Tulloch Homes

Hundreds of new Inverness homes recommended for approval

George Fraser, chief executive of Tulloch Homes, outside another development in Inverness

George Fraser, chief executive of Tulloch Homes, outside another development in Inverness

Proposals for 767 new homes in Inverness look set to be granted planning permission by councillors next week.

Tulloch Homes has proposed building the mix of houses and flats in three phases on land between Dores Road and the River Ness.

The area, close to Inverness’ new West Link Road, was first allocated for housing in the 1980s.

Highland Council planning officers have recommended that councillors on the south planning applications committee approve the project.

£250m masterplan to bring 800 homes to Inverness

George Fraser, chief executive of Tulloch Homes outside a development in Inverness

George Fraser, chief executive of Tulloch Homes outside a development in Inverness

Tulloch Homes has unveiled a £250 million vision to build 800 new homes in Inverness on land near the West Link road project.

Currently under construction, the £55m Highland Council road project aims to ease traffic congestion in Inverness, opening up land for new housing. The West Link will eventually connect to a network of roads linking the A96, A9 and A82 trunk routes.

According to the masterplan, the homes will be built over the next 10 years to help tackle the housing shortfall in the city.

Plans will be lodged with the council in April, and work could start on the first phase of 50 affordable homes by the middle of next year.

Tulloch Homes chief executive, George Fraser, said the planned first phase of the company’s 800-home development would involve 50 affordable properties.

He said: “This is, of course, a long-term project but, given a fair wind in the planning process, our intention is to begin construction during 2018.

“With the road infrastructure in place, the first phase of 50 affordable homes will commence on receipt of planning permission, helping the council achieve their aspirations in the affordable sector.”

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson praised developers for “getting on with the project” and stressed that community consultation will be paramount.

She said: “It’s been difficult to get developers to open up sites around Inverness in recent years so I am very pleased to see this.

“It’s about getting the whole act together and making sure the local infrastructure and facilities are where they need to be and are going up at the same time. We have had trouble with some big developers with plans straying over the years, or ending up with bigger density, with the likes of Westercraigs. The houses have to be built with more review and community consultation as it all goes along.”

Focus on core business helps Tulloch Homes sustain growth

George Fraser, Chief Exec of Tulloch Homes outside a development in Inverness

George Fraser, Chief Exec of Tulloch Homes outside a development in Inverness

Inverness-headquartered housebuilder Tulloch Homes has benefited from a stable housing market to record continued growth over the past year, its newly-published annual results reveal.

In the 12 months following a management buyout in early 2015, Tulloch Homes Group generated turnover of £45 million, posting an operating profit of £7.4m and pre-tax profits of £6.8m in its financial year ending 30th June 2016.

Over the same period, it sold 201 homes with an average selling price of £203,000.

Greater availability of workers due to the downturn in the oil and gas sector as well as the Scottish Government’s ‘Help to Buy Scotland’ scheme continuing to attract new homeowners were other factors that helped Tulloch to manage rising materials costs and achieve its targets.

The company said it was confident about its prospects for the year ahead, citing favourable market conditions and strong pipeline of properties awaiting construction.  It has the potential to deliver 1,147 homes on land with planning consent granted, and a further 497 units on sites owned by the company awaiting planning permission.

George Fraser, Tulloch Homes Group chief executive, said: “The strength of our land bank, together with our dedicated employees and subcontractor pool have all contributed to these encouraging results.

“Since the buy-out just over a year ago, our strategy has been to focus on house-building and disposal of non-core assets, which is on schedule to be completed during this financial year. We’re pleased with the progress made in the past year and, with a healthy order book and positive market conditions, we’re looking forward to continuing our support for local communities in the Highlands and North East in the year ahead.”

Predominantly building in the Highlands and Aberdeenshire, the 90-year-old company employs over 180 people directly and has over 300 subcontractors.

Over the past year it has invested over £20m in sites across Inverness-shire and Ross-shire, offering homes from £100,000 to £500,000. Current developments include Bellfield Meadows in North Kessock, Chanonry Park in Fortrose and The Courtyard apartments in Aberdeen.

Developer’s legal action against two companies for breaches of contract dismissed as ‘incompetent’

Court_of_SessionA property developer which sued two separate companies for breaches of contract after both failed to complete the purchase of an area of land has had an action based on joint and several liability dismissed as “incompetent”.

The pursuer, SDG Tulloch Homes Limited, which owned of an area of land at Glebe Street in Inverness, concluded missives for sale of the land in 2007 to the first defender, European Development Company (Hotels) Limited, for the sum of £2.9 million.

However, EDC Hotels failed to pay the price and after going through an “ultimatum” procedure at the end of which in February 2011 the price remained unpaid, Tulloch rescinded the contract over the company’s admitted “material breach”.

Tulloch later concluded missives for sale of the land in 2013 to the second defender, Carlton Rock Limited, for the sum of £1.5m, but having been called upon to pay the price the company intimated that it pulled out of the agreement.

Then, in 2015, SDG Tulloch Homes Limited sold the land to Tulloch Homes Limited, a company in the same group as itself, for the sum of £800,000, and it subsequently sued EDC Hotels for payment of £1.6m and EDC Hotels and Carlton Rock jointly and severally for payment of £805,000.

In relation to EDC Hotels, Tulloch claimed to have sustained losses as a consequence of breach of contract consisting of the difference between £2.9m and £800,000, plus re‑marketing and reselling expenses, increased funding costs and interest on a shareholder loan.

So far as Carlton Rock was concerned, Tulloch claimed to have sustained losses as a consequence of breach of contract consisting of the difference between £1.5m and £800,000, plus re-marketing and reselling expenses and increased funding costs.

A judge in the Court of Session dismissed the action after ruling that there was “no connection” between the first and second defenders and that it was “not competent to pursue an action against separate defenders for two disconnected breaches of contract”.

In a written opinion, Lord Tyre said: “Applying this analysis to the facts of the present case, it seems to me to be clear that the pursuer seeks to sue the defenders jointly and severally for two disconnected breaches of contract. The first ‘wrong’ consists of the admitted breach of contract in 2011 by the first defender. The second ‘wrong’ consists of the alleged breach of contract in 2014 by the second defender.

“There is no averred connection between these two events other than that if the first had not occurred the pursuer would not have owned the land in 2013 and thus could not have contracted to sell it to the second defender. It is not enough, in my opinion, to render a joint and several claim competent that the pursuer can claim to have suffered a single overall loss consisting of the aggregate of losses from two disconnected breaches.

“The pursuer has failed relevantly to aver a single common result – or single wrong – and the action in so far as based upon joint and several liability in respect of both alleged breaches is incompetent.”

The judge put the case out by order for discussion of further procedure.

He added: “It may be that the pursuer will wish to amend to direct the present claim against the first defender alone, and to consider whether to institute separate proceedings against the second defender for any loss sustained as a consequence of the latter’s alleged breach of contract.”

Tulloch Homes plans return to central belt

Tulloch HomesInverness-based Tulloch Homes is planning to return to the central belt for the first time in eight years.

Currently celebrating its 90th year, the housebuilder recently returned to the Aberdeen market after a long absence in which the company withdrew to the Highlands when the global recession struck in 2008.

The developments, the Courtyard in Duff Street and Westfield on the site of the Old Bridge of Don Primary School, alongside another two being launched this year in East Kilbride and Glenrothes represent an investment in excess £80 million.

Tulloch said the move reflected its “new drive and confidence” following a management buyout announced last March.

A team led by chief executive George Fraser and chairman Tom Allison  acquired a controlling interest in the housebuilder from investment bank Goldman Sachs and private equity group TPG, helped by £30 million funding from the Bank of Scotland.

Mr Fraser said: “EastKilbride was very successful for us pre-recession and we still have land there, so the hope is to begin work on a development in the second quarter of 2016.

“These projects are statements of intent and we’ll look at building wherever the right opportunity arises. The central belt will remain in our forward strategy.”

He added: “Things have gone extremely well since the buyout and we’ve been in positive mode.

“The Highlands remains our core business area and we’ve enjoyed a very successful 2015, with our strongest sales performance in eight years.

“New projects in 2015 included Morningside, the first of our developments on our major new land bank area at Slackbuie, Inverness, which has planning consent for over 400 homes.

“A key £20m new development at Hedgefield, Inverness, plus new phases in existing developments, is setting the stage for further growth in the area in 2016.”

Founded as a joinery business in Nairn, Tulloch is rolling out its 90th anniversary celebrations over the next few months. The business employs 120 people, with about 500 subcontract personnel wholly or mainly dependent on it.

Tulloch Homes returns to Aberdeen with £9m development

George Fraser at the Greenfields development in Inverness

George Fraser at the Greenfields development in Inverness

Highland housebuilder Tulloch Homes is returning to the Aberdeen market after many years’ absence.

The Inverness firm, which was bought by its management earlier this month, has started work on a £9 million development of 45 two-bedroom apartments, called The Courtyard, in a former envelope manufacturing factory in Duff Street.

Tulloch chief executive George Fraser revealed that the firm also plans to build homes in the grounds of the old Balgownie Primary school in Bridge of Don.

He said: “We’re extremely pleased to be back in Aberdeen city after a long absence, although we have successfully built developments in Aberdeenshire in places like Rothienorman, Insch and Lumphanan in recent years.

“It was a matter of finding the right location and Duff Street is central, with good transport links.

“We’re on the verge of approval for Balgownie, another exciting location, and it’s fair to say that we hope to roll out further developments in Aberdeen in due course.

“The oil price may be low but the fundamentals of the Aberdeen economy remain strong, which is why we’re prepared to invest significantly there.”

Mr Fraser added: “We are continuing to roll out fresh phases of developments in Inverness and Ross- shire throughout 2015, building on strong sales growth in the past couple of years.”

Tulloch sales director Lynne Boyd said: “We will be launching the first block of apartments at The Courtyard, Duff Street, this summer and we’ve already received a very large advance bank of inquiries.”

Tulloch Homes back in Scottish hands after management buyout

Tulloch HomesThe future of 150 Scottish construction jobs has been secured following a management buyout at Tulloch Homes.

A team led by chief executive George Fraser and chairman Tom Allison have acquired a controlling interest in the Inverness-based housebuilders of 40 per cent from US finance giants Goldman Sachs and TPG.

The value of the deal was not disclosed however, Bank of Scotland has provided £30 million funding to support the management team’s plans to grow the business.

Mr Allison, who used to run Clydeport, said: “This is a very significant chapter in the history of one of the most important companies in the Highlands and a deal which we’re confident will secure the future of the business for many years to come.

“Tulloch’s 90 years of construction expertise and its reputation for developing high quality homes at reasonable prices means the company is very well placed to capitalise on the undoubted opportunities available in the years ahead.”

Tulloch said the deal reflects the management team’s confidence in the prospects for the housebuilding sector.

The deal will also mean the housebuilding group’s interests in the three stands at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness will be transferred to a trust set up for the benefit of the community.

Mr Grant also revealed that, over the next few weeks, Tulloch is expected to announce turnover of more than £58m and more than 280 home completions for the year to June 30, 2014.

He said: “We expect to build a further 300 homes in 2015 via a strong pipeline of developments in our core Highlands market, as well as two new developments in Aberdeenshire in the city centre and Bridge of Don.”

Mr Allison added: “I have to give particular credit to Bank of Scotland for the very positive and professional way they have responded to our requirements.

“They clearly recognise the importance to the Highland economy of having a strong, sizeable housebuilder like Tulloch and have been prepared to back us in every possible way.”

Simon Sweeney, strategic finance director for Bank of Scotland, said: “Tulloch is a leading housebuilder in the Highlands and the firm’s locally-based management team marks the ongoing commitment to its core market while the recent purchase of new sites in Aberdeen gives the business great potential to increase its presence in the wider housebuilding market in Scotland.

“The housebuilding industry makes a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy and Bank of Scotland is committed to investing in the sector, whether that be lending to builders like Tulloch or helping home buyers as a major mortgage provider.”

Tulloch first became part-owned by HBOS when then-chairman David Sutherland sold a 40 per cent stake to the bank for £27.5m.

The deal was done just months before HBOS was taken over by Lloyds Banking Group as the financial crisis started taking its toll in the UK.

Lloyds later restructured the debt it owned in Tulloch twice, in 2009 and 2012, causing the housebuilder to post losses of £65m for the 18-month period to June 30, 2012.

The bank then sold the debt, as part of a £1.2 billion package of distressed property loans, to Goldman Sachs and TPG in 2013.

Tulloch returned to the black with a £964,000 pre-tax profit in 2013.

The new deal marks the return of Lloyds as lender to the group, through its subsidiary Bank of Scotland.

Tulloch appoints new Scottish construction director

Tulloch Homes

Tulloch Homes has appointed Billy McKay to the role of construction director for all sites in Scotland.

Mr McKay was previously construction director for the Inverness-based housebuilder in the central belt from 2002 until 2011. Most recently he was employed by the firm as a consultant.

Mr McKay told The Herald: “I’ve been liaising closely on Tulloch Homes’ current developments so I’m up to speed.

“I’m very pleased at returning to Tulloch to deal with day to day issues on the company’s range of sites.

“In 2015, there will be a busy housebuilding programme as well as two specialist projects, one of which is Hedgefield House, Inverness, with the other to be developed further east.

“I look forward to the challenge of maintaining Tulloch’s quality and outstanding reputation and driving forward the new projects.”

Tulloch Homes appoints new board member

Gerry More

Gerry More

Former Homes for Scotland chairman Gerry More has joined the board of Tulloch Homes Group.

Chartered accountant More has been working with Tulloch, the largest housebuilder in the Highlands, on a consultancy basis since April this year.

Mr More has more than 25 years of experience in the housebuilding and property sector including a long stint on the board of CALA Group while filling various finance and operational positions at that company.

He is a former CBI Scotland director and has a number of board level positions at the moment including at Selkirk-based Oregon Timber Frame and student accommodation provider Maven Capital (Claremont House).

Last month he was appointed as the champion for the private rented sector by Homes for Scotland.

At Tulloch Mr More’s appointment fills the board vacancy created when Ian Bankier, chairman of Celtic Football Club and executive chairman of Glenkeir Whiskies, stepped down in the summer.

In June Tulloch said sales had been soaring in the first five months of its financial year amid growing buoyancy in the Highlands housing market.

The Inverness company, which employs 150 people, stated it had completed 75 transactions in the period, a 29 per cent increase on the 58 it had recorded in the first five months of its 2013 financial year.