Building Briefs – August 30th

Hugh Gaffney MP visits Kier’s HQ in Stepps

Hugh Gaffney MP visited Construction Scotland’s newly refurbished headquarters in Stepps yesterday.

The MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, was joined by Kier commercial director, Callum Leslie, as he met some of the 125 Kier employees based at the facility.

Mr Gaffney MP said: “I was delighted to visit Kier Construction Scotland’s newly refurbished HQ in Stepps today as the area’s MP.  I’m impressed by the company’s commitment to using local knowledge, local contractors and providing training opportunities for every one of their projects - which in turn helps to boost the local economy.

“Equally impressive is the number of new initiatives that Kier has put in place to address the current sector skills gap and to encourage young people to consider a career in this diverse and thriving industry.”

Callum Leslie added: “I was pleased to welcome Mr Gaffney to our new look, modern head-office and introduce him to some of the 125 employees who are based here. Our construction expertise spans a number of sectors including education, healthcare and heritage, and our position on significant frameworks has allowed us to steadily grow the business and recruit more staff, including graduate trainees and apprentices, to meet this growing demand.”


Riverside Inverclyde welcomes Balmore Group to new premises at Kelburn Business Park

(from left) David Martin (portfolio manager – Ri), Saadya Sabir (Balmore Group), Victor Mackay Snr (managing director – Balmore Group), Victor Mackay Jnr (division director – Balmore Group) and Fiona Maguire (CEO – Ri)

Riverside Inverclyde (Ri), the organisation delivering the economic redevelopment of Inverclyde in the west of Scotland, has welcomed another new tenant, Balmore Group, to its Kelburn Business Park development in Port Glasgow.

A long-established business with a one-stop difficult access inspection, repair, maintenance and specialist cleaning services, its most recently formed arm is Balmore Aerial Services, which uses the latest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology, more widely known as drones, to provide aerial inspection and surveying services throughout the UK.

Expansion and development of the business has prompted its relocation from Glasgow to larger, 3000 sq. ft. modern premises at Port Glasgow’s Kelburn Business Park. The move underpins 10 jobs at the new premises.


Knight Frank strengthens healthcare team in Scotland

Iain McGhee

Commercial property agent Knight Frank has expanded its Healthcare valuation team in Scotland in response to growth in the sector.

Valuation partner Iain McGhee, who has been with Knight Frank for 12 years and has previous experience providing valuation advice in the healthcare sector, will now provide advice in the healthcare sector in response to an increase in demand for local expertise.

Iain will continue to advise on commercial valuations for Knight Frank, in addition to growing the firm’s Healthcare advisory offering across Scotland. The UK Healthcare valuation team advises more than £12 billionn of healthcare assets annually, acting for many of the country’s major operators, funds, investors and lenders in the sector.


DLA Piper grows Scotland construction team

Drew Wallace, head of DLA Piper’s real estate Scotland practice (left) and Ross Campbell, legal director real cstate - construction

Law firm DLA Piper has bolstered its construction offering in Scotland with the appointment of Ross Campbell to its Construction & Engineering practice in Edinburgh.

Ross joins as legal director from Eversheds Sutherland with over 20 years’ experience of energy, infrastructure and real estate development projects, including having been the lead legal adviser on over 45 projects procured under PFI/PPP and DBFO schemes, with an aggregate capital value of over £2 billion.

Ross joins as part of the wider growth in the UK Construction group, which has added two partners and six lawyers to the team this summer, and as part of the strategic growth of the Real Estate practice in Scotland.

DLA Piper has advised on numerous recent high profile projects in Scotland, including the multi-million pound forward sale of the 190,000 sq ft Government Property Unit at New Waverley, the development and sale of the iconic India Buildings for the luxury Virgin Hotels brand and the mixed-use redevelopment of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, acting for the developer.


Businesswoman wins permission to build new £3.6m church

Stagecoach tycoon and philanthropist Ann Gloag has won approval for a £3.6 million church in her home city of Perth.

Ms Gloag is a member of the Trinity Church of Nazarene along with her brother, fellow Stagecoach founder Sir Brian Souter.

The new base will be built on the site of the fire-hit Waverley Hotel, Perth, which was bulldozed at the end of last year.

The existing church will open to the community as a multi-use hall and gym.

Perth and Kinross Council has now granted planning permission and listed building consent for the development, listed as an extension to the church.


Peterhead drive-thru and petrol station approved

Plans to expand a retail park by adding a drive-thru and petrol station in Peterhead have been approved.

The EG Group had submitted proposals to Aberdeenshire Council for full planning permission for the facility, including a drive-thru coffee shop, at the Buchan Gateway.

Members of the Buchan area committee had previously discussed the plans at its May meeting, but deferred a decision due to traffic concerns.

An updated traffic study was submitted to Transport Scotland for the site at the Invernettie roundabout which allowed the body to respond to concerns raised by councillors.

It said the impact of traffic on the roads around the site would be “minimal”, with planning officers recommending the proposals be approved.


New homes bring health & social care into Moray community

(from left) Iain Sutherland (bid director of Robertson Northern), Colin Wright (senior project manager at Robertson Northern), Stephen Hay (clerk of works at Hanover Scotland), Richard Lochhead MSP and Mike Martin (chair of Hanover Scotland)

A new social housing development for older people at Spynie in Elgin, which is designed to bring health care into the community, has been welcomed by the local MSP as he visited the construction site.

Richard Lochhead MSP visited Hanover Scotland’s new 44 home site at Spynie, which is being developed in partnership with Health & Social Care Moray (the new Integrated Joint Board involving Moray Council and NHS Grampian) and the Scottish Government.

The new development, which will be known as Hamilton Gardens, is expected to open in autumn 2019. It will consist of 44 two-bedroom homes, ranging from amenity flats and cottages to extra care flats with five specially designed to accommodate wheelchair users. It will also have a common room for residents to socialise in, a kitchen and two offices.

To be delivered by Robertson, the development has been designed to meet the needs of older people who require different levels of care and support, allowing them to receive this whilst living more independently in their own home.

Hanover Scotland has 26 developments in Moray, including Varis Court, an innovative housing complex for older people that uses pioneering design and research to bring health care into the community, which was opened by the First Minister in July 2017. Hamilton Gardens is one of two developments that Hanover Scotland is currently delivering in the Elgin area, the other being at Stonecross.

During his visit, Mr Lochhead met with senior managers from both Hanover Scotland and Robertson and was given a tour of the site, hearing of the special design features that will be present in the development.


AWPR: A90 to become A92 next week

The A90 between Stonehaven and Blackdog will become the A92 on Monday 3 September as works to update trunk road signage begins, as part of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route / Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project.

The change to the road designation, which will involve amending the existing A90 signage, and changing it to the A92 , is being undertaken by BEAR Scotland between Monday 3 September until Friday 7 September. This will include locations in Aberdeen City, including Charleston, Bridge of Dee, Anderson Drive, The Parkway, and Ellon Road.

Traffic management, such as lane closures, will be implemented overnight when necessary on the new A92 to enable the works to be carried out safely. Some works, which do not require traffic management, will be undertaken during the day, but not during busy travelling periods.

No delays are expected as a result of these works.


Hawick Flood Scheme’s contractors and suppliers’ day success

An excellent turnout of 74 companies attended the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme’s contractors and suppliers’ information day on Wednesday.

The event gave national firms and local companies from across the Borders the chance to find out more about the work opportunities the scheme has to offer as well as details on timescales and on the town.

Local accommodation providers, restaurants and cafes who could also see spin-off benefits from the project are also encouraged to register their interest.


Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed as keynote speaker at CABE conference

Dame Judith Hackitt

The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) has today announced that Dame Judith Hackitt will be providing the keynote speech at its Annual Conference and Exhibition in October.

A chemical engineer, Dame Judith is the author of Building a Safer Future: Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The review was commissioned by Government following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire on the 14th June 2017. Known as the Hackitt Review, its aim was to address and explore regulatory bodies and the construction industry, and to make recommendations on the future regulatory system.

Dame Judith is the former chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive and is currently chair of EEF, The Manufacturer’s Organisation.


Council plans new social let homes in place of demolished Dundee flats

Dundee City Council has unveiled plans to develop around 35 new social let homes on the site of a block of flats set for demolition.

Local authority architect Ray Low told a meeting of North East Local Community Planning Partnership that the new homes will be built at Murrayfield Drive and Murrayfield Terrace, the Evening Telegraph has reported.

Mr Low said a planning application for the “high-quality” houses and flats is likely to be submitted sometime next month.

A variety of homes to suit all sizes of household and some supported accommodation run in association with Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership is being proposed.

The homes will be constructed to modern energy efficiency standards so they are cheap to heat and keep warm.

A site investigation to assess the land is still ongoing and must be completed before the planning application can be submitted.


CCG completes Paisley bathroom installations

CCG Asset Management, the planned maintenance division for CCG (Scotland) Ltd, has just completed an 88-unit bathroom replacement contract on behalf of Paisley Housing Association.

Operating just outside of Paisley town centre, Asset Management installed new bathrooms as well as associated works.

The contract was procured through the i-FLAIR Planned Maintenance Framework, a collaborative four-year agreement between housing associations in the areas of East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire.

CCG Asset Management manager, Stephen Riley, said: “We are delighted to have continued our working relationship with Paisley Housing Association in delivering this phase of works. Our site team with the assistance of the Association resulted in a first class new bathroom suite for the tenants.

“CCG AM are confident that the end users are happy with their new bathrooms and we look forward to working with Paisley Housing again in the future.”

Paisley Housing Association technical manager, Elaine Thomson, said: “Once again we have had very positive feedback from our tenants who are delighted with the design and finish of their new bathrooms.”

CCG Asset Management was on site for a nine-week duration.


Office and industrial sectors improve in Q2

Scottish commercial real estate achieved a total return of 1.4% in the second quarter of 2018, a slight decline from the 1.7% realised in the first quarter, data released by property consultant CBRE has revealed.

However office and industrial property have seen improved performances across the period.

Returns for the alternative property sector fell back in line with other commercial sectors in Q2, to 2.2% (down from 4.0% in Q1). This pushed total returns for alternatives behind those for offices (2.4%) and industrials (2.3%), both significant improvements compared to Q1. The weakest performer was retail (0.3% total return) reflecting the turbulence this sector has experienced so far this year.

On an annual basis, the Scottish all property total return was virtually unchanged at 7.1% over the twelve months to the end of June. Due to a relatively stronger period of performance between July 2017 and March 2018, the shifts seen in the retail and alternative property sectors in the second quarter have had only a small impact on annual total returns in these sectors.

Alternatives remain the only sector with double-digit returns over the year (12.7%), well ahead of industrials (8.7%) and offices (8.0%), albeit that the latter two sectors continue to see improvements.