Building Briefs – February 5th

Helen Dow
Helen Dow

Lovell appoints regional sales manager for Scotland

Housing developer Lovell has appointed Helen Dow as regional sales manager for Scotland where she will lead the company’s Lovell Homes sales team.

Based at the company’s Glasgow offices at the Glasgow Business Park, Baillieston, Helen – who lives in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire - will drive sales for the company’s new-build homes business across Scotland drawing on her wide-ranging, senior-level experience in the Scottish property and new homes industry.

Helen’s 16-year track record in the sector most recently includes working as sales and marketing manager for Glasgow-based residential and commercial developer Charter Properties. She has also worked extensively as a land and new homes consultant and as associate director for DTZ Residential where she trebled sales over a two-year period.

New major film studio plan for Scotland revealed

A deal to build a major film studio plan in the central belt of Scotland could be done in the next eight weeks, Scottish Enterprise has revealed.

A new proposal has been received by Scottish Enterprise (on behalf of the FSDG) from a private sector developer to provide film studio infrastructure.

The new project, which would receive public money from Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, is currently being analysed by the economic development body.

The plan, precise details of which are being withheld for commercial reasons, is not the £140m Pentlands Studio privately funded project which is seeking planning permission from Midlothian Council.


Affordable town centre housing development under way in East Kilbride

New high quality, affordable homes are being built in East Kilbride town centre by local construction and manufacturing company CCG.

The development in Brunel Way will see the construction of 32 flats built over 2 blocks and is one of several housing developments being delivered by CCG in South Lanarkshire. The £3 million project is being built for Clyde Valley Housing Association and is part of a co-ordinated investment programme to provide high quality, affordable housing throughout Lanarkshire.

The units will be constructed off-site under factory conditions - significantly reducing build time, minimising waste and maximising product quality. This approach has been used in a range of CCG projects including the construction of 237 homes for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village.

The development is due to be completed early 2016.


Minister welcomes Loretto tenants into new energy-efficient homes

Housing minister Margaret Burgess joins Wheatley Group chief executive Martin Armstrong, Loretto tenants and staff, local elected members, including Patricia Ferguson MSP, as well as representatives from the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and contractors CCG at the opening of Huntershill Court
Housing minister Margaret Burgess joins Wheatley Group chief executive Martin Armstrong, Loretto tenants and staff, local elected members, including Patricia Ferguson MSP, as well as representatives from the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and contractors CCG at the opening of Huntershill Court

Tenants of Loretto Housing Association have been welcomed into their brand new homes in the north of Glasgow by housing minister Margaret Burgess.

The 49 modern, spacious, energy-efficient homes in Springburn are designed to cut tenants’ fuel bills and give them a better quality of life.

Mrs Burgess joined tenants and staff from Loretto and its parent company Wheatley Group as well as local elected members and representatives from the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and contractors CCG to open the new development.

The homes - which are close to Stobhill Hospital - are a mix of two, three and four-bedroom flats, with four designed especially for wheelchair users.

The £5.6 million development, built by contractors CCG, included £2.4m from the Scottish Government’s Greener Homes Innovation Scheme.

CCG, as part of its contract with Loretto, created six full-time jobs, as well as eight apprenticeships for local people.

Another 26 new Loretto homes in Glenburn Road, Falkirk, should be ready around June 2015. Work on 55 new Loretto homes in Eriboll Street, Springburn, started in January and should be complete in early 2016.


New life to be breathed into ‘eyesore’ hotel in Kirriemuir

Plans to restore a Kirriemuir hotel to its former glories could create up to 20 new jobs for the Angus town.

A six-figure investment in the Airlie Arms Hotel will see its glum appearance banished as it is transformed into a haven for socialising and events.

Extensive roof repairs are the immediate priority, with the work currently out to tender in line with possible Angus Council funding via the Kirriemuir CARS, a £1.1 million Angus Council/Historic Scotland five-year grant programme aimed at enhancing the appearance of the town’s conservation area.

If the work starts on schedule, hopes are that the bar, kitchen and general area will open in May.

The hotel, which dates from the 18th Century and is on the buildings at risk register, will open in four phases, with care and attention taken to each part of the building’s rejuvenation. With the bar and kitchen in operation, the restaurant, hotel rooms and function suite will follow.


New plans for multi million pound Elgin link road

New plans for a multi million pound Elgin link road could be lodged this summer after earlier plans were rejected by Moray Council.

The plan for the link between the A96 and Elgin’s Edgar Road retail park was turned down by seven votes to six by the planning committee in November.

Officials have set out a new timetable for the road in a submission to the Scottish Government.

They say construction could begin in the spring of 2016.

The road could be completed the following year.

The full council had reaffirmed its commitment to the project after the link road was rejected.

It is aimed at relieving congestion in the town.

However many residents opposed the development, on cost and safety grounds.


Former Eyemouth High School building to be demolished

Work to demolish the former Eyemouth High School is set to begin later this month.

Scottish Borders Council has contracted specialist firm Dalton Demolition to undertake the works, which are expected to last until the end of June.

Eyemouth Primary School will be completely segregated from the demolition site during this time and detailed measures are being put in place by the contractor and the council to ensure the safety of pupils, staff and the public throughout the works


Pilot flood protection scheme rolled out in Perth and Kinross

Households in Perth and Kinross which are at risk of flooding are being offered a free property survey to advise on ways of mitigating the risk.

Packs developed by Perth & Kinross Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue and the Scottish Flood Forum will be sent out to residents which offer the opportunity to sign up to receive a free survey of their property to identify the main areas where water could enter.

The organisations have worked together to develop a pilot scheme to improve the uptake of flood protection products in flood affected communities.

An assessment has been made of the areas of highest flood risk, the areas within Perth and Kinross includes Aberfeldy, Comrie, Crieff and Pitlochry. The pilot scheme targets residential properties and will not include commercial and business properties unless they are integral to protecting households, for example in a terraced street.

The success of the pilot scheme will be evaluated after six months. If deemed a success then a recommendation will be made to extend it to all of Perth and Kinross.


Scottish house sales exceed £15.3bn in 2014

The sale of homes in Scotland in 2014 exceeded £15.3 billion, according to statistics published today by Registers of Scotland (RoS).

A total of 93,875 sales took place across Scotland in 2014, the highest annual figure since 2008, and an increase of 11.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

Moray was the local authority to experience the largest annual growth in sales, with a 24.4 per cent increase. The City of Edinburgh continues to be the area of the country with the largest volume of sales, achieving 11,092 sales in 2014, up 13.7 per cent on 2013. Aberdeen City and Dumfries and Galloway both recorded a reduction in the number of sales, down 4.0 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.

The average price of a residential property rose in 2014, up 4.3 per cent to £163,563. The local authority area with the highest average price was East Renfrewshire, where the average price for the year was £228,963, an increase of 5.6 per cent on 2013. Aberdeenshire and the City of Edinburgh recorded averages of £226,919 and £226,551, increases of 4.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively. Renfrewshire saw the largest percentage increase over the year, up 11.8 per cent compared to 2013 to £129,075.

By contrast, Midlothian saw a 2.1 per cent reduction in average price to £173,855, while prices in South Ayrshire declined 1.6 per cent to £146,823.

These statistics cover all residential sales between £20,000 and £1 million, including those that did not involve a mortgage.


Cernach welcomes new director retirement

Cernach Housing Association director Jean Thomson has decided to retire at the end of March 2015 after a quarter of a century in the role.

Caroline Shepherd has been appointed as her successor and will take up her post at the beginning of March.


Clydebank HA tenants reveals £2m repairs budget

Clydebank Housing Association has revealed it has a planned major repairs spend of over £2 million budgeted for 2015/16.

The future investment in the maintenance of its housing stock has been enabled in part by a two per cent rent increase for 2015/16.

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