Building Briefs – May 30th

Onecom to connect HALO Kilmarnock development to the world

The HALO Scotland Kilmarnock urban regeneration project has teamed up with telecommunications provider Onecom in a partnership that will ensure the HALO development is among the most connected in the country when it opens its doors in 2020.

As part of the innovative agreement, Onecom will use its Belfast office to establish its Scottish operational and sales hub within The HALO’s Enterprise & Innovation Centre.

Marie Macklin, founder and executive chair of the HALO Group, and Paul Lawther, head of Onecom Northern Ireland

The HALO Scotland Kilmarnock is one of four HALO developments planned for the UK. Onecom’s office in Belfast, which is a proposed city for a future HALO, will play a key role in delivering the telecoms to all of these developments, managing all future HALO projects and servicing the needs of all tenants on a national scale.

In addition, Onecom will:

  • Encourage and enable everyone within The HALO development to access the latest telecommunication technologies, empowering entrepreneurs to realise their full potential
  • Provide leading-edge products, services and support to ensure that The HALO has state of the art telecommunications and broadband connectivity
  • Provide business and domestic telecommunications services to companies and homes located within The HALO
  • Partner with East Ayrshire schools, Ayrshire College, University of West of Scotland and other educational establishments to enhance the employability of young people by providing specialist technical input to student learning and practical skills development

The HALO Kilmarnock is an inspired and imaginative brown-field regeneration initiative located on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. It is being shaped as a multi-faceted development that will create a unique urban park with dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, and leisure opportunities and lifestyle quarter. The development will also include a light manufacturing facility and private rental accommodation for key workers.


29 more Carillion staff made redundant

29 staff at liquidated contractor Carillion have been made redundant and will leave the business later this week.

The workers, who mostly worked in central functions, will be provided with every support to find new work by Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service, the Official Receiver said.

Over the past week one employee has transferred to a new supplier.

In total, to date 11,638 jobs (64% of the pre-liquidation workforce) have been saved and 2,332 (13%) jobs have been made redundant through the liquidation.

A further 1,116 employees (6%) have left the business during the liquidation through finding new work, retirement or for other reasons.


Options for Longman Junction go on display

The design work to upgrade the traffic bottleneck at Longman roundabout in Inverness has reached an important milestone.

The public are now able to see and comment on five options that have been developed for grade-separating this busy junction in the Highland capital.

A public exhibition is being held today at Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s Football Stadium.

Further information on the Longman Junction Improvement scheme and the material shown at the exhibitions are available here.


One-way system to be introduced to allow Jedburgh dangerous building works to progress

A temporary one way system will be introduced in Jedburgh to allow progress to be made to a privately owned dangerous building.

The new arrangement will begin on Monday 4 June and will see a section of the High Street become one way southbound from Jewellers Wynd to Canongate southbound, and a section of Exchange Street one way northbound from High Street to Friarsgate.

This is required to extend scaffolding onto the road which can allow the repairs to be carried out to the building, which has significant structural issues and needs extensive work to make it safe.

The one way system is expected to last 40 weeks, with a temporary walkway also introduced around the scaffolding to allow pedestrians to still use High Street and Exchange Street.


Port of Montrose grant to cut thousands of lorry journeys

More freight will be taken off Scotland’s roads and transported by sea thanks to a £1.5 million Ports Mode Shift Grant from the Scottish Government to Montrose Port Authority (MPA).

The money will be added to a £5.9m investment by MPA to introduce a series of improvements which will allow larger cargo vessels to dock at the port.

Over a five-year period, it is expected the move will deliver environmental benefits worth £5.2m through the removal of 1.26m tonnes of freight from our roads and 86,000 HGV lorry journeys in the process.

The changes to the quaysides are expected to be completed in summer 2019.


CCG to continue East Lothian maintenance programme

CCG Asset Management has been directly awarded the next phase of East Lothian Council’s planned maintenance programme following on from a successful contract in 2017.

Works consisting of kitchen and bathroom replacements, rewiring, window and door replacements and interior decoration were undertaken to 19 properties in 2017 and the same level of will be undertaken as part of the council’s buy-back programme over a 12-week programme, commencing this May.


East Lothian Council agrees to adopt 2018 Local Development Plan

East Lothian Council has agreed its intention to adopt the East Lothian Local Development Plan 2018 (ELLDP 2018) following modifications recommended by the Scottish Government.

The council said its ambitious plan will deliver land for affordable and private housing and for employment uses. The plan indicates where new developments such as housing, business and other uses are likely to be supported and where certain types of development would not be supported. It provides the essential framework against which planning applications will be assessed.

The ELLDP 2018 complies with the Strategic Development Plan (SDP1) for Edinburgh and South East Scotland, which was prepared by SESplan and approved by Scottish Ministers. It also links to the Council Plan, the Single Outcome Agreement, the council’s Economic Development Strategy and City Deal Proposals.

Following an extensive period of consultation, the council produced its draft LDP, which was submitted to the Scottish Government Reporter for examination. The result of that examination was received in March, with some recommended modifications to the proposed LDP.

The ELLDP 2018 approved by council now has to go through the final stage of being reviewed by Scottish Ministers and once cleared by them will then be formally adopted as the East Lothian Local Development Plan 2018 by the council.

Modifications recommended by the Scottish Government reporter included the removal of sites earmarked for potential new housing at Howe Mire, Wallyford, Humbie and East Saltoun and changing land at Windygoul South, Tranent from mixed use to housing. The plan also reflects the decision taken by the council’s Planning Committee to approve new housing at Newtonlees in Dunbar.


Bank of Mum and Dad now funding more than quarter of house sales

The “Bank of Mum and Dad” will help fund one in four property purchases this year – but is starting to feel the pinch, according to new research.

Figures from Legal & General and economics consultancy Cebr suggest young homebuyers are growing increasingly reliant on their parents to help them get onto the property ladder.

Research shows 27% of buyers will receive help from friends or family in 2018, up from 25% in 2017.

Mums and dads will help 316,600 loved ones buy a home – an increase from 298,300 in 2017, according to projections.

However, while parents remain a major lender, they will be handing over less cash, the report said.

The average amount they are expected to contribute towards a property purchase is expected to decline from £21,600 in 2017 to £18,000 this year.

Total lending will dip from £6.5bn last year to £5.7bn in 2018.


Refusal recommended for Coul Links golf course

Highland councillors have been asked to refuse planning permission to the planned Coul Links golf course, the BBC reports.

Part of the 18-hole championship course near Embo in Sutherland would be on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Highland Council officials said the course would ‘significantly detrimental impact’ on wildlife habitat.

The golf course’s developers, who include US businessmen Mike Keiser and Todd Warnock, say the environment would be protected by the project.

Council planning officials said there was support for the golf course locally, and it would boost tourism.

However, they said the application was contrary to the provisions of the Highland-wide Local Development.

Officers said this was because it would result in a significantly detrimental impact on the Loch Fleet Site of Scientific Interest and Loch Fleet Ramsar Site, designated for its sand dune habitat.

They have recommended that next week’s north planning applications committee refuse planning permission.


Maidenhill unveils first phase names 

Audrey Ross, sales and marketing director at Taylor Wimpey West Scotland (left), and Suzie Farrell, marketing manager at CALA Homes (West), unveil the first Maidenhill phase names

The official names for the first phases of the new Maidenhill community in Newton Mearns have been unveiled – with help from a local history group.

Mearns History Group has given advice to homebuilders CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland in choosing historically significant names for the initial phases of the new development.

Hazeldene Lea and Westfield Gardens – the names of the respective CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland phases – feature nods to the Newton Mearns farming community of years gone by.

A total of 185 homes will be built during the first phase of construction at Maidenhill.