Building Briefs – December 10th
CPO brings Cumbernauld block demolitions closer
The demolition of the first high-rise blocks in Cumbernauld will move a step closer on Friday as North Lanarkshire Council transfers ownership of the blocks to Sanctuary Cumbernauld.
Having used Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to acquire the site of the three Allanfauld Road blocks, the council’s transfer of ownership will allow Sanctuary’s £75 million regeneration of the town’s high-rise blocks to continue.
The Allanfauld Road blocks will be handed over to Safedem, Sanctuary Cumbernauld’s demolition contractor, in the New Year. The three high-rises are expected to be demolished in late summer 2015.
Councillors to vote on detailed Pipeland plan for new Madras College
North East Fife councillors will today be asked to make a decision on a detailed planning application for a new, single-site Madras College at Pipeland.
The application by Fife Council for a secondary school with associated facilities including access, car parking/bus stance, playing fields, regarding of land and alterations to a path is being recommended for conditional approval by planning officials in a report to the local authority’s north-east planning committee.
Planning permission in principle for the greenbelt site on the south side of St Andrews was previously approved by the full council and backed by the Scottish Government, which decided not to call in the decision.
The council’s handling of the application so far, however, is the subject of a judicial review due to be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh next week.
Rise in Scottish school buildings in ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ condition
The proportion of Scottish schools reported as being in ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ condition has increased to 83 per cent, new Scottish Government statistics have shown today.
Up from 61 per cent in April 2007, the number means the number of pupils in poor or bad buildings has more than halved since 2007.
Application lodged for four-turbine windfarm at Binn Eco Park
Plans for a four-turbine windfarm that would create around 100 jobs and be located near the village of Glenfarg have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council.
Element Power, based in Edinburgh, and the Binn Eco Park have worked together to submit the plan for the development, which it is claimed would provide energy to nearly 4,500 homes.
Binn Eco Park was established in 2009 and is a community of manufacturing and service businesses located on land outside Glenfarg. At the moment it employs more than 100 people and it is anticipated that this figure will double as new enterprises move to the site.
The turbines at the development would have a combined total capacity of up to 9.2MW.
New business units for Prestonpans
The units are expected to be completed and available for lease by August 2015, with work expected to start in February.
The work went out to tender and the contract has been awarded to Maxi Construction Ltd, at a total cost of just over £1.1million – funded by East Lothian Council with a contribution of almost £350,000 from the European Regional Structural Funds of the European Union (ERDF).
A98 Banff Bridge works postponed
Aberdeenshire Council has confirmed that pier protection works being carried out at the A98 Banff Bridge have been postponed until the New Year.
The decision has been made due to stormy weather conditions in the area.
Work on the scheme was due to begin earlier this week, but will not now happen until early 2015.
In a statement, the local authority said high speed winds were preventing the safe lifting of the remaining pier cutwaters into position. The cutwaters are vital to reduce turbulent flow around the bridge foundations when the River Deveron is in full flow.
However, for reasons of health and safety, both to the workers and the general public, the decision was made to delay the latest improvement works. To date, three of the six three-metre-high masonry cutwaters have been installed to the upstream face of the intermediate supports, or piers, during a previous phase. The final three will be installed during this phase.
Council provides boost to East Kilbride rented homes provision
South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee have approved two applications to construct homes for rent in the town.
Firstly, Clyde Valley Housing Association was granted detailed consent for 32 flats with parking and landscaping on a site in Murray Road.
The association had previously been given the go ahead for 20 flats on the site and this proposal boosts the figure by more than a third.
A second application on behalf of Clyde Valley Housing Association and Merchant Homes Partnerships Ltd for 24 flats at Eaglesham Road and Westwood Road was also given the go ahead at this month’s planning committee.
The properties will be constructed in a four-storey block, on the currently vacant site, where a parking area for 25 cars will also be provided.
40 per cent of Scottish households live in fuel poverty
Higher energy prices have pushed 100,000 more Scottish households into fuel poverty in 2013, according to new figures.
Published yesterday, the Scottish House Condition Survey shows a seven per cent increase in fuel prices between 2012 and 2013 led to 4 per cent rise in fuel poverty across Scotland. The figures mean that almost 40 per cent of households in Scotland now find themselves in fuel poverty.
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said that now is the time for substantial Scottish Government investment in the energy efficiency of the nation’s homes.
Housing minister Margaret Burgess urged the UK government to urgently increase the £140 a year Warm Homes Discount that helps low income households.
She said Scottish Government spending on domestic energy efficiency, which is £94 million this year and next, has already made hundreds of thousands of homes warmer and cheaper to heat and, as the report indicates, has helped to mitigate the rise in fuel poverty.
Citizens Advice Scotland called on both the Scottish and UK governments to urgently address the underlying causes of the crisis, from poor energy efficiency and an uncompetitive market to falling household incomes.
Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow and a member of Holyrood’s economy and energy committee, said he will continue to press for major energy efficient housing investment to feature in the forthcoming Scottish budget saying it would “help create thousands of high quality jobs while also tackling fuel poverty”.