East Renfrewshire

Work starts on new £150m community in Newton Mearns

Angus Murray, construction director at CALA Homes (West) (left) alongside Brian Henderson, production director at Taylor Wimpey West Scotland

Homebuilders CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey came together to break the ground and start works at the development of a new £150 million community at Maidenhill, Newton Mearns.

The initial works will create the framework of and access to the new community – which will be crucial for facilitating the 834 new homes, 209 of which will be affordable housing, as well as the new Maidenhill Primary school in the centre of the development.

Construction director of CALA Homes (West), Angus Murray, who will be leading the team as work commences, said: “We have spoken about Maidenhill as a new community for a very long time so it is great to be able to break the ground to mark work commencing. Our initial efforts will focus on creating the road network to facilitate access to the school and sports and recreation facilities.

“It will be some time before anyone sees houses on the development, but this is a real milestone for Maidenhill as it means we have taken the first real steps in turning the dream of this fantastic new community into a reality.”

Production director of Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, Brian Henderson, said: “We are at the very beginning of creating Maidenhill and as we forge on with the infrastructure, we are keeping our promise of delivering a fantastic new community with a mix of private and affordable homes as well as the community amenities, front of mind.

“We’ll be working closely with East Renfrewshire Council and the local community to ensure Newton Mearns reaps the benefits of our long-term investment in the area.”

As Maidenhill progresses, a raft of benefits for the Newton Mearns community, courtesy of the multi-million pound investment by the two housebuilders, will come to fruition.

These include:

  • The creation of a range of properties from one-bedroom flats to five-bedroom detached homes.
  • Land and funding to facilitate the construction of Maidenhill Primary – a brand new non-denominational school offering 444 primary school places as well as 120 nursery places.
  • Multiple pockets of land to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing.
  • A multi-use games area (MUGA) and 3G pitch within the school, and available for use by the wider community.
  • Generous public open space throughout the development – equivalent to around 19 football pitches – including a linear green corridor and host of pocket parks.
  • A contribution towards local community halls, sports grounds, sports halls and centres, libraries and community health and care provision.
  • Contribution of land towards a community religious facility.
  • Additional contributions towards off-site road improvements at Mearns Cross and sustainable transport.

East Renfrewshire Council to double house building commitment

Homes set for Blackbyres Road in Barrhead

An additional 120 homes for social rent will be built by East Renfrewshire Council over the next five years.

Councillors on the Cabinet agreed to double the council’s house building commitment, following consultation with residents. The news comes after plans to build 120 homes were approved in November 2016.

Whilst sites for the additional 120 homes are still to be identified, Maidenhill is one potential location. Following approval by Cabinet, work will commence in developing detailed plans, including exploring land availability.

Councillor Dany Devlin, convener for housing and maintenance services, said: “East Renfrewshire is a popular place to live and we want to increase our housing stock to meet the needs of our communities. This decision to build additional homes forms part of the delivery of our recently agreed Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), which makes the commitment to deliver almost 693 affordable homes across the authority over the next five years. We believe these additional homes for social rent will be a great asset to East Renfrewshire and it will be exciting to see the plans develop over the coming months.”

Construction of the first of the previously approved homes will commence early this year, with homes set to be available in late 2018. This first phase of construction includes sites at Robertson Street and Fenwick Drive in Barrhead, followed by a third site at Blackbyres Court, Barrhead.

250-home retirement village planned for Newton Mearns

Plans have been submitted for a new ‘retirement village’ containing 252 homes and an 80-bed care home in Newton Mearns.

Situated off Netherplace Road, Newton Mearns Retirement Village has been conceived by Jewitt & Wilkie Architects on behalf of Newton Mearns Projects to cater exclusively for the over-55 market.

Under plans lodged with East Renfrewshire Council, the development will also feature a ‘multi-purpose village centre’ and full supporting facilities and amenities, with a new access road from Aurs Road at the former Dye Works on Netherplace Road.

A view of the proposed Village Centre

In the submission the developers state that the project “will create much needed sustainable, safe, secure and specific retirement residential accommodation within East Renfrewshire that has not been available to date”.

A similar development by Persimmon Homes was refused in 2015, after objections from the community, social health and care partnership and Glasgow Airport.

The previous application, which is not related to the current proposals, outlined plans for a 55-bed care home and 360 apartments in the retirement village.

The Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) said that there is no case for a care home in Newton Mearns, and that the developer has made assumptions about the area’s demographics.

Images courtesy of Jewitt & Wilkie Architects

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.”

Kier named as Tier One contractor to hub West Scotland

Kier imageKier Construction Scotland has been appointed as a Tier One contractor to hub West Scotland’s supply chain.

A joint-venture organisation owned by both the public and private sectors, hub West Scotland delivers a range of public sector capital works projects throughout west central Scotland.

It works in partnership with 15 public bodies in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, including NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and six local authorities: East Dunbartonshire; West Dunbartonshire; East Renfrewshire; Renfrewshire; Inverclyde and Glasgow City councils, covering a population of around 1.2 million people.

The partnership designs and constructs a wide range of new community facilities, including schools, health and community centres and facilities for blue light organisations, whilst providing value for money to the public purse and the opportunity to work with local SMEs.

Kier Construction Scotland is already an equity stakeholder and Tier One contractor in hub South West Scotland and a Tier One contractor on hub North and hub East Central.

Iain Marley, chief executive of hub West Scotland, said: “Key supply chain members are a vital ingredient in the success of hub West Scotland where we work in a collaborative partnership to deliver quality, innovative and value for money solutions to our public sector partners.

“Kier Construction Scotland boasts a wealth of delivery experience, and we look forward to working with them as a partnering contractor on future projects, to develop a sustainable future within communities across west central Scotland.”

Brian McQuade, Kier Construction Scotland’s managing director, added: “We are delighted to be appointed as a Tier One contractor to hub West Scotland. We believe that Kier has a great deal to offer the partnership and we are looking forward to working closely with the hub West team and supporting local communities by creating employment and educational opportunities.”

East Renfrewshire approves five-year plan to deliver 693 affordable homes

East_Renfrewshire_aerialA commitment to deliver almost 693 affordable homes across East Renfrewshire over the next five years has been approved by councillors.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) 2018/19 – 2022/23 sets out the strategic investment priorities for the coming years.

According to the strategy, the creation of 693 social housing units for rent will be delivered in two phases, with 544 planned in the first three years, and the remaining 149 properties to be completed in years four and five.

As part of the SHIP a number of affordable properties for sale are also expected, which would largely be delivered through developer contributions.

In addition, to meet the changing needs of the area’s residents around 10% of the new units will be suitable for specific requirements, such as for the elderly or wheelchair users.

All local authorities are required to develop SHIPs annually and they are key documents as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to create 50,000 affordable homes in Scotland by 2021.

In 2016/17 twenty two properties were purchased by East Renfrewshire Council and Barrhead Housing Association directly from the market to increase housing supply. The SHIP programme continues to include the possibility of market purchase to increase the supply of affordable homes.

The council house build project is also moving with momentum following approval in 2016.

Councillor Danny Devlin, convenor for housing and maintenance, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to commit to providing almost 700 additional social housing units through our SHIP. We are absolutely committed to providing great quality homes for our residents and this investment will ensure we continue to deliver.

“In addition to our SHIP we’re also planning improvements in how we let our homes through our proposed Homeseeker service, which will make the process easier and more transparent.

“It is fantastic to see such investment in developing our housing stock, in particular our ambitious house building programme, and I look forward to seeing how this work progresses over the coming months.”

Construction on the first sites will commence in early 2018, with homes set to be available in late 2018. This first phase of construction includes sites at Robertson Street and Fenwick Drive in Barrhead, followed by a third site at Blackbyres Court, Barrhead.

Community benefits agreed for new Maidenhill development

CGI - MaidenhillDevelopers behind plans for a new community in Maidenhill, Newton Mearns, are to provide multiple pockets of land to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing as part of a range of newly agreed community benefits.

The framework outlining the additional requirements for the development of 834 new homes – between CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland – has been confirmed with East Renfrewshire Council and early works activity is now under way.

The agreement will ensure the sensitive creation of the brand new neighbourhood, which the developers say is set to bring significant investment, and the creation of local jobs, to the area.

Other community benefits to be agreed for the Maidenhill project include:

  • The creation of a range of properties from one-bedroom flats to five-bedroom detached homes.
  • Land and funding to facilitate the construction of Maidenhill Primary – a brand new non-denominational school offering 444 primary school places as well as 120 nursery places.
  • A multi-use games area (MUGA) and 3G pitch within the school, and available for use by the wider community.
  • Generous public open space throughout the development – equivalent to around 19 football pitches – including a linear green corridor and host of pocket parks.
  • A contribution towards local community halls, sports grounds, sports halls and centres, libraries and community health and care provision.
  • Contribution of land towards a community faith facility.
  • Additional contributions towards off-site road improvements at Mearns Cross and sustainable transport.

Managing director of Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, Willie Burns, said: “Reaching the conclusion of this agreement for Maidenhill marks another milestone on the journey towards creating a fantastic new community that will complement and become an extension to Newton Mearns’ existing neighbourhoods.

“We’ll be working closely with East Renfrewshire Council and the local community to ensure Newton Mearns reaps the benefits of our long-term investment in the area.”

Jim McIntyre, managing director of CALA Homes (West), added: “We take our responsibility to improve the local community seriously, and this is evident in our plans for Maidenhill. As well as retaining plenty of open green space and creating new homes designed in to the landscape, we are also providing land for much needed affordable housing, and land for a new on-site school – with additional investment planned for local infrastructure and facilities as the development progresses.”

East Renfrewshire Council leader, Tony Buchanan, said: “I am delighted that this development will deliver such fantastic benefits for the wider community. The MUGA and 3G pitch will be available for use by all our residents, which will be a fantastic facility for sport and recreation. It is also important that the site will deliver a mixture of private and affordable homes to meet the needs of the area.”

World first for Faith School Campus in Newton Mearns

096 - Faith School without LogoThe first of its kind, £13.8m project will see the Faith Schools’ joint campus open its door for the new school term beginning next month.

The state-of-the-art build is scheduled to open in August and will be the first school to specifically welcome pupils of both Catholic and Jewish faiths under the one roof.

Situated in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, the project serves as a replacement for Calderwood Lodge and has space for an additional Catholic school and provision for a nursery.

Although both schools will have separate entrances, teaching blocks and head teachers, the pupils will all share the same flexible meeting place, which revolves around an amphitheatre.

Heron Bros completed the design and build of the campus, which includes a multi-purpose assembly hall, an open atrium and outdoor terraces which provide extra teaching spaces, along with extensive planting and landscaping provided externally throughout the site.

Architects BDP, service engineers TUV-SUD and structural engineers Blyth & Blyth were all involved in the project, along with local subcontractors Marmac Services who provided the M&E installations and Cleartech Group Ltd who carried out the HVAC commissioning and water treatment services throughout the campus.

Green light given to 650 home development in Newton Mearns

Maidenhill Farm Newton Mearns

Artist’s impression prepared by G.D.Lodge Architects

Plans for more than 650 homes in Newton Mearns have been given the go-ahead by East Renfrewshire Council.

Targeted for completion by 2019, the joint CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland development at Maidenhill Farm proposes to deliver around 641 new homes.

An element of ‘intermediate’ affordable housing, which will be distributed across the development as low cost private sale units, is also included in the plans.

According to the application, the balance of ‘intermediate’ affordable housing and ‘social rented’ affordable housing will be accommodated on dedicated serviced plots, to be developed in future by Registered Social Landlords and subject to separate future planning applications. This will take the ultimate total number of new homes on site to 828 units.

The detailed design proposals on the further serviced plots for the community religious facility and the community primary school with play & sports facilities will also be the subject of separate future planning applications.

Maidenhill Farm Newton Mearns 2Despite several councillors sharing their concerns over the existing sewer system, the plan was approved by the council’s planning committee by a majority of four votes to three.

The committee decision applies to the first 400 homes which will be connected to the existing sewer network with no requirement for it to be upgraded.

However, the committee stipulated developers must have a plan in place to bring the system up to scratch for the second phase of the development – devised in conjunction with Scottish Water – before anyone can move in.

The council also insisted all necessary checks were carried out on the development’s drainage strategy in advance of the decision, and said the plan complies with its regulations as a Flood Prevention Authority.

Maidenhill Farm Newton Mearns 3An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman added: “As part of any planning application for a major development a drainage strategy report is prepared by a specialist hydrologist to outline how surface water run-off will be managed. The necessary checks are then carried out to ensure the proposed measures comply with the council’s requirements in our role as Flood Prevention Authority.

“Officers are satisfied the proposals put forward for Maidenhill, which includes the installation of drainage systems at four separate parts of the site, will control surface water run-off rates at the required level.

“This application was rigorously assessed by planning officers and was subsequently approved by elected members on the planning committee. In relation to the sewage system it is also important to stress that Scottish Water, which is responsible for the area’s drainage network, did not object to the planning application.”

Managing director of CALA Homes (West), Jim McIntyre, said: “We are excited to bring to life our vision for Maidenhill which has been carefully considered throughout this process. We are committed to creating a development that complements and becomes an extension to neighbouring communities whilst meeting the housing need in Newton Mearns at the same time.”

Initial plans submitted for 200 homes in East Renfrewshire hamlet

Waterfoot Gladman 2Developers have submitted a planning application for up to 200 new homes in Waterfoot, East Renfrewshire.

The proposed development will include affordable housing, local retail, community facilities and associated engineering works.

It is proposed to exceed the 25% affordable housing target by providing a minimum of 30% provision and deliver a range of housing choices through a mix of housing tenures, types and sizes that will meet a variety of households in housing needs including older people and first‐ time buyers.

According to independent research, the project will support hundreds of jobs and result in an increased revenue of around £7 million annually to the area.

As part of its application, Gladman commissioned an independent economic impact report.

The evaluation found that the four-year construction period would support over 50 full time jobs on site each year and nearly 200 other related jobs during lifetime of the £25m project.

In addition, East Renfrewshire Council would benefit by just under £520,000 annually in new Council Tax revenue.

New home owners are predicted to spend an extra £1.4m annually in the area and this would support 29 new retail jobs.

And the area in general would benefit by an additional £5m annually of new disposable income.

Waterfoot GladmanGladman also commissioned an independent survey, which found that a majority of people who took part said they are aware that East Renfrewshire is facing a sizeable shortage of family homes.

And many of them would consider Waterfoot as a place to live if new housing becomes available there.

The poll also found that most people questioned see a new development as an opportunity to improve local infrastructure.

A spokesman for Gladman said: “It’s clear from our research that most people surveyed would welcome new housing in Waterfoot, particularly as a substantial proportion of our proposed development will include badly-needed affordable homes.”