Perth & Kinross

Expresso Property to make £100m investment in Scottish mixed development schemes

Nick Robinson and Stephen Hampshire  of Expresso Property

Nick Robinson and Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property

Expresso Property Limited has announced a major investment in mixed development property schemes which will transform three significant sites in Glasgow and Perth, and is actively seeking further development opportunities.

The company said its portfolio will have an end investment value of £100 million and will support the creation of over 1000 Scottish new jobs.

York-based Expresso is investing in three major projects, at Park Quadrant Residences in Glasgow’s West End; Perth’s new leisure hub, Mill Quarter, and a new mixed-use site at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.

The company is also actively seeking further UK sites and is funded to purchase schemes ranging from £1m to £50m.

Park Quadrant Residences A

Park Quadrant Residences will complete the missing piece of Park Circs

Designed by architects Holmes Miller and developed in conjunction with development partner, Park Quadrant Residences will complete the vision of the architect Charles Wilson’s concentric ringed design of a 19th century masterplan of the area. Building on site begins in Autumn 2017 and will complete in 2020, supporting up to 500 construction jobs. Park Quadrant will have a total end investment value of £53m.

Expresso Property has concluded missives on The Mill Quarter site, a new leisure hub at the heart of Perth, comprising a state of the art multi-screen cinema: a mix of bars; restaurants and speciality shops, a 205 space multi-storey car park and 58 new apartments. During the construction phase, the scheme will support 200 jobs, (107 direct construction jobs and 93 indirect supplier jobs), and will have an end investment value of £30m, creating around 126 new jobs in Perth on completion.

The Mill Quarter will 'transform Perth’s visitor destination offer'

The Mill Quarter will ‘transform Perth’s visitor destination offer’

The company said the scheme will be a catalyst for economic change in Perth and will significantly transform the city’s visitor destination offer. Construction works are due to commence in 2018 and is due for completion in summer 2019.

Expresso Property has also been named as the preferred developer by Scottish Enterprise, for a new mixed-use development at Pacific Quay Glasgow, comprising offices and shops overlooking the river basin. The development will sit adjacent to the Cineworld Cinema, Glasgow Imax at the Glasgow Science Centre, the BBC and STV. With an end investment value of circa £12m, Pacific Quay will accommodate over 400 new jobs.  Works begin on site in next year with completion due in 2019.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property said: “Expresso is funded to purchase schemes ranging from £1m to £50m and we are delighted to announce that the Scottish schemes will support the creation of 1000 new jobs in Glasgow and Perth.”

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “We have various UK schemes underway, three of which are major Scottish projects. We turn each development on its head and look at what design fits the site, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. By replicating this success across key UK cities, our schemes will regenerate vacant, floundering and under-utilised spaces to benefit residential, and business communities for people to enjoy and be proud of.

“We share information and ideas and our teams are actively looking to invest in sites from Bath and Bristol to Birmingham and the North of the UK. To include Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, York, Leeds, Dundee and Scotland. With funding now in place we are actively looking to acquire further commercial, office, residential and retail development propositions.

“These may be currently on the market or direct approaches from company principals wishing to explore their thoughts and ideas.”

Progress made on £15m Perthshire resort development

DCIM102MEDIATaymouth Marina, a self-catering resort on the banks of Loch Tay in rural Perthshire, has announced the completion of its housing project as part of its overall £15 million development plan.

The £1,425,000 housing project compiles of five self-catering properties located on the shores of Loch Tay.

Taymouth Marinas general manager, Angus Mackay, said:  “Perthshire is such a beautiful location and the people we get visiting us here often tell us that they never want to leave. Well, now you have a chance to own your view, so to speak.”

The £15m development plan includes the addition of a 40-bedroom hotel.

externalshowAngus added: “This is a really exciting time for us at Taymouth Marina. We get families, couples and regular holiday makers and tourists visiting us up here. We are thrilled that stage 2 of our overall development has finished. Now we just want to share them with people who love Perthshire as much as we do.

“The properties would be ideal for people wanting that holiday home to escape from the city. Alternatively, they could be an ideal investment opportunity. We fully manage the properties, so the option of buying it and renting out is certainly one to be considered.”

Taymouth Marina already boasts Scotland’s first award-winning Lochside sauna and the Cranog Centre.

Future plans at Taymouth Marina includes adding an activities centre to the already array of water sports selection, helping make it a resort in its own right.

The properties were designed by McKenzie Strickland Associates.

More details emerge of Springfield Properties’ 3,000-home village at Bertha Park

Bertha Park CGI phase 1 retailSpringfield Properties has released further information about the school, community facilities and house types which will be delivered at its new 3,000-home village, Bertha Park in Perth.

The private and affordable housebuilder said the new village, just off the Inveralmond Roundabout in Perth, will bring 30 years of work for Springfield and hundreds of jobs to Perth, sustaining hundreds more in the local area.

Phase one of Bertha Park will offer mix of houses and apartments, complete with 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes. Many of the homes have been designed especially to suit the site and each home will be highly energy efficient, keeping bills low for customers.

The new house styles include the 3 bed ‘Cupar’ which features an ensuite bathroom and can have a sun room added. The 4 bed ‘Arden’ style features bay windows and a garage with internal access.

Bertha Park will provide everything a community needs to thrive including the new Bertha Park High School, the first purpose built secondary school to be constructed in Scotland in decades. The secondary school is on track to open for the 2019 academic year. New details include that the school will provide a modern learning environment for up to 1,100 pupils.

Bright, airy internal spaces will offer a range of teaching, social and dining facilities, dedicated subject classrooms and flexible learning plazas. A full range of sports facilities will include a synthetic grass pitch and multi-use games area. A primary school will also be introduced within the grounds at a later date.

The 333 hectares will also offer shops, restaurants, medical services, leisure and community facilities which will create business opportunities. The availability of shops and amenities will grow organically in line with local demand. The two key public spaces, the School Square and the High Street Square, located on either side of the Cross-Tay Link Road, will be linked by an east-west foot and cycle path.

Phase one will also feature allotments which will be available to residents within the development and will be run through the community. For the first five years, Springfield will fund a regular bus route linking Bertha Park with the wider community.

Springfield Properties Bertha Park Loch EdgeSpringfield Properties sales director, Tricia Malek, said: “After spending five years developing the plan for Bertha Park we are excited to begin bringing the vision for the new Perth village to life.

“Our sales office opens on Saturday 23 September and with it the first 18 of homes will go on sale. Customers will also be able to see a 3D scale model of the first phase of over 1,000 homes which really puts the size of the village in context. They’ll also be able view interactive floor plans of the house styles on offer.

“New home buyers will benefit from Springfield’s promise to build an individual home, which includes everything our customers need to move into a complete home, from the full range of kitchen appliances, fitted wardrobes and carpets, to turf and even the garden tap.”

The village will coincide with improvements to the road infrastructure with the introduction of the Cross Tay Link Road which is already under way. The new road, which will be integrated through Bertha Park, will relieve local traffic congestion and provide new access to the area.

Green light for internal works at Perth creative facility

WASPS arts hubPlanning permission has been granted for the internal works to allow the transformation of the former St John’s Primary School in Perth into a £3.5 million creative hub.

The building, which closed in 2011, will be completely transformed into a mix of office space and artist studio space where those working in the creative industries will be able to establish themselves with a base of operations and be able to grow their business.

The Creative Exchange will also be home to the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre which will be used as a hub of innovation and inspiration.

Once construction is complete, the centre will feature 26 studio spaces; 13 office spaces; a public cafe and exhibition and workshop space for the local community.

Construction is due to begin in early 2018, with the Creative Exchange expected to be open for business in early 2019.  Once open the Creative Exchange will be managed on behalf of Perth & Kinross Council by Workshop and Artists Studio Provision Scotland (WASPS).

A second planning application looking at the external features of the former school building will be submitted to the council for consideration in due course. This application will include a new entrance, the approach from Stormont Street and external areas.

St John’s Primary School as it stands today

St John’s Primary School as it stands today

Councillor Colin Stewart, convener of the council’s environment, enterprise & infrastructure committee, said: “The Creative Exchange receiving planning permission for the first stage of the construction works is a big step forward in the delivery of this important project.  The work will transform the old school building into a facility that will be a unique prospect for those who work in the creative industries.

“When it opens in 2019, it will be a centre piece of our ambition to enhance the reputation of Perth as a cultural hub for Scotland, along with the other developments that will make up our cultural quarter.”

WASPS chief executive officer, Audrey Carlin, said: “Receiving planning permission is a significant milestone for Perth Creative Exchange and we are really excited about moving this project forward with Perth & Kinross Council. We have identified a distinct need for creative office and workspace in Perth and are looking forward to bringing our service to the thriving creative community that is currently based within the city and wider region.

“In particular, Perth Creative Exchange will retain talent in the city and will provide new opportunities for the 650 students at University of the Highlands and Islands / Perth College who undertake creative courses each year, helping them to establish their careers in the city.

“This project will develop Perth’s cultural offer and support community access to the arts and cultural learning.”

BakerHicks delivers structural engineering design for historic council HQ

Perth1_LRMulti-disciplinary design and engineering company BakerHicks has completed the complex structural engineering design for Perth & Kinross Council’s headquarters that included delicate work to repair and restore the building’s historic façade.

BakerHicks was employed to provide structural engineering consultancy for the project, working in close collaboration with the council’s in-house architect.

The structural works included the installation of the new staircase to the rear of the building, the incorporation of floor infills to the existing atrium and voids left by the removal of staircases, and the removal of walls to create an open plan office space.

BakerHicks also designed both structural openings in existing masonry walls to help achieve the new open plan layouts and the structure for the new external ramp, providing disabled access to the front of the building.

Perth2_LRThe consultancy services included providing further advice regarding a range of delicate remedial works to the Grade B-Listed, ornate sandstone façade to Tay Street and High Street, working closely with the appointed stonemasons, Gillies and Farrell Masonry.

This included advice on work to pin and repair cracks in the masonry, using a combination of steel rods and a vinylester resin. In addition to the masonry repairs, cracking to the existing floor slabs was also repaired using specialist epoxy resin systems.

BakerHicks worked closely with the client, main contractor and specialist sub-contractors to ensure the best solution was applied. The removal of the pencheck stair to the rear of the building represented a further challenge and safe methods of working to remove this elegant period feature were devised through working closely with the main contractor and the demolition specialists.

The project was complicated not only by the age of the building, which was originally built in 1899 as the prestigious headquarters for the insurance firm General Accident, but also by the subsequent extensions and renovations that spanned five monarchs and 60 years of building innovation. BakerHicks had to consult contemporary documents and reference books, as well as specific guidance notes from the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Perth3_LRAndy Gotts, BakerHicks’ director for civil and structural engineering, said: “The aim of the refurbishment is to preserve the building and make it fit for purpose now and in the future. In doing so we had to put ourselves in the minds of the Victorian engineers who built it, and factor into our calculations the strength of steel and concrete of the period, including converting the imperial measurements used at the time into metric units.

“We are delighted to have played a key role in delivering a contemporary, flexible building that is in keeping with Perth’s fast-growing reputation as a modern city with exciting ambitions. It has also been an excellent learning experience for the team, further extending our knowledge of historic construction methods and specialist repairs to concrete floors and sandstone façades.”

The £10 million refurbishment of the landmark building is one of the largest projects of its kind. It was undertaken in a drive to save money and energy costs, and allow the public to access services more easily. It is designed to make the most of flexible working patterns and modern technology to create workspaces which can reduce the council’s overall space needs. All of which has been achieved whilst maintaining the historic integrity of the building.

Green light for £29m Rattray housing development

Springfield-Properties-RattrayPlans for a £29 million housing estate, which will include low-cost homes aimed at helping people get on the property ladder, have been approved in Rattray.

Springfield Properties has won permission to build 217 homes at its Kinloch Gardens site, off Glenalmond Road. The plan includes scope for 60 affordable housing units representing 27% of the site.

The company said the move will bring quality, energy efficient homes to the area, safeguarding scores of construction jobs for several years.

An application to build 217 homes on Glenalmond Road was withdrawn by Springfield from the July meeting of Perth & Kinross Council’s development management committee to allow more time for the housebuilder to work with council officials on questions raised regarding the project’s density and its possible impact on the neighbouring caravan park.

Springfield Properties land manager, David Jewell, said the revised plan considered each point and was amended accordingly.

According to The Courier, the proposals faced opposition from some councillors who felt that positioning all the proposed affordable housing on the edge of the site was inappropriate.

Councillor Anne Jarvis said the plan to cluster housing risked “ghettoising” people living in affordable accommodation while Councillor Bob Brawn said: “I am concerned about the affordable housing aspect. People will feel separated from everyone else on the rest of the site.

“Being integrated into the estate would create more of a neighbourhood and there is scope to include social housing throughout the site.”

Mr Jewell told members of the development management committee that business association providers prefer to have a cluster of affordable homes.

Councillor Tom Gray, who backed the scheme, said the location of affordable housing was suitable for access to the local school.

Springfield Properties managing director Innes Smith said: “We have a real opportunity in Rattray to extend our successful development here and continue to offer buyers homes with a great level of specification and a wide variety of choices. It’s an exciting time to be looking for a new home in the area.”

Construction is expected to begin before the end of this year.

Roadworks contractor to blame for biker death

Perth Sheriff Court. By Simon Armstrong - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Perth Sheriff Court. By Simon Armstrong – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

A biker died after being knocked off his machine by a road roller when a repair firm made critical errors in operating roadworks, a judge has ruled.

Ian Bullions, 61, was knocked off his Harley Davidson on the A93 Braemar to Blairgowrie road, near the Glenshee Ski Centre in Perthshire, on August 25 2014, as he and a friend returned from the Thunder In The Glen bikers event, The Herald has reported.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said the team controlling the stretch of contraflow failed to use the safety equipment they had been supplied with and let traffic use the road.

The contractors controlling traffic at the site had also failed to follow rules which could have saved Mr Bullions.

Andrew Campbell reversed his road roller on to the open lane of the carriageway, unaware that he was about to crash into an oncoming motorbike.

Campbell, 37, admitted causing the death of Mr Bullions by driving carelessly and failing to ensure the road was clear when he reversed.

Contractors Goodfellow Environmental Maintenance Ltd admitted failing to maintain safe traffic arrangements, which led to the road roller colliding with Mr Bullions.

Perth Sheriff Court was told Goodfellow Environmental had been told by Perth and Kinross Council to operate two stop/go signs, with one at either end of the partially closed carriageway.

But the workmen operated only a single sign and Campbell, who was not a properly qualified road roller driver, mistakenly thought the road was clear when he backed on to it.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis deferred sentence on Campbell for reports. The company will also learn its fate later.

Expresso Property concludes missives for £30m Perth leisure hub

(from left) Stephen Hampshire from Expresso Property; Cllr Ian Campbell; Callum Purves, vice convenor environmental enterprise and infrastructure committee at Perth & Kinross Council with  Nick Robinson and Ben Sherriff from Expresso Property

(from left) Stephen Hampshire from Expresso Property; Cllr Ian Campbell; Callum Purves, vice convenor environmental enterprise and infrastructure committee at Perth & Kinross Council with Nick Robinson and Ben Sherriff from Expresso Property

Work to develop on a new landmark mixed leisure scheme in Perth are due to commence next year after Expresso Property Ltd concluded missives on The Mill Quarter site.

Mill Quarter is a new leisure hub at the heart of the city comprising a state of the art multi-screen cinema, a mix of bars, restaurants and speciality shops as well as a 205 space multi-storey car park and 58 new apartments.

The scheme has been designed by Holmes Miller Architects.

During the construction phase, the scheme will support 200 jobs, (107 direct construction jobs and 93 indirect supplier jobs), and will have an end investment value of £30 million, creating around 126 new jobs in Perth on completion.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property, the developer of The Mill Quarter, said: “We are delighted to announce we have concluded missives for The Mill Quarter site from Perth and Kinross Council. The next stage is to obtain planning and we hope to apply shortly in the hope that construction works will begin in the first half of 2018.”

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “With the support of Perth and Kinross Council, Invest in Perth and designers of the scheme Holmes Miller Architects, we are pleased to be providing this new landmark leisure hub and also to play our part in creating over 300 jobs. The Mill Quarter development is a catalyst for change that will drive Perth’s economic growth and give the city’s residents a brand new leisure destination to be proud of.”

The Mill Quarter will 'transform Perth’s visitor destination offer'

The Mill Quarter will ‘transform Perth’s visitor destination offer’

Councillor Ian Campbell, leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “The Mill Quarter development is an exciting opportunity to develop and enhance Perth’s leisure offering for residents and visitors, and I’m pleased to see the project reach this milestone. Expresso Property has identified the city as a positive location for growth and investment, and this sends out an important signal to existing and potential investors that Perth is the place to be.”

Located in the heart of City of Perth, The Mill Quarter will also offer immediate access to the city’s main transport links as well as several bus routes and is within easy walking distance from its main retail and leisure zones.

York-based Expresso Property is currently developing Park Quadrant Residences, a 98-apartment development in Glasgow’s West End, in conjunction with its development partner Ambassador Developments (Park Quadrant) Ltd.

It has also been named by Scottish Enterprise as the preferred developer for a new mixed-use development at Pacific Quay.

The company is looking to acquire further commercial, residential, retail, development propositions and offices, from Bath and Bristol to Birmingham to include Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, York, Leeds and all major cities in Scotland.

Construction commences on £1bn Bertha Park village

(from left) Councillors John Rebbeck and Dave Doogan, Springfield chairman Sandy Adam, leader of Perth and Kinross Council Ian Campbell and Bertha Park land owner Alistair Ritchie

(from left) Councillors John Rebbeck and Dave Doogan, Springfield chairman Sandy Adam, leader of Perth and Kinross Council Ian Campbell and Bertha Park land owner Alistair Ritchie

Springfield Properties has begun work on site for the 3,000 homes in the new village, Bertha Park, just off the Inveralmond Roundabout in Perth.

The new village, complete with 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes, will bring 30 years of work for the housebuilders and approximately 450 jobs to Perth, sustaining hundreds more in the local area.

Bertha Park will provide everything a community needs to thrive including the new Bertha Park High School, which is on track to open for the 2019 academic year. The 333 hectares will also offer business opportunities with commercial units available for shops, restaurants, medical services, leisure and community facilities.

(from left) Ian Campbell, Sandy Adam and Alistair Ritchie

(from left) Ian Campbell, Sandy Adam and Alistair Ritchie

Springfield Properties chairman, Sandy Adam, said: “This is a really exciting time for Springfield and for Perth. Designing any development takes a lot of work from the builders and the respective councils. Bertha Park is a result of five years work with Perth & Kinross Council who have been supportive and encouraging throughout the planning stage.

“We are currently installing the main drainage and services infrastructure for the first phase of homes and we will be opening our sales office on Saturday 23 September. From this date, customers will be able to see a 3D scale model of the first phase of over 1,000 homes which really puts the size of the village in context. They’ll also be able view interactive floor plans of the house styles on offer and get an idea of the ways they can personalise their new home.”

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The £1 billion project will coincide with improvements to the road infrastructure with the introduction of the Cross Tay Link Road which is already underway. The new road, which will be integrated through Bertha Park, will relieve local traffic congestion and provide new access to the area.

Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, Councillor Ian Campbell, was invited by the developers to see the start of activity on site.

He said: “I am delighted that the development of Bertha Park is now officially underway. This project will offer people an excellent living environment in good quality housing. Perth & Kinross Council is fully committed to ensuring the success of this development by continuing to build additional capacity into the new and existing infrastructure in the surrounding area.

“I am confident that the intensive programme of works planned will deliver the essential components to create a modern, thriving community here at Bertha Park, which will also provide additional support to Perth and Kinross as a whole, realising its ambitions for the future and further developing the already extremely positive signs that this local authority area is viewed across the board as a growing and developing region.”

Private developer makes history with first affordable housing grant

The development at St. Stephens School in Blairgowrie

The development at St. Stephens School in Blairgowrie

Carling Property Group (CPG) has become the first private developer in the country to receive affordable housing grant aid from the Scottish Government.

The Dundee firm qualified for a “substantial” six-figure sum from the government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund (RIHF). It is believed to be the only private property developer to have received RIHF money.

CPG has used the money to convert a former old school house in Blairgowrie into eight properties, complete with secondary glazing, new flooring, private parking and disabled access. It has also worked with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership on the project, with SEHP providing support with grant and property applications.

The new properties at the former St. Stephen’s RC Primary School mark the latest affordable housing project for CPG, which also counts student and senior housing among its ventures.

The firm is currently at work converting the former Chance Inn in Inverkeilor into affordable housing rentals.

Graeme Carling, co-founder with wife Leanne Carling of Carling Property Group, said the Blairgowrie properties were already attracting interest, proving that demand continues to be high for affordable housing across Scotland.

Graeme said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government, via its Rural and Islands Housing Fund, has supported a private developer for the first time. As we expected, there has been strong interest in the apartments. This clearly demonstrates the need for more affordable housing in the area, and in Scotland. We remain committed to helping fill this gap but, sadly for those seeking affordable accommodation, there is still much work to be done in this sector.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, which hosts the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership on behalf of the Scottish Government, said: “The conversion of this former school is a fantastic example of how empty properties can be part of the solution to Scotland’s shortage of affordable homes. Particularly in more rural communities it can be much more cost-effective to renovate existing empty homes or convert empty non-residential buildings to housing rather than start building from scratch on a greenfield site.”

CPG’s project in Blairgowrie features seven one-bedroom and one studio apartments, with rents starting at £250 a month. The properties are being let through the Perth and Kinross Council-run PKC Lets. Priority is being given to those working in the local area, over-55s and applicants with medical needs.