Building Briefs – May 15th

(from left) Alastair MacGregor, ACHA chief executive, Gerald Cotton whose son is moving into St Oran’s Place, Mike Brown, ACHA’s chairman, John Finnie MSP, new resident Kelly MacColl with piper Angus MacColl and the Achaleven Primary School pupils
(from left) Alastair MacGregor, ACHA chief executive, Gerald Cotton whose son is moving into St Oran’s Place, Mike Brown, ACHA’s chairman, John Finnie MSP, new resident Kelly MacColl with piper Angus MacColl and the Achaleven Primary School pupils

ACHA completes first new Connel homes for rent since 1950s

Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) has handed over the keys to eight new homes for rent in the village of Connel.

The development at St Oran’s Place, the first new homes for rent built in the village since the mid 1950s, provides eight new one and two bedroomed homes. It was built by MacLeod Construction to a value of £1.4 million. Thirty tradesmen and apprentices worked on the project for 14 months.


Discussions held about development of Carbisdale Castle 

Constructive discussions over the development of Carbisdale Castle were held during a meeting this week in Culrain.

The Castle was built in 1907 for the Duchess of Sutherland on a hill across the Kyle of Sutherland from Invershin, in the Scottish Highlands. It had been used for many years as a youth hostel and is now earmarked for development as a luxury hotel.

The meeting was chaired by Cllr Deirdre Mackay and attended by local Culrain residents, the Forestry Commission, HIE, Stuart Black, The Highland Council’s director of development and infrastructure, Cllr George Farlow and Rob Gibson MSP.

Cllr Mackay said it was agreed that the development would be a very positive thing, bringing employment and prosperity to whole area.

The director has subsequently spoken with the developer and a meeting with the Culrain residents and developer is being arranged.


Barratt says UK election did not slow sales as it builds more homes

Barratt Developments has said it expects to build more homes this year than previously forecast, with the uncertainty of the general election having had no negative impact on sales.

Barratt previously said it would build around 15,700 homes in the year to end of June 2015 but now believes it will get around 16,100 completions.

Chief executive Mark Clare said the run-up to the polls had no discernible effect on sales despite the uncertainty ahead of a vote often blamed for deterring some buyers as they wait to see the outcome.


Sheppard Robson submits Edinburgh equine surgery plans

Sheppard Robson Architects have submitted plans to build a two storey equine surgery within the grounds of The Roslin Institute, replacing an existing outdated facility at Easter Bush Veterinary Centre.

Designed on behalf of the University of Edinburgh, the £3.7 million large animal hospital will incorporate diagnostic and imaging spaces as well as surgical operating theatres at the Midlothian campus, which boasts Europe’s largest concentration of animal science and welfare expertise.


West End mews homes secure planning consent

A development of seven mews properties on the site of lock-up garages within Glasgow’s west end conservation area have been given the go-ahead by planners.

Facing onto Redlands Lane with a new private access road, off street parking and private gardens, the Richard Murphy Architects scheme backs onto the existing Lowther Terrace.

Work is expected to commence early next year.


Bid lodged for Fife’s first major solar farms

Fife’s first commercial solar farms could result in tens of thousands of panels harnessing the sun’s energy just a few miles from St Andrews and Tayport.

Several sites have been identified in recent months as potential locations for solar farms, including land at Wormit and Crail.

Those near Cameron Reservoir and Kirkton Barns will be the first to be brought to the next stage, with a planning applications lodged with Fife Council.

They would be among the first in Scotland and follow the country’s largest solar park in Angus, construction of which is due to begin in a 50-acre field in Carmyllie, Arbroath, later this year.

AAH Planning Consultants has sought consent for up to 20,000 panels – each at 8ft 11in – at each site, capable of powering a total of 2,222 homes.

Near Cameron Reservoir, three-and-a-half miles south-west of St Andrews, the panels would be erected in a 25-acre field.

At Kirkton Barns, around a mile and a half from Tayport and Newport, they would go in a 22-acre field.

Both proposals will be examined at public meetings hosted by community councils, where representatives of AAH Planning Consultants will outline plans.

Cameron Community Council chairman Gordon Ball encouraged people from outwith Cameron to join residents at its meeting next Wednesday at 6.30pm and the Tayport Ferryport-on-Craig Community Council meeting in the Burgh Chambers on June 1 at 7.30pm.


McCarthy & Stone planning new retirement complex in Dundee

Plans for a new 43-home retirement development at an old Scottish Water depot have been submitted to Dundee City Council.

The site, at the junction of Pitkerro Road and Stobsmuir Road, has become surplus to requirements and is being sold in two plots.

McCarthy & Stone’s proposal is to redevelop one of the plots into a sheltered retirement housing complex with 43 one and two-bedroom apartments designed for people over 60.

More than 70 people attended a consultation on the proposed development.

Steve Wiseman, managing director of McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, said the plans would make “good use” of the site and be of “benefit” to the community.

The application will be considered by the council later this year.


Councils consider ‘pop-up’ modular homes for key workers

Modular housing is being considered in a bid to build homes quickly to try to encourage vital key workers to the North East.

Nicknamed ‘pop-up’ because of the speed at which they can be built, the homes are constructed using pre-assembled sections. They come with insulation, wiring and plumbing installed and require minimal foundations.

It is hoped such housing would encourage key workers such as nurses and carers to come to the area.

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils revealed both are investigating the feasibility of investing money in the scheme.

The councils would still have to go through the planning process for the homes but, if they are approved, they could be built quickly.

Aberdeenshire Council is initially targeting areas such as Inverurie and Stonehaven as locations for the pop-up housing, while the city is looking at land in Culter.


Fife’s Local Housing Strategy gets the green light

Fife Council’s executive committee has approved its Local Housing Strategy for the next five years.

The strategy is the first to be developed in Scotland in line with revised Scottish Government guidance produced in 2014.

It identifies the key housing issues affecting local communities that need to be tackled over the next five years, such as:

  • Prevention of Homelessness
  • Access to Housing
  • Healthy Heating & Poverty
  • Housing Health & Social Care
  • New Housing Supply
  • Private Sector Condition
  • Sustainable Places
  • Home Energy