Building Briefs – January 15th

Dumfries theatre

New Dumfries theatre planned

Plans for a new theatre and performance venue have been unveiled in Dumfries.

Studio 1 will hold audiences of up to 100, as well as having a rehearsal space.

It will be used initially as a venue for shows and events during the Big Burns Supper festival at the end of January.

Festival organisers, the Electric Theatre Workshop, said it will then be made available to the community as a legacy of the 2015 event.

The theatre space will be created from part of the ground floor of the Munches Street building, which is used as the festival’s base.


Carriageway works on the A1 Musselburgh Bypass

Contraflow systems will be in place during peak hours to allow for resurfacing works on the A1 Musselburgh Bypass from tomorrow.

The main works, which are scheduled to last four weeks, are located on the northbound carriageway between Newcraighall Junction and The Jewel Roundabout. There will also be some patching works on the southbound carriageway.

Work will take place both daytime and overnight.


New chief executive for Maryhill Housing Association

Maryhill Housing Association has announced the appointment of its new chief executive.

Lynn Wassell will take over in the spring and comes to Maryhill from Partick Housing Association where she has been chief executive since 2011.

Lynn has a wealth of experience of the housing sector and spent over 10 years with the WM Housing Group in the West Midlands and prior to that held housing roles in four city councils – in Coventry, Corby, Derby and Leicester.

She is currently chair of the board of River Clyde Homes in Inverclyde.


Regulator highlights to Holyrood committee how it adds value

The Scottish Housing Regulator has given evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure and capital investment committee on its achievements of the past year, the value it adds, and its engagement with stakeholders.

Board members Anne Jarvie, Lisa Peebles and chief executive Michael Cameron yesterday gave evidence to the Committee.

Stressing that the Regulator’s only objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and other service users, board member Anne Jarvie set out how it has added value to social housing in Scotland.

Ms Jarvie told the committee that the Regulator estimates that lender and investor confidence in its effective regulation could save RSLs up to £40 million every year on interest charges. This is a tenfold return on the cost of regulation and a significant benefit to RSLs.

You can read Ms Jarvie’s statement here.


Berwick solar scheme is crowdfunder’s best performer

A partnership between Oakapple Renewable Energy and Edison Energy to install up to 749 roof mounted solar PV systems for Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) has become the best performing project, in terms of conversion of visits to investment, for crowdfunding website Abundance Generation in its four year history.

The scheme called ‘Oakapple Berwickshire’ is Europe’s largest ever crowdfunded solar energy project and £700,000 of the £3.1 million target has already been raised since the fund was launched on 31 October.

‘Oakapple Berwickshire’ is being rolled out over four months and will be installed on houses across the county including Duns, Eyemouth and Coldstream. Once complete it will provide a total capacity of 2,595 kW for BHA and help reduce tenants’ energy bills by as much as 30 per cent without any cost to them.

Oakapple’s partner, Glasgow-based Eddison Energy has considerable experience in delivering sustainable energy solutions to social housing and was also contracted to the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village in Glasgow.

The project is due to close for investment on 31 May unless the offer date is extended or the maximum is reached before then.


Developer plans new housing at Dundee waterfront

Building work on a housing development at Dundee’s waterfront could begin this summer.

Planning permission for up to 100 homes at City Quay could get the go ahead from Dundee City Council.

The proposals, by Unicorn Property Group, would mean the last gap site, currently a car park, will be filled in time for the arrival of key waterfront attractions like the V&A Museum in 2017.

Unicorn is also planning to use permission it gained several years ago to build 82 student flats off Hawkhill, next to the Wellcome Trust building.

These plans are on hold while the company pushes ahead with its plans for City Quay.


Council pressing on with Perth Crematorium road plan

Perth and Kinross Council is forging ahead with plans to build a road in an area where the ashes of hundreds of people are scattered.

The proposed works on the A9 and surrounding area are part of the multi-million-pound Perth Transport Futures Project.

It will see the junction upgraded and access created to planned expansion areas in Almond Valley and Perth West.

A planning application for the changes has now been made available on the council’s planning website.

The scheme has angered some families who have scattered the ashes of loved ones near the site.

The council maintains the plan would only cut a small section from the edge of the crematorium grounds.

The affected areas are understood to include the Winter and Bluebell gardens.

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