Building Briefs – February 25th

Work begins at Marr sports pitches

Kier Construction has officially started work to develop two new all-weather sports pitches at Marr College.

The development of the pitches marks an investment of £1m from South Ayrshire Council, with an additional contribution of £300,000 from sportscotland to help develop local sports facilities and opportunities.

Significant consultation, particularly with the school, community and local community sports hub has been a key feature of the new development and the new pitches will also be available for public use, further boosting sports provision in the local area.

It’s hoped the new facilities will be finished and ready for use by summer 2015.


Kinross dance studio gets go-ahead

Plans to open a dance studio in Kinross have been approved, despite concerns by a local construction firm.

The purpose-built facility will be created on land at the town’s Montgomery Way.

The building, proposed by businessman George Webb, is expected to feature two studios, a cafe and changing rooms.

The plan was opposed by house builders GS Brown Construction, which argued that the site was too close to several new houses it is working on.

In its submission to Perth and Kinross Council, the company asked that if permission was granted, measures would be taken to maximise the distance from nearby properties.

As a condition of planning consent, developers have been asked to soundproof the building and restrict the daily opening hours to between 7am and 10pm.

Details of building colour and finishing materials must be submitted to planners before any work begins on site.

No residents objected to the plan during the statutory public consultation period, meaning the plans did not have to go before councillors for a decision. The Kinross-shire Civic Trust also had no issue with the development.

Planning permission will expire in three years if no progress is made, Mr Webb has been told.


£1m for ‘cultural corridor’ in Perth

Perth’s historic streets and vennels are in line for a £1 million development to establish a “cultural corridor” in the city.

Compulsory purchase orders are likely to be used by the council to make the plans a reality.

In June last year, Perth and Kinross Council’s enterprise and infrastructure committee gave the green light for initial plans for Mill Street and the historic vennels, which will include additional car parking, improvements to Mill Street, as well as a makeover to Skinnergate and Guard Vennel.

Perth Theatre is currently going through a £13m revamp, with external changes being made to its side at Cutlog Vennel and also the Mill Street entrance.

The nearby site of the former Pullar Dyeworks recently made way for an 83-bedroom Premier Inn.

The £1m Mill Street scheme is a key part of the Perth City Plan to develop it as the “most desirable place in Scotland in which to live, work, visit and invest” and is geared to promote the identification of the area around Mill Street as the city’s cultural quarter.

As part of this plan, the council has deemed it necessary to buy pieces of privately-owned land and property in and around Mill Street to bring the whole area up to a standard which “properly” reflects the setting of Perth Concert Hall and the future redeveloped Perth Theatre.

Among the pieces of land which need to be acquired under the scheme is the former Banks of Perth building accessed by vennels from Mill Street and High Street.

The Banks site has been described as an “eyesore” and in poor condition in a report on the scheme, which will be discussed by a meeting of the council today.


Office to student residential conversion gets underway in Glasgow

Fortis Developments have begun work on their latest city centre student housing conversion after moving on site at an 8 storey office building on Glasgow’s Bath Street to carve out 101 self-contained studio flats.

Designed by DMS Architecture, the scheme will see Robert Owen House fully refurbished for the change of use, including a private gymnasium, laundry, bicycle store and lounge.

Alastair MacNish OBE revealed as new Wheatley Group chairman

Wheatley Group has announced that Alastair MacNish OBE is to become the group’s new non-executive chairman.

He will succeed Alastair Dempster CBE who is stepping down after 13 years’ dedicated service on boards within Wheatley Group, including the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) board since its inception and more recently Wheatley board.

Mr MacNish, who was chief executive of South Lanarkshire Council for five years and is a former chairman of both the Accounts Commission and Audit Scotland, will take up the role on April 1.

A chartered accountant, Mr MacNish is a Wheatley board member and was previously a member of the GHA board from 2009-2011. He is also a director of Wheatley’s commercial subsidiary, Lowther Homes, and sits on the group’s audit and strategic development committees.

A former long-term advisor of the Scottish Government, he chaired the leadership advisory panel on local government leadership capacity and provided evidence to the Scottish Parliament local government and communities committee on budget setting. He was awarded an OBE in 2008.


Hightae wind farm landowner pledges £875,000 to community

A farmer behind plans for a controversial Dumfriesshire wind farm has pledged to donate £875,000 to the local community over 25 years.

Landowner Malcolm Bell Macdonald made the offer in a letter to the Royal Four Towns community council.

He owns Hartwood Hill near Hightae, where renewable energy firm Airvolution wants to build seven turbines.

However, an objectors’ group said the development would affect many more communities than the Royal Four Towns.

Mr Bell Macdonald said his annual donation of £5,000 per turbine over the life of the wind farm, would be in addition to a community benefit fund set up by the developers.

If the plans are approved by Dumfries and Galloway Council, the communities of Hightae, Heck, Greenhill and Smallholm would receive £140,000 a year from the farmer.

Share icon
Share this article: