Building Briefs - December 11th

  • Final design approved for new Gathering Place on River Ness

Highland Council members last night approved the artists’ detail design for the My Ness Gathering Place project and work is expected to begin in the new year.

Building Briefs - December 11th

Works had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also due to design elements requested by Inverness City Area Members, which will further ensure the new iconic Gathering Place is accessible to all.

Without departing from the original concept the artist and design team have incorporated several refinements in the detail design, including rest stops and a widening to the end of the pier to accommodate a turning circle for wheelchair users and signage which highlights the work is closed during high water events.

Off-site fabrication work is set to begin by Beauly-based construction firm Simpsons as early as January, in preparation for onsite work to be undertaken when weather allows in the spring.

Members also noted that the final design also falls within the terms of all existing statutory consents and the final adjustments to the design of the My Ness project falls within the current budget allocation. The project itself remains fully funded.

It was also noted that the Ness Angling Club have decided not to proceed with their project to replace the Fisherman’s Hut, but Members noted that this decision does not prevent the construction of the My Ness art piece.


  • Barratt North Scotland brings Christmas cheer to local charities

Barratt Homes has donated £1,000 each to Mission Christmas and Maggie’s Highlands as part of Barratt North Scotland’s Community Fund initiative.

Building Briefs - December 11th

As part of MFR’s Cash for Kids, Mission Christmas works with community organisations, social workers, schools, other charities and the emergency services to ensure that gifts reach children living in poverty. The cash boost from Barratt Homes will allow disadvantaged kids across the Inverness and Moray area to wake up with a present under their tree on Christmas Day.

Maggie’s aims to offer the best possible support free to anyone with cancer and their families who walk through their doors. Maggie’s Highlands centre next to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, offers a calming space to meet people who understand what patients and families are going through or just take a moment to gather their thoughts. The £1,000 donation from the housebuilder will help towards the costs of running the centre, which helps people from across the north of Scotland and Highlands.

Now in its second year, the Barratt Homes Community Fund has pledged to donate £1,000 each month to a charity or organisation in the north of Scotland. Charities are nominated by and voted for by employees of Barratt Homes and the focus for the fund continues to be on organisations that improve the quality of life for those living in the area.


  • Update to be provided on Borders school plans

Updates on the future plans for Galashiels Academy, Peebles High School and Eyemouth Primary School will be provided to a meeting of Scottish Borders Council next Thursday.

This follows significant ongoing work across all three projects, with community engagement and consultation plans now being put forward to enable the projects to progress further.

The fire at Peebles High School in November last year necessitated a change in the approach to considering its replacement. This resulted in its inclusion in the 2020/21 capital investment plan.

A feasibility study has been undertaken to consider the replacement of the parts of the building lost or damaged by the fire, which was almost a third of the floorspace. However, the impact of retaining significant parts of the current building and the required building work would present various challenges.

As a result, a further short study has commenced to look at a full new-build solution. This will assess the benefits, cost and timescales of the different options available.

A further report is proposed in late January which will present the various options available. A consultation will then commence to enable full community and stakeholder engagement on the plans.

Councillors will be asked at the meeting to support the preferred option of locating a new 1,000-pupil community campus on the western edge of Scott Park in Galashiels.

This would provide good community access and also enable the works to be undertaken without any impact on the current Academy and also minimise impact on nearby properties. Any lost greenspace would be replaced.

It is proposed that consultations, in respect of both planning and education, connected to replacing the school will commence in January and last between four and six months.

The current aim is for the new campus to open in 2024.

Further engagement with the community in Eyemouth and wider school catchment area is being proposed, following a feasibility study which looked at three options for early years and primary education delivery in the town.

The community will be invited to provide feedback on the options, which are: replacing the school on land adjacent to the exiting primary school; establishing a 3-18 campus within the existing high school; and a hybrid model of a new early years and primary facility for pupils up to and including P4 built on land at the high school, with P5-P7 year groups accommodated within the current high school building.

It is proposed to carry out the community consultation early in the new year, ahead of a statutory consultation on the chosen option to be progressed.


  • Demolition bid for Aberdeen dairy 

A developer has made a bid to demolish a former dairy factory in Aberdeen.

The Muller Wiseman Dairies site on Craigshaw Drive has lain vacant after the company moved its operations to existing sites in the central belt.

Now, Clowes Developments (Scotland) Ltd, owner of the site, has filed a building warrant to Aberdeen City Council to demolish the existing buildings.

The work, which has been valued at around £200,000, will include knocking down all the buildings on the site, as well as getting rid of the floor slabs and foundations in order to clear the site.


  • Russell Roof Tiles begins 12 days of Christmas charity

Lochmaben-based roofing manufacturer Russell Roof Tiles (RRT) is generously donating to three Dumfries and Galloway organisations as part of its new 12 days of Christmas Community Programme.

Building Briefs - December 11th

Staff across its Halleaths site in Lochmaben nominated three local causes and each will receive a £500 donation.

Russell Roof Tiles is the largest independent manufacturer of concrete derivatives in the UK pitched roofing market, employing around 140 staff.

The charities benefitting from RRT 12 days of Christmas include a wide range of good causes, larger and much smaller organisations.

The organisations are Dryfesdale Lodge, a centre for memorial to the Lockerbie disaster, Castle Loch run by Lochmaben Community Trust to keep the Loch in pristine condition and safe for all of its visitors and users, and D&G Handy Van, a local charity that specialises in carrying out ‘odd-jobs’ for the elderly, infirm or those with dementia.


  • Trust Housing completes new mid-market rent homes at Townhead

Trust Housing has handed over keys to proud new tenants at a development at Townhead in Kirkintilloch.

Building Briefs - December 11th

The 11 new mid-market rent properties are efficient and affordable, meeting all of today’s modern standards of living, which tenants will enjoy and benefit from for many years.

The one and two-bedroom flats are bright and spacious and located right in the heart of Kirkintilloch.

The flats were finished to a very high standard by McTaggart Group.


  • Restaurant and serviced apartment plans for Glasgow listed building

Plans have been submitted to create 11 serviced apartments and a restaurant at a listed building in central Glasgow.

Glasgow City Council has received an application for the apartments on the second and third floor of 54 Union Street.

Under the plan, the ground floor unit, which currently has approval for cafe use, would become a restaurant, ReGlasgow reports.

The application is to be assessed by city planners in due course.


  • Extra time for short-term lets hosts to prepare for new standards

Existing hosts of short-term lets will now have until April 2023 to apply for a licence under Scottish Government plans for regulation.  

The move will give them more time to prepare for the new legislation coming into effect.

A report into the consultation on the proposals, which received more than 1,000 responses, was published yesterday, and secondary legislation will be laid at the Scottish Parliament later this month.

If approved by Parliament, the licensing scheme will come into force on 1 April 2021. But local authorities will have until 1 April 2022 to establish a scheme in their area and open it to receive applications, with existing hosts having until 1 April 2023 to apply.


  • Council to prepare housing land audit in Western Isles

As part of the process to begin work on the next Local Development Plan (LDP) and the next Local Housing Strategy (LHS), the planning service at Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar has been in touch with land owners with a view to preparing a Housing Land Audit to ensure there is a sufficient land supply that is suitable for the construction of housing.

The Comhairle is keen to engage with developers, agents and any land owners to identify potential land or sites available for both private and affordable housing in all areas, but particularly in rural areas. Inclusion in the Housing Land Audit does not indicate that the land would be committed for housing or that development would be guaranteed.

Any potential development would still be subject to further feasibility work and the usual planning process. Those who have land which could potentially be available for housing are asked to contact the planning service on by Tuesday 5th of January 2021.

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