Building Briefs – April 2nd

(left to right) Stuart Eynon, property director, Peter Vardy Ltd; Peter Vardy, CEO, Peter Vardy Ltd; Duncan Ogilvie, CEO, Ogilvie Group; Bob Gray, construction director, Ogilvie Construction
(left to right) Stuart Eynon, property director, Peter Vardy Ltd; Peter Vardy, CEO, Peter Vardy Ltd; Duncan Ogilvie, CEO, Ogilvie Group; Bob Gray, construction director, Ogilvie Construction

Work starts on new Aberdeen £4m Porsche Centre

Work has started on a prestigious new £4 million Porsche Centre in Aberdeen.

Ogilvie Construction and Peter Vardy Ltd have broken ground on site at Wellington Road in Aberdeen for the state-of-the-art Porsche Centre, due for completion in autumn.

The new centre is 23,379 sq ft and is being custom built with a strong customer focus and relaxed retail feel featuring a dedicated handover bay with special features.

A business lounge will provide facilities to stay interconnected and there will be a stylish café bar, Porsche Driver’s Selection shop and children’s zone. Presentations to customers will be made by highly trained sales executives using iPads and tablets in specially designed consultation areas.


Building material supply firm’s £12,000 bill after phone hacked

A north-east business was left with a £12,000 bill after its telephone system was hacked.

Bosses at Premier Fixing Solutions and Construction have told of their frustration after illicit calls were made from their line.

Bill Young and Keith Scott said they first knew something was wrong when they tried to dial externally on March 8, but noticed the lines were dead.

Mr Young, 56, said he immediately called the line provider who told them they couldn’t dial up because a bar had been placed on the lines due to unusual activity. That was when he found a bill for £12,000.

After further talks with the communications firm, the business partners discovered the hackers had been tapping into the company phones and making premium calls from Sunday, March 1.

Mr Young has contacted the police about the matter.

A spokeswoman for the force confirmed the fraud team received a complaint but the investigation had now been passed on to Action Fraud, the UK’s national centre for fraud and internet crime.


£20m deal boosts prospects for Aberdeen property firm

Aberdeen-based property company Andrew’s Homes has struck a refinancing deal with Swedish lender Handelsbanken for more than £20 million.

The deal puts Andrew’s Homes in a position to sniff out new property deals in Aberdeen and other Scottish cities.

Founded in 1969, the firm is active in the residential and commercial property markets with a portfolio that includes upmarket premises in Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness.

Andrew’s Homes managing director Jonathan Harper described the deal as a significant achievement that creates a “solid foundation” for the firm.


Glasgow student team reaches CIOB Hong Kong final

Over the last 5 weeks more than 30 student teams from across the globe have been battling it out as they bid to reach this year’s Global Student Challenge final in Hong Kong.

The competition, run by the Chartered Institute of Building, develops leadership skills by challenging students to run their own construction company in a simulated environment using software developed by Loughborough University.

The six teams to reach the finals on 8 – 11 July 2015 are:-

  • Team Saltire from Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Team The Mighty Ducts from Curtin University
  • Team Smurf Village from The University of Hong Kong
  • Team UoN Nobbys from The University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Team JJSV Constructions from Deakin University
  • Team SSTW Construction from Loughborough University
  • On offer for the overall winning team is the chance to be mentored by past presidents of the CIOB and some of the biggest names in the industry.

    To find out more about the Global Student Challenge click here.


    Muirfield fall-out continues as historic Dundee blacksmiths shuts doors

    A 111-year-old specialist blacksmiths business which was a major supplier to failed Dundee building firm Muirfield Contracts has itself collapsed.

    A total of 14 staff have been made redundant as a result of the provisional liquidation of Fairfield Street-based Fenwick Blacksmiths.

    The failure of the business has been directly linked to the demise of Muirfield Contracts, which suddenly went out of business early last month.

    Fenwick’s was founded in 1904 and was one of Scotland’s leading traditional blackmiths.

    It offered a bespoke solutions across three divisions - blacksmithing, structural steel and core cutting - and turnover in the most recent year topped £800,000.

    Provisional liquidators FRP Advisory said the administration of Muirfield was a “principal cause” of the situation at Fenwick Blacksmiths.


    Start date to construction of new hotel near Dundee Airport ‘weeks off’

    Construction work could start on a new 60-bedroom hotel near Dundee Airport within a month — if a new partner to invest in the project is found.

    Planning permission was approved back in 2007 for the hotel, including a restaurant, on Riverside Avenue.

    The site was then subject of plans for a 102-room hotel, which was rejected by Dundee City Council and then the Scottish Government on appeal.

    However, local firm Graywood Ltd is pressing ahead with plans for the 60-bed venue.

    But it’s understood that it needs a new business partner to come on board to help take the project forward.

    And work could begin within the next four weeks if such investment is found, with a deal thought to be likely.


    New Perth flats aim to make city centre living more attractive

    St John’s Place1The housing association behind a social housing development above a former Perth restaurant believe the £1 million project could attract people into the city centre.

    Grant Ager, chief executive of Fairfield Housing Co-operative, said the new homes in St John’s Place, completed with development partners Kingdom Housing Association, “hit all the buttons”.

    He described the building as “beautiful” and feels that by redeveloping the flats, this could bring more people into Perth’s city centre while providing affordable homes.

    Braemore Estates carried out the development with FMC Construction, creating more than 20 construction jobs over a period of six months.


    Persimmon housing project in Dundee ‘well under way’

    Persimmon Homes East Scotland has started the construction of a new £15 million housing development on the site of former student halls in Dundee

    Some of the planned 72 homes on the former Hillside halls of residence site in Menzieshill are starting to take shape and it is expected the first homes will be ready to be moved into by the end of 2016.

    Construction started after plans for the homes were given the green light by councillors in August.

    The development also involves changing the road network at Darlymple Street, with the road being scheduled to close for four weeks from April 6.

    A methane gas presence on the site had threatened to disrupt the schedule and councillors requested contractors to carry out proper checks to ensure the site was safe.

    Soon after, however, assurance was given to councillors by the contractor and construction got under way.

    Planned roadworks will link existing roads to the new development.


    Lloyds to support £30bn UK infrastructure projects

    Lloyds Banking Group has committed to supporting key UK infrastructure projects within the UK government’s National Infrastructure Plan over the next three years.

    The Group will provide financial assistance to infrastructure initiatives that have a total project value of £30 billion by the end of 2017.

    The bank has been involved in recent major UK Infrastructure projects including Mersey Gateway Bridge, Intercity Express Programme, Thameslink, providing a range of financing solutions including bank debt, capital markets financing as well as risk management solutions.


    Allied Surveyors in merger deal with Murray and Muir

    Two Scottish chartered surveying firms have merged in a move that comes as the recovery of the property market north of the Border continues to gather pace.

    Allied Surveyors Scotland, one of Scotland’s biggest independent chartered surveyors, has acquired residential specialist Murray and Muir for an undisclosed fee.

    The deal has resulted in unspecified windfalls for the Murray and Muir directors, who include Hugh Campbell, Ian Donald, Grant Williams and Martin Paul. The four directors have moved across with 10 other staff to the Allied operation, which has 30 offices across Scotland.

    Murray and Muir ceased as a trading name on April 1, with the enlarged Allied operation employing more than 160 staff and 36 directors. Mr Donald intends to retire during the course of the year.


    New housing proposed for gap site in Ayrshire village

    DaillyAyrshire Housing has submitted a planning application for four new houses in the heart of the village of Dailly.

    Three years ago, South Ayrshire Council took action to demolish the burnt out King’s Arms Hotel. Following complex legal work, the association was able to finally acquire the site last year. The site is in a key location overlooking the bridge over the Water of Girvan.

    Ayr based ARPL Architects have designed a scheme which is both sympathetic to its location and will create adaptable and energy efficient homes. They are proposing two blocks, each with two 2 bedroom flats. The houses will be for rent.

    Dailly has no mains gas so a key part of the brief is to design and build houses with high levels of insulation and minimal space heating requirements.

    Ayrshire Housing has consulted with the Dailly Community Council which is generally supportive of the proposal.


    Dundee mental health care facility completes

    A £5m mental health care facility for children and adolescents has been handed over in Dundee by Hub East Central Scotland.

    Designed by Gauldie Wright & Partners and built by BAM, the facility is available to six health boards from across Tayside and the Highlands, offering single en suite accommodation and both internal and external recreation areas.


    New wind farm plans for Oxton site refused by ministers

    Plans have been lodged for a wind farm in the Scottish Borders less than a year after the Scottish Government rejected a scheme for the same site.

    Energy minister Fergus Ewing refused permission for the 21-turbine Rowantree development near Oxton last May.

    He said the decision was based on “unacceptable environmental impacts”.

    RWE Innogy UK has submitted scoping plans to Scottish Borders Council for a wind farm of up to 11 turbines in the same location.

    The proposed development on land north-east and east of Burnhouse Mains farmhouse, between Stow and Fountainhall, will be known as Longmuir Rigg wind farm.

    A letter lodged with the council states that RWE’s new plans for the site take into account the Scottish Government’s concerns about the Rowantree development.

    It lays out plans to build between nine and 11 turbines, no more than 130m (426ft) high.

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