Building Briefs – July 12th

Cove Rangers Allan ParkDecision looms on homes plan at former Aberdeen stadium site

Plans to transform the long-term home of an Aberdeen football club into a new housing development are to be discussed by councillors this week.

The Press and Journal reports that Barratt Homes North wants to build 48 homes with car parking at the site of Allan Park, the historic stadium of 94-year-old Cove Rangers.

Planning officers have recommended councillors approve proposals for the club’s former Loirston Road home subject to conditions.

The designs involve building 31 three-bedroom homes, 17 two-bedroom flats and four affordable houses.

The report to councillors reads: “The proposal to redevelop the former sports stadium in order to provide a development of 48 residential units, including a proportion of affordable housing, is considered to complement the wider residential area.

“As part of a separate application, the existing stadium would be replaced in an enhanced facility in the wider vicinity.

“As such, the acceptance of a decreased level of affordable housing can be accepted in this instance to assist in the cross provision of the new facility which shall cater for community use, and the associated benefits which arise.”

Members of the council’s planning development management committee will meet on Thursday to make a decision.


Timber firm plans new Johnstonebridge plant

Sawmill group James Jones and Sons has tabled plans to build a new timber processing plant in Dumfriesshire.

It is part of a move by the firm to expand its operations in the area.

The site earmarked for the processing facility is on agricultural land close to the A74(M) at Hangingshaw, near Johnstonebridge.

It would act as a satellite to its current sawmill complex which lies just a few miles south at Stephen’s Croft on the outskirts of Lockerbie.

That £25 million plant opened in 2009 and remains one of Europe’s most technologically advanced sawmills, employing about 150 workers.

The proposed new development would add capacity to the existing operation.

No objections have been tabled and Dumfries and Galloway Council planning officials are recommending that consent is granted subject to conditions.


Paisley chemical plant flattened for 500 homes

Central Demolition have taken down a cooling tower at the former BASF chemical works on Hawkhead Road, Paisley, as part of site clearance for 500 homes.

The 63 acre site has been purchased by Miller Developments and Craigrossie Properties who have filed an application in principle to develop the land in the coming years to a master plan prepared by EMA Architecture + Design.


Sweett Group provides project management services on National Museums Scotland revamp

National Museums ScotlandSweett Group, the provider of professional services for the construction and management of building and infrastructure projects, was delighted to provide project management services on National Museums Scotland’s successfully completed £14.1 million gallery transformation project in the heart of Edinburgh.

The ten new galleries will display internationally recognised collections of science and technology, art, design and fashion.

The project will showcase over 3,000 objects in four galleries of decorative art, fashion and design and six galleries of science and technology. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wellcome and the Scottish Government, National Museums Scotland also raised £6.5m from Trusts, Foundations and many generous individual donors to fund this project.

Sweett Group’s project management services on this development included the management of the exhibition design workshops and the contract administration on both the base build elements and exhibition fit out. It also supported our client with the preparation of key documentation for the successful HLF Stage 2 application.


Update to A92 Action Plan

A wide ranging set of measures to improve the operation of the A92 north of Glenrothes has been proposed for discussion at community meetings in the area this week.

The proposals, resulting from a working group involving Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland as well as Fife Council and Police Scotland, will improve visibility at junctions on the A92, particularly in the hours of darkness, and will be delivered this financial year.

An initial pedestrian assessment between Cadham and Balfarg has been completed and further work is underway to improve facilities for pedestrians in the area. It is also proposed that the speed limit between the Preston Roundabout to north of the Balfarg junction be reduced to 40 mph.


Work ongoing during school holidays in Kirkintilloch

Improvement works are ongoing in Kirkintilloch town centre, with changes ahead for residents, businesses and visitors.

East Dunbartonshire Council is carrying out a rolling programme of investment in the Cowgate area.

The council’s contractor - Rainton Construction - will be working in Catherine Street and Kerr Street until 19 July.

It is anticipated that all four arms of the Catherine Street junction will be closed on Sunday/Monday 17/18 July to allow resurfacing to take place - meaning there will be no through traffic on Cowgate, Catherine Street and Kerr Street.

The junction is due to reopen on 19 July at 6am, after which Union Street will temporarily close again - to accommodate the regeneration of Kirkintilloch Town Hall.

The rolling programme of road and pavement works will then move north of Catherine Street into Cowgate, which will be closed to through-traffic.


Robertson hires development head to expand England business

Dan White
Dan White

Robertson Property has appointed Dan White as development director in the North of England, a move that is expected to attract new business from some of the UK’s largest institutional investors and occupiers.

Dan brings with him over 10 years’ of property and construction experience and intends to use his track record of securing and delivering major development projects as leverage to grow the property business for Robertson.

Based in Robertson’s Gateshead office, Dan’s remit will see him collaborate with a variety of external consultants – architects, engineers, planners, agents and project leaders – to manage the lifecycle of property developments throughout the North of England.

The Hexham born father of two started his career in construction and property after completing a three-year graduate diploma in construction, gained while working for a regional contractor and has since held senior roles in some of the UK’s largest construction and property groups.


Scottish rents 7.4 per cent higher than last year despite monthly dip

Rent increases in Scotland are among the highest in the UK and accelerating at almost twice the countrywide average.

While rents across the country fell 2.7 per cent from an average of £721 in May to £702 in June, new data from the HomeLet Rental Index revealed rents rose by 7.4 per cent from £654 at the same time last year.

Rents agreed on new tenancies across the UK, excluding London, were up 3.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2015.

In the capital, rents were 3.9 per cent higher. This compared with growth of 4.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively in the year to May.

The average rent in the UK, excluding London, is £773 a month. In the capital, this rises to £1,575. Northern Ireland has the cheapest rents, where monthly prices average £612.

The authors of the index said that while landlords are conscious of tenant affordability, demand from potential tenants is strong.


Work continues on £350,000 sewage network upgrade

Work is continuing on a £350,000 sewage network upgrade project in West Lothian.

Scottish Water’s alliance partner amey-Black and Veatch (aBV) has replaced 410 metres of rising main from Uphall Pumping Station to the gravity system near MacFarlane Place in South Middlton.

A 0.7km of the A89 road in Uphall, which was closed to allow work to progress, has now been reopened 10 days early.

The remaining parts of the scheme is due to be completed in early autumn.

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