Building Briefs – December 17th

An aerial view of how Sighthill looks today
An aerial view of how Sighthill looks today

Minister visits new homes in first stage of Sighthill transformation

The first stage of the transformation of a Glasgow community is complete, with tenants moving into their new homes in Sighthill.

Housing minister Margaret Burgess joined Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety and GHA chair Gordon Sloan to meet some of the new GHA tenants this week.

Sighthill has been earmarked as a priority for regeneration by Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TC:G) - a partnership between Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government and GHA.

The completion of the 141 new GHA homes is the first part of what will be a major transformation of the area. Sighthill will also see hundreds of more new homes, a new school campus, student accommodation and new shops, as well as a road bridge, a land bridge across the M8 and high-quality green space for residents.

The regeneration is one of the biggest projects of its kind in Scotland.

The £13.7 million GHA development is a mix of houses and flats, including 11 suitable for wheelchairs. The spacious, modern homes are also highly energy-efficient, meaning tenants are saving money on their fuel bills.

Contractors CCG, as part of its contract with GHA, took on 17 apprentices to work the new homes.

Glasgow City Council is about to carry out some major work on the land in Sighthill to prepare the way for further development.

Work has already started on preparing the last two blocks at 31/35 and 32/34 Pinkston Drive for demolition by ultra high-reach machine.

The demolition is expected to be complete towards the end of 2016.


Kilmardinny House refurbishment and extension goes ahead

A £2.58 million plan to develop Kilmardinny House into a wedding, conference and arts centre has been granted planning permission by East Dunbartonshire Council.

The creation of a new garden pavilion extension will provide a modern, flexible space and enhance the venue as a centre for local arts, performance and community groups.  It will also create a modern, flexible space that can be used for a range of activities including performances, exhibitions, conferences and weddings.

The existing popular Grade A listed house will be refurbished, both inside and out, including redecoration and some repairs to external stonework and windows.


Triodos Bank reaches £250m social housing lending milestone

Triodos Bank is targeting further lending to social housing providers after taking its lending commitments to the sector to £250 million.

In the last year Triodos Bank has arranged lending facilities totalling more than £25m to seven different housing association customers across the UK, making it one of its fastest growing lending areas in the UK in recent years.

Funded solely by savers and investors who want to see the funds they entrust with the bank lent to organisations delivering social, environmental or cultural impact, the bank believes social housing fits well with its mission.

The new facilities completed include £5.7m to Glen Housing Association in Fife.


New £120m investment in Scottish Water network

More than 200,000 people and businesses in the west of Scotland will benefit from a new £120m investment in the drinking water network.

Scottish Water will improve the water supply network by installing 30 miles of new water mains to connect the system in Ayrshire with the Greater Glasgow areas network.

The new and expanded network will let Scottish Water provide customers with greater security of supply as well as respond more effectively to operational issues such as burst water mains.

The construction of about 30 miles of new water mains, which is expected to take about four years, will connect the Bradan water supply network to the network served by the Milngavie and Balmore water treatment works, in East Dunbartonshire.

When complete, the investment will enable Scottish Water to transfer water from Glasgow to Ayrshire, and vice-versa, if required.


Churches and cathedral to receive £1.55m restoration funding

Seven churches and a cathedral will have essential repair work funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

More than £1.55 million will go to projects including the restoration of St Ninian’s Cathedral in Perth - the first to be built after the Reformation.

St Michael’s Church in Inveresk and St Mary’s in Kirkintilloch will benefit.

The full list of first round awards is:

  • Shettleston New Church of Scotland, Glasgow - £235,200
  • St Michael’s Kirk, Inveresk - £228,000
  • Paisley Central Methodist Hall - £228,600
  • St Mungo’s Parish Church, Alloa - £248,000
  • St Anne’s Episcopal Church, Dunbar - £162,000
  • St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth - £241,600
  • St Mary’s Parish Church, Kirkintilloch - £203,000

St Ninian’s Episcopal Church in Glen Urquhart will also receive a second round award of £243,400.


Work to begin on Highland housing development

Cllrs MacLennan and Murphy meet former Nurses outside the Belhaven Ward
Cllrs MacLennan and Murphy meet former Nurses outside the Belhaven Ward

Work is due to begin preparing a site in the Highlands for a housing development project, it has been announced.

Lochaber Housing Association and the Highland Council are to redevelop the site of the former Belhaven Ward in Fortwilliam.

The development will comprise of five wheelchair liveable bungalows and a block of eight, one and two bed flats ready for occupation in September 2016.

The project will be part funded by a Scottish Government Housing Grant, while a partnership between the council and NHS Highland saw the building transferred in October.

The construction contract will be awarded in the next few weeks with works set to commence earlier in 2016.


Ayrshire men gain employment thanks to Kier and British Army

Four Ayrshire men who had looked set to face Christmas and 2016 without a job have seen their lives changed after taking part in an initiative to improve their employment prospects – with all now in full-time work.

Kier Construction, in conjunction with the British Army and with support from hub South West, rolled out the Armed Forces Employability Pathways (AFEP) initiative last month for a number of unemployed Ayrshire men.

The aim of the programme was to improve the likelihood of participants securing apprenticeships or employment in the construction industry, as well as providing the opportunity for candidates to enlist in the Army reserves or regulars.

The 26 successful participants undertook a one-week training programme with the Army before training for their CSCS card at Ayrshire College and a two-week work placement with a local employer from Kier’s supply chain.

Businesses signed up to take part in the initiative included D M Roofing, D & D Decorators, Linear Projects Ltd, Hazeldean Horticulture, Albann, P J Careys, Spie, FES, DM Roofing and Balfour Beatty Engineering Services.


CALA plans to deliver new homes in Musselburgh

Beggars Bush, Ravensheugh, MusselburghAn area of land within Musselburgh which has been identified in East Lothian Council’s Local Development Plan will provide the location for much needed family homes, under new proposals by CALA Homes.

The housebuilder will be lodging initial proposals with the local authority to create an extension to the existing community on a seven acres site at Levenhall, on the eastern edge of the town.

The new development would deliver a mix of high quality family homes along with a number of affordable homes together with amenity open space.

The Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) which describes CALA Homes’ intentions for the site has been shared with Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council as well as neighbouring Prestonpans Community Council, whose boundary runs alongside the proposed development.

Local ward Councillors have also received a copy of the PAN in advance of the formal submission of the detailed application, which is expected to be in Spring 2016.

A public consultation event will be held in February and this will allow local people to see draft proposals and to provide their feedback and suggestions for the development. CALA Homes is still finalising the arrangements and will publicise the details as soon as these are known. As part of the public consultation process, the firm will also be seeking engagement with the local Community Councils.

The site at Levenhall is part of the eastern edge of Musselburgh, to the north of the A199 Haddington Road. It is framed to the north by mature woodland, whilst the existing housing at Ravensheugh Crescent and Beggars Bush sets the context to the west of the site. The land to the East is given over to agricultural use.

The development would include houses of all sizes, with a focus on quality family homes. A quarter of the homes would be affordable housing and the development would also include areas of amenity open space and new landscape planting.


Revamp at Pollok roundabout

A multi-million pound solution to make safe a Glasgow roundabout where a 68-year old pedestrian was killed last year has been agreed.

It is understood that the Peat Road roundabout in Pollok, near Silverburn Shopping Centre, could be demolished and a traffic light system installed to combat long-running problems.

The estimated cost of the scheme is £5 million.


Scottish War Blinded unveils new West Lothian homes for veterans

Linburn66_0Scottish War Blinded has officially unveiled a new sports hall and housing for veterans in Wilkieston, West Lothian.

Opened by the charity’s president The Duke of Buccleuch, the hall was officially named ‘Centenary Hall’ to celebrate its opening in an important year for the charity, which throughout 2015 has celebrated a hundred years of support for veterans. It is located alongside the Linburn Centre.

A plaque commemorating the opening of the charity’s new multi-purpose sports was unveiled by The Duke of Buccleuch, followed by a tour of the new facilities and housing, which will shortly be occupied by veterans of the forces, who now have sight loss.

The modern, fully accessible facilities will complement the current range of sporting activities on offer in and around the Linburn Centre. Veterans will soon enjoy increased opportunities for archery, acoustic shooting, indoor and outdoor bowls, football, judo and goalball, amongst other sports.

Alongside the new centre is new accessible housing built specifically for visually impaired veterans, equipped with accessible features to make independent living easier for residents.

The development has been designed by Page/Park architects, in keeping with the style of their award winning design of the Linburn Centre.


Miller Homes pledges to raise £100k for Habitat for Humanity

Miller Homes supports Habitat for HumanityA commitment by housebuilder Miller Homes to raise £100,000 for international development charity Habitat for Humanity Great Britain’s new Hope Builders Campaign, will lay the foundations for the building of over 30 new ‘Habitat Homes’, helping to lift many people out of poverty housing.

Miller Homes is the first major housebuilder to pledge its support to the re-launched campaign, which is supported by the Home Builders Federation and aims to give those living in poverty housing a safe, decent place to call home.  To kick-start its fundraising, Miller Homes has donated £30,000 to the campaign.

Habitat for Humanity’s focus is on shelter and it recognises that home is the cornerstone of hope for those living in poverty.  The charity works with established partners in more than 70 countries across the world to offer simple, sustainable solutions by working with the poorest and most vulnerable people to provide the support needed to help them lift themselves out of poverty by building homes and communities and restoring their independence.

The average cost of a Habitat Home is £3,000 and companies are being encouraged to join a story that will unlock the power of home for generations to come.

To support Miller Homes’ fundraising efforts for Habitat for Humanity GB’s Hope Builders Campaign, visit the company’s Just Giving page.