Building Briefs – March 7th

New primary school takes shape at Wallyford

Work on the new Wallyford Primary School in East Lothian is making good progress with the majority of its structural steel frame now complete.

The project is part of the new St Clements Wells mixed tenure housing development on the outskirt of the village and has an overall budget of £18.9 million.

Construction of the main foundations to the school, and the structural steel frame to the middle section of the school, has been completed. Two cranes are now on site to progress the remainder of the steel frame on either side of the central zone, and concrete floors and stairs are also being constructed in the central area. In addition, the new school car park has been formed, and work has started on the installation of the perimeter fence. Good progress is also being made on the construction of the new sports pitches. Roofing works and progression of external cladding works will also be progressed over the coming months.

The new school, which will replace the existing school building at Salters Road, will initially provide 28 classrooms, as well as 120 pre-school places. The new school will also include resources for wider use by the community and has been designed to provide access to the library, sports and other non- teaching facilities.

hub South East, East Lothian Council’s development partner, is delivering the project and Morrison Construction is the main contractor on site.

The new school should be complete early in 2019.


West Dunbartonshire Council commits £10m to road upgrades

More than £10 million is being invested to upgrade roads as part of West Dunbartonshire Council’s 2018/19 budget.

The £10.6m investment package will upgrade carriageway surfaces and also improve the structures of Balloch Bridge.

The plan for the new financial year will also see a £1m fund created to support apprenticeships and create routes into employment over the next four years.

A further £4m has been earmarked through the creation of a Heritage Capital Fund to improve Clydebank Town Hall, renovate Bruce Street Baths and reinvigorate other important Council assets across West Dunbartonshire.


DTZ Investors scoops up prime Sauchiehall Street retail units

DTZ Investors has acquired three prime retail units on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street from Legal & General in a £15.3 million sale brokered by Knight Frank and Montagu Evans.

The properties, which total 26,481 sq. ft., are located at 50 - 74 Sauchiehall Street and are currently let to Bank of Scotland, Poundland and well-known footwear chain, Dr Martens.

Knight Frank acted on behalf of Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets throughout the sale, while Montagu Evans represented DTZ Investors.


CMS Window Systems enters global spotlight with Scottish Green Apple Award win

CMS Window Systems chief operating officer, David Ritchie, with environmental officer Grace Waku

Cumbernauld-based CMS Window Systems has been recognised for its environmental excellence by winning a Scottish Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice 2018, and being chosen to represent the UK as a Green World Ambassador in the Green World Awards.

The window, door and curtain walling manufacturer and installer fought off stiff competition to win the Gold award at a special presentation ceremony which was held on Monday at the company’s pioneering Innovation Hub. The event was attended by more than 40 representatives from Green Apple Award winning businesses across Scotland, who all share a common goal in their commitment to minimising their impact on the environment.

In addition to putting CMS into the top flight of Scottish firms demonstrating environmental excellence, the award win also propels the company into the international spotlight. CMS has become a Green World Ambassador, meaning it will represent Scotland in the Green World Awards 2018 - a prestigious environmental awards programme that attracts entries from all around the world, with the trophies presented in a different country each year.

Winning in the 2018 Scottish Green Apple Awards is the latest in a string of accolades for CMS. The company won gold in the UK Green Apple Awards last year, and it was recognised at the highest level by being presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development 2017.


Plans to turn former Aberdeenshire hospital into homes

A former Aberdeenshire hospital could be transformed into homes.

Maud’s hospital closed its doors to patients in 2008 after serving the community for 148 years.

The 1867 B-listed building, which at one time had 135 beds for patients, was latterly sold at auction by the Scottish Government with a view to bringing it back into use. It could now be converted into a mixture of 11 one- and two-bedroom flats, and eight three and four-bedroom houses.

Plans submitted by Mintlaw firm Baxter Design detail shared access roads between the homes, green spaces and even a dedicated area of land for barbecues.


Emma Harper MSP visits BSW Timber to promote Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Emma Harper MSP (centre) meeting BSW Timber apprentices in Dalbeattie

Emma Harper visited apprentices from BSW Timber in Dalbeattie on Monday as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

Apprentices from the firm participated in a meet and greet session with the MSP following a tour of BSW’s Dalbeattie site.

Tony Lockey, group learning & development manager, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for our apprentices to meet Emma Harper MSP this week and we’re extremely grateful to her for taking the time to answer their questions.

“We’re passionate about helping our apprentices to get the most out of their time at BSW, and Scottish Apprenticeship Week truly gives us the opportunity to promote the value of our young people.”

Emma Harper MSP, added: “It was really interesting to meet the apprentices at BSW and to see the highly technical work they perform at the mill.”

BSW Timber apprentices will be taking part in a variety of events and activities during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, including participation in a DIY challenge at Drummond School, visiting Inverness College to promote work within the STEM industries and apprentices at the Earlston site will benefit from a visit from Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

BSW has also recently launched the UK’s first Saw Doctor Apprenticeship in partnership with Inverness College.


East Lothian Council purchases former Cockenzie Power Station site

East Lothian Council has been successful in its bid to purchase the former Cockenzie Power Station site.

Depute council leader Norman Hampshire said: “I am delighted at this outcome. This is a key site of huge importance to the economic future of East Lothian and for the communities that surround it. The council has been actively involved in discussions around the future of the site for a number of years now, since it became clear that Cockenzie Power Station was to be decommissioned and that plans for a gas-fired station would not be going ahead. Now that the future ownership of the site is clear, the council can move forward with marketing the site for commercial opportunities, which will form a key part of the planned economic growth within east Lothian.”

Mr Hampshire added that it is important to stress at this stage that community consultation will remain a key element of how we move forward and bring about more developed plans for what the site will be used for in the coming years.


Aboyne hotel’s plans for expansion approved

A North-east hotel’s plans to expand have been given the go-ahead.

The Boat Inn in Aboyne proposed to turn the adjoining Boat House into eight new rooms.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr area committee has approved the development after initially deferring the plans for a site visit.

The application was looking to change the use of a neighbouring property to form eight additional hotel rooms.

More than 20 objections against the plans were submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.


RSPB and Barratt extend partnership to give nature a home

A unique partnership between the RSPB and Barratt Homes has been renewed and extended for another three years. The partnership aims to deliver more wildlife friendly housing across Scotland, helping to give nature a home.

Barratt Scotland and the RSPB will work together to boost biodiversity and promote wildlife at a number of developments across Scotland. Through such initiatives as hedgehog highways, wild bee friendly planting and swift bricks, the aim of the partnership is to help all forms of wildlife and nature on new housing developments.

Over the last 50 years 56% of species have declined while 15% are at risk of disappearing from our shores altogether. With the country’s wildlife continuing to struggle the groundbreaking partnership between Europe’s largest nature conservation charity and the country’s largest housebuilder is setting the benchmark for nature friendly homes.

The first three years of the partnership have been a resounding success with both organisations working together to agree best practice on what are the best plants and shrubs to use in gardens, the best times in the year to survey local species and how to make good use of existing nature features on new developments. In addition the partnership is helping home owners by offering guidance and advice on how to help nature thrive.

The partnership has received particular praise for designing an innovative new swift brick to support the iconic birds with nesting sites in new homes. Other awards for the partnership over the last three years have included a What House silver award for best partnership scheme, a BIG biodiversity challenge award for showhome garden designs and a prestigious RSPCA animal hero award for its flagship sustainable development Kingsbrook.


Funding to preserve Dunbeath Broch 

An award of £21,014 from the Highland LEADER Programme is the last piece of the financial jigsaw required for a project which aims to conserve Dunbeath Broch in Caithness.

Neil Buchanan, chair of Berriedale & Dunbeath Community Council said: “Dunbeath Strath provides a walk with a variety of interest and is popular with local people, the wider Caithness community and visitors to the area.  The Strath is sheltered, picturesque, has a long and impressive history of human settlement and is rich in archaeological sites.  The best known of these are brochs - tall imposing circular drystone towers built over 2000 years ago - some of the most remarkable structures ever built in Britain.  Despite this richness very few Caithness brochs have been subject to modern excavation and dating and few are readily accessible or adequately presented.

“Dunbeath Broch is a Scheduled Monument and is the best preserved and most visited of several brochs in the Strath.  However, the broch is in need of conservation works to slow or prevent deterioration of the structure and assure safe access.  LEADER funding will allow us to undertake these works in partnership with a professional archaeological and conservation team.  The conservation and investigative works will also form the basis for an outreach programme for local schools and the community.”