.”

Cala - Jordanhill 2Mr Robertson added: “A much needed community centre would have provided shared spaces for nursery, pre-school education and after-school care.

“It would have integrated the existing community with the new one, which will be created within the campus.

“Instead there is a very real danger that CALA will create a gated village, remote from the rest of Jordanhill.”

Last month, CALA penned an open letter to residents describing how the planning application will protect and enhance greenspace at the site, retain the Category B-listed David Stow building, open playing fields to local schools and establish one of the city’s most desirable and well-designed residential developments.

After councillors voted to approve the development, managing director Jim McIntyre said: “We’re confident our plans will deliver a fantastic new residential development that will meet the demand for high quality housing in Glasgow.”

CALA submits housing plans for Aberdeenshire golf estate

Meldrum House

Meldrum House

CALA Homes has submitted a planning application for a proposed residential development within the grounds of Meldrum House Hotel & Golf Club, Oldmeldrum.

Developed in conjunction with Meldrum House Estate, the proposal for 50 new properties will now be considered by Aberdeenshire Council.

Designed to ensure the properties are in keeping with and complement the picturesque setting of Meldrum House Hotel & Golf Course, the development will comprise a mix of four and five-bedroom detached homes.

Prior to plans being submitted, CALA held a community consultation event and has closely liaised with the hotel and golf club, along with its members, to ensure the proposals were sympathetic to the surrounding area and would be an attractive addition to the local community.

Mike Naysmith, managing director of CALA Homes (North), said: “We are delighted to be moving forward with plans for this truly unique development at Meldrum House.

“Each aspect has been carefully crafted in collaboration with Meldrum House Estate to ensure the homes enhance the area while appealing to a range of homebuyers. Our extensive experience in the north-east market, and an outstanding reputation for the careful creation of new communities, including homes that are appropriate and complementary to the surrounding area, makes Meldrum House Estate and CALA the perfect fit.

“We look forward to releasing our exciting plans for Meldrum House as they move forward.”

CALA anticipates a planning determination in spring 2018.