Building Briefs - February 13th

Gallowgate Street project, Largs
Gallowgate Street project, Largs

New Largs housing development gets green light

Ayrshire-based house builder and developer RDK Construction Ltd have secured a deal to build a new development for Cunninghame Housing Association in Largs.

The Development at Gallowgate Street will provide for 12 new apartments with lift access and a ground floor commercial unit.

Detailed Planning was approved last week.


Hawick’s Commercial Road reopens ahead of schedule

A section of a Hawick road closed for essential flood protection scheme works reopened at 12 noon on Saturday, four days ahead of schedule.

The Hawick Flood Protection Scheme is currently in the outline design phase.

It has already received the first tranche of funding from the Scottish Government, which has provided an initial £1.34 million. The Government will provide 80 per cent (£29.2m) of the overall costs, which currently stands at £36.4m.

The section of Commercial Road between Bruce Motors and North Bridge roundabout was closed on Wednesday 25 January for three weeks to allow the flood team to confirm the suitability of the road structure for future flood defences.

However, the works have progressed well enough for the closure to be lifted early.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, Councillor Gordon Edgar, said: “The Council is pleased to reopen the road earlier than anticipated, and thank the local businesses and people of Hawick for their patience during the closure.

“While the closure of Commercial Road did cause disruption, the works carried out has provided vital information on the road structure and what lies below it, which will be invaluable for taking forward the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme.”


New school would be biggest in Dundee

Councillors in Dundeee are set to make a decision on whether to grant permission for what would be the city’s biggest primary school.

Plans have been submitted for the development in the Whitfield area of Dundee to the local authority’s planning committee by designers Holmes Miller.

The firm has said the external walls would be finished with grey brick, with aluminium cladding panels and a standing-seam aluminium roof.

There are also plans to construct two playing fields, a multi-use games area, a nursery play area and an outdoor seating area in the grounds.

Once completed, the project would replace three primary schools and a nursery in the north east of the city - Longhaugh Primary School, St Luke’s and St Matthew’s RC Primary School, St Vincent’s RC Primary School and Longhaugh Nursery School.

Councillors will meet on February 20 to discuss whether to give the go-ahead to the proposals, which have been recommended for approval – subject to conditions – by council officers.

The new three-floor building would provide space for 868 primary school pupils and 125 full-time equivalent nursery pupils.

Planners hope to build the school on a site on the north side of Lothian Crescent, close to Whitfield Community Centre.


Ardenglen Chief Executive announces his Retirement

Kenny Stocks
Kenny Stocks

After 28 years as the organisation’s Senior Officer, Kenny Stocks has confirmed he will be retiring in May from his role as Chief Executive of Ardenglen Housing Association.

Kenny Stocks, Ardenglen’s Chief Executive, said “It has been hugely rewarding to help establish and then lead Ardenglen over the past 28 years and a pleasure to work with so many talented and dedicated people who are truly committed to Ardenglen’s purpose of Investing in our Community.”

“Ardenglen is in my blood, so while I am sad, you have to leave at some time and after 36 years working in housing the time just felt right. In any case it’s not about any one individual which makes an organisation successful but everyone - staff, board and the community all pulling in the same direction with the same vision and goals.”

“Over the years I have been lucky to work with colleagues, tenants and community volunteers who do truly amazing stuff, so while there are lots of things to look back and remember, most of all I will miss Ardenglen’s people, many of who have become friends.”

“I have also been lucky to have worked with an innovative and dedicated Board who enjoy, rather than fear the challenge of change, but who have preserved the unique local status and values which have made Ardenglen so successful over nearly a third of a century. I wish them every success for the future.”

Isa Brier the current Chair of Ardenglen said “Kenny was Ardenglen’s first employee and the Board and staff thank him for his commitment to Ardenglen and the part he has played in the regeneration of east Castlemilk. Kenny has led Ardenglen through several stock transfers and a merger and leaves Ardenglen in an excellent position to meet the challenges of the future. Although we are sad to be losing Kenny, I’m sure his legacy and the values he helped create will continue for many years. We wish him well for the future.”

Ardenglen has now started to actively seek a new Chief Executive.


Increased roads and bridges funding as Borders budget agreed

Scottish Borders Council has approved the administration’s budget plans, which sees significant investment in roads, bridges, schools and other projects Borders-wide.

A five year revenue plan of £1.3bn has been agreed, as well as a ten year, £322m capital plan.

The Administration’s ten year capital plan features:

  • £15.6m additional funding for essential works to roads and key bridges, taking roads capital funding to £68m over 10 years
  • £3.2m additional funding for the £38m Hawick Flood Protection Scheme
  • £0.4m additional funding to improve parks and open spaces
  • £0.5m funding to improve Council commercial premises
  • £6.2m additional funding for energy efficiency works in the Council estate, to improve the efficiency and reduce carbon emission
  • £7.5m additional investment to fund the works highlighted by the School Estate Review, taking total investment in the school estate to £77.7m over 10 years
  • £1.4m additional funding to upgrade adult services facilities, including Council-owned care homes
  • £0.5m extra funding to upgrade Council-owned public halls
  • £0.5m extra funding for a 3G sports pitch in Jedburgh
  • £0.8m to support the regeneration of Eyemouth
  • £0.8m investment to renew the waste management fleet.
  • Council Leader, Councillor David Parker said: “This budget protects frontline services and will see investment in many areas, from additional investment of over £15.6m for works to roads and bridges to £1.4m to upgrade adult services facilities.

    “Substantial funding for our schools, public halls and sports pitches will benefit people right across the Scottish Borders, while £0.8m of investment for Eyemouth is among over £7.1m of funding over the next three years for economic regeneration in our towns.”

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