Building Briefs – August 11th

Vox DundeeCinema planned for former Dundee college building

Dundee will get a new cinema if plans to redevelop a former college building are approved.

An application to build more than 100 flats, as well as a café and gym, at the Constitution Road site will go before councillors next Monday.

The area has been empty since Dundee College left in 2011 and since then the site has been a target for vandals and thieves.

The project is being brought forward by Edinburgh-based firm Whiteburn Projects, which specialises in urban, mixed-use regeneration projects.

City planners have recommended the Keppie Design-penned development, which will create 110 flats, for approval.


Green light for Aldi food store in Dalgety Bay

Scarborough Muir Group, a joint venture between Scarborough Group International and Muir Group, has received outline planning consent from Fife Council to develop its four acre commercial development site in Dalgety Bay.

The local authority has given its approval for the development of a new 16,850 sq ft Aldi Food Store, a family pub restaurant, a drive-thru coffee restaurant and a 10,000 sq ft commercial unit, suitable for a light industrial or office occupier.

The site, acquired by SMG in 2008, is in a prominent location and forms part of the gateway to Donibristle Industrial Estate and Dalgety Bay. Following extensive consultation with the public, the existing industrial estate occupiers and Fife Council, this development is now set to provide much needed facilities to this area in Fife and will trigger the regeneration of the industrial estate.

Following receipt of outline planning consent SMG and Aldi are now ready to submit detailed Planning Applications to Fife Council for the Aldi Food Store and the family pub restaurant.


Community bid to buy Cockenzie passes first hurdle

A community bid to take over the site of the former Cockenzie power station is set to go before the Scottish Government after ten per cent of the local population backed the plans.

It’s been suggested the ambitious proposals could see the disused power station transformed into a “Tate Modern for Scotland”, complete with performance space, shops and even a swimming pool.

And plans for a new railway link taking visitors straight into the heart of Cockenzie and Port Seton have also been floated, alongside a play park and mini-golf course on the Greenhills parkland and a memorial garden at the site of the Battle of Prestonpans.

Earlier this year controversial proposals for a massive marine energy park on the site were abandoned following prolonged protest from the local community.

But in April it was revealed the area was being targeted by developers eager to construct Scotland’s first purpose-built cruise ship terminal on the mainland.


MP officially opens Eildon’s latest development

Calum Kerr MP at the official opening of the Eildon Housing development of 18 houses at Rodger Fish Gardens, Kelso. Friday 7 August  2015
Calum Kerr MP at the official opening of the Eildon Housing development of 18 houses at Rodger Fish Gardens, Kelso. Friday 7 August 2015

Calum Kerr MP was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of one of Eildon Housing Association’s latest new developments.

The newly elected MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk unveiled the plaque for the 18 home development at Rodger Fish Gardens, Kelso last week.

The high quality, sustainable new affordable housing development comprises of 4, 3 and 2 bedroomed houses and flats. Ten homes were developed for social rent and the remaining eight have been let at a mid market rent level.

The £2.5 million development has been majority funded by Eildon Housing Association, but also benefited from a £558,000 grant from the Scottish Government and £302,000 of support from Scottish Borders Council. The homes have been carefully designed to meet high sustainable standards and have been recognised in two recent national housing design awards.

Designed by Assist Architects, the development was built by Border Construction with Scott Bennett Associates (Engineer), Camerons (CDM Co-ordinator) and Baker Mallett (QS/Employers Agent) also involved in the project.


Seven apprentices begin careers on AWPR/B-T project

Minister for transport and islands Derek MacKay welcomed seven new modern apprentices to the longest roads construction project currently underway in the UK, the AWPR/B-T, as he officially opened the project’s Contact and Education Space last week.

The facility at New Mains of Ury near Stonehaven, is open to visitors between 9am and 5pm on weekdays and 10am and 4pm on Saturdays.

The project will cut journey times across Aberdeen by up to half at peak periods, free up connecting roads for more public transport and improve reliability and the safety of roads.


Lochgelly town centre revitalisation takes shape

(from left) Jim MacIntyre (Team Manager, Building Services), Cllr Judy Hamilton, Cllr Linda Erskine, John Mills (Head of Housing)
(from left) Jim MacIntyre (Team Manager, Building Services), Cllr Judy Hamilton, Cllr Linda Erskine, John Mills (Head of Housing)

An ambitious town centre revitalisation plan for Lochgelly is taking shape now that Fife Council is progressing work on the project’s affordable housing element.

Work is underway to convert the Lochgelly Town House into four new flats along with the construction of 12 new build flats on the adjacent site in Hall Street. Due to be completed in spring 2016, the one and two bedroom flats will contribute towards much needed affordable housing for the area.

The progress is part of a wider ‘three-project’ investment programme for Lochgelly. Over the next few years this will also deliver the restoration and conversion of St Andrews Church into an indoor climbing and bouldering centre and a new ‘public realm’ including a new town square in the heart of Lochgelly.

The energy efficient new build flats have been designed with high levels of insulation and air tightness to the building fabric.  The energy efficiency of both the new build and converted flats has also been boosted by the use of heat recovery technology in the heating and ventilation systems.

The Affordable Housing Programme is collaboration between affordable housing providers in Fife including Fife Council, housing associations, private developers and a number of Scottish Government initiatives. It has a target to deliver 2,700 new affordable homes for Fife by 2017. For more information on the affordable housing programme or to download a copy of the latest annual report, click here.


Scottish Water completes Bearsden project ahead of schedule

Scottish Water has completed an environmental project ahead of schedule in Bearsden.

The company has invested £350,000 in major improvements to its waste water infrastructure in the area.

The project, which was carried out by contractors George Leslie on behalf of Scottish Water, involved the installation of a screen to a sewer overflow on the Manse Burn in Drymen Road near its junction with Thorn Drive. Previously, an unscreened overflow discharged combined foul and surface water into the Manse Burn in storm conditions. The screen will ensure that solids remain in the sewer network and are not discharged via the overflow in storm conditions.

The first phase began on April 7 and continued for two weeks until April 19.

The second and final phase started on June 29 and was completed slightly ahead of the scheduled completion date of August 11.

The investment was part of Scottish Water’s £250m, five-year investment in improvements to its waste water infrastructure across the Greater Glasgow area.


Crowdfunding scheme launched to help build Ulva Ferry affordable homes

Interior View of the houses (c) Thorne Wyness Architects
Interior View of the houses (c) Thorne Wyness Architects

A crowdfunding initiative has been launched to help bring much needed affordable housing to an Argyll & Bute community.

Launched by Ulva School Community Association (USCA) and supported by the Mull And Iona Community Trust, the Ulva Ferry Housing Project is seeking funds to help a proposed development of two three-bedroom houses come to fruition.

The Housing Project follows the successful USCA campaign to keep Ulva School open after it was threatened with closure in 2010.

A subsequent community consultation identified affordable housing as a top priority for the area, and now, after extensive community consultation, two three-bedroom houses are being built next to the school. These houses will be offered to local families for rental.

By providing secure, affordable houses there will be many wider social and economic benefits for this fragile community as local people can continue to live, work and go to school in the area.

The houses are being designed by Tobermory-based architect practice Thorne Wyness whose low energy design will be sympathetic to the landscape and the houses will be constructed by a local contractor.

The importance of the housing project has been recognised by grants from both the Scottish Land Fund and Argyll & Bute Council, totalling over £320,000, however further funding is required to complete the build.

Contributors are being invited to buy a virtual brick via a Justgiving page.


Restoration works progressing at East Ayrshire mine

East Ayrshire Council has announced restoration works are continuing at the Dunstonhill surface mine near Patna. 

Originally operated by Scottish Coal, the former open cast mine was left unrestored following the company’s liquidation.

A team of 26 workers are now progressing works at the 330 hectare site.

The Dunstonhill restoration project is costing £3 million and will be delivered over 12 months by UK surface mine restoration company Hargreaves, working in conjunction with the council and Mine Restoration Limited.