Building Briefs – March 5th

Morrison Construction project nominated for prestigious planning award

The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.

The project will compete in the category for Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May.

Designed by Ryder Architecture, the campus was opened to pupils in April 2017, replacing Wick High School, South Primary and Pultneytown Academy Primary School while providing a new library and swimming pool for pupils, teachers and the wider community.

The project has been nominated for a major award before winning Gold in the ‘Best Education Project’ category at the 2015 Partnerships Awards.


More than 220 affordable homes to be built in Moray by 2020

Moray Council is on track to build more than 220 affordable homes by 2020, the local authority has revealed.

The target is to build 70 each financial year between 2017 and 2020, and Moray Council is looking to exceed this by creating affordable homes in Forres, Buckie, Elgin and Keith.

During 2017/18 completions at Burdshaugh in Forres, Barrhill Road in Buckie and Linkwood in Elgin saw 47 homes built.

This year developments in Ferrylea and Strathcona Road in Forres, and the Driving Range and Linkwood in Elgin will see another 68 completions, with 108 completions scheduled for 2019/20 at Elgin South, Barhill Road in Buckie and Banff Road in Keith – bringing the total over the three years to 223.

It’s been confirmed that the 2017/18 developments at Burdshaugh and Barhill Road have been completed within budget, and it’s expected that all current contracts will also come in within budget.

At tomorrow’s meeting of Moray Council’s communities committee, elected members will be asked for approval to progress land purchases at sites in Buckie and Mosstodloch, which already have planning permission for a total of 87 homes. If agreed by the communities committee, further approval from the policy & resources committee would be sought later this month.


Funding secured to develop Fraserburgh enterprise hub

More than £101,000 of funding has been awarded to develop a new enterprise hub in Fraserburgh.

Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to back the project via a £1.137 million fund set up in 2016 to support projects that help to regenerate the town over a five-year period. So far, over half of this money has been allocated to projects in Fraserburgh.

The enterprise hub will be based in the refurbished council chamber and former police station in Saltoun Square. To be known as The Faithlie Centre, it will provide help and support for local residents thinking about starting or growing their business. Run in partnership between the council and Elevator, the facility will provide specialist business advice, referrals and free desk space with computers to entrepreneurs.

In addition to the council’s investment, other funding totalling nearly £8.5m has been secured for regeneration projects in Fraserburgh since 2014. This money comes from a variety of sources including the Scottish Government, Lottery Programmes, European funding, private investment and local fund-raising.

Projects that have been supported by Aberdeenshire Council’s regeneration programme include the new South Links running and football development, Fraserburgh Fitness Centre, Super Saturdays and Active Fraserburgh events, improvements to public areas and buildings in the town centre – including the mosaics in the Saltoun Square arcade, new housing projects, the harbour pontoons and the Fraserburgh Cinema.


Highland Council plans to install solar panels across estate

The Highland Council has revealed plans to install solar panels across its estate.

The project will generate more than £4 million over the course of 20 years as well as helping to cut down on carbon emissions.

The local authority’s corporate resources committee approved a self-financing project to use £2.3m of capital to install 2.5 megawatts of solar panels on sites across the council estate.

It is estimated a net profit of up to £4.01m will be generated over the next two decades, after repayments for the £2.3m investment have been made and accounting for maintenance, insurance, fees and charges. In addition, around 1,000-tonnes of carbon emissions will be reduced.

The commercial & continual improvement team will now work with the energy and sustainability team, councillors and building users to confirm the optimal locations for the panel sites and coordinate implementation.


Work starts on £2.7m Kilmarnock railway station upgrade

Work has started on a £2.7 million railway station upgrade project in Kilmarnock.

Network Rail is aiming to create step-free access to platforms one, three and four from the existing Kilmarnock station underpass via newly installed lifts, which will be built and installed over a nine-month period.

Features include lowering, regrading and resurfacing the underpass and renewing staircases and handrails to ensure they are appropriate to modern accessibility standards.

Work is scheduled to complete by December.


RJ McLeod delivers Falkirk High station car park

RJ McLeod has completed work on a new £858,000 car park at Falkirk High station.

An additional 61 car parking spaces have been created for commuters and travellers on a 2,500m2 site off the B803 Slamannan Road, bringing the total number of dedicated car parking spaces available to 416.

Features include new lighting, CCTV and a cycle rack installed as well as new pedestrian access via an underpass/path on Drossie Road.

The project was mainly funded by Falkirk Council with contributions from the ScotRail Alliance and the Scottish Stations Fund. The new car park opened last week.


Scottish Water launches consultation on future services and spending

Scottish Water has launched a six-month public consultation to help define its services and spending priorities.

Communities across Scotland are being invited to submit their views on the utility’s proposals and ambitions over the next 25 years.

Three key ambitions have been outlined to underpin the company’s activities:

  • Delivering a consistently leading customer experience
  • Keeping customer prices low by driving further innovation and efficiency through smart investment choices
  • Increasing the reliability, resilience and sustainability of our services to new and emerging challenges.

In addition, views are being sought on how Scottish Water supports growth in Scotland’s economy and population through expansion of its infrastructure and networks, as well as views on how the company becomes more resource efficient, low carbon and socially sustainable. Other issues such as the impact of climate change and the challenges and opportunities presented by digital transformation and innovation will be factors in the company’s activities.

Full details of the ambitions are set out in a new publication – Shaping the Future.

The consultation is open until August and responses will help form Scottish Water’s planning for the future.

To view the consultation, visit online at


New start dates for new Inverclyde schools

Pupils at three Inverclyde primary schools being transformed as part of a £270 million Council investment have been told when they can expect to move in.

A brand new £9.2m St Ninian’s in Gourock is close to completion along with the refurbishments of Moorfoot Primary (£5million) in Gourock and Lady Alice Primary (£3.8m) in Greenock.

A fourth school – St Mary’s Primary in Greenock – will decant into the former Sacred Heart primary school ahead of a £6m refurbishment.

Both the Moorfoot and Lady Alice projects have been slightly delayed after contractors ran into unforeseen issues on-site and work was also hampered by the recent bad weather.

The delay to the completion of Moorfoot who are currently using the former Sacred Heart school building has had a knock-on effect on St Mary’s Primary who are due to move in to Sacred Heart ahead of their school’s refurbishment.

School Provisional Closure Planned Closure First Day in School
St Ninian’s 18 June – 20 June 28 June and 16 August – 17 August 20 August
Lady Alice 30 May – 1 June 28 June and 16 August – 17 August 20 August
Moorfoot 17 April – 19 April 30 May – 1 June 4 June
St Mary’s 30 May – 1 June 28 June and 18 August – 17 August 20 August