Building Briefs – July 19th

Belhaven_siteWork begins on new Fort William homes for rent

Work has begun on a project to turn a former medical centre in Fort William into accommodation for rent.

Highland Council is working with Lochaber Housing Association on the £1.6 million project involving the Belhaven Ward, which closed in 2013.

It will take 12 months R.E Campbell for to redevelop the site. The Scottish Government and Highland Small Communities Housing Trust are helping to fund the work.

Five wheelchair-accessible bungalows are to be created and eight flats.

Morrison begins £1.2m sewer replacement project

Morrison Construction has started a £1.2 million sewer replacement project in the Scottish Borders.

The main phase of construction commenced today, 18 July, and is expected to last until October.

Engineers will replace a section of damaged sewer which crosses the River Teviot at Mansfield Road and Duke Street/Glebe Mill Street in Hawick. The sewer was damaged during storms in December last year.


Scottish house prices up by four per cent in 12 months

The average price of a property in Scotland has increased by 4.0 per cent on the previous year, according to new figures.

The UK House Price Index Scotland: May 2016 found that the average home during the month was worth £141,142, an increase of 2.8 per cent when compared to the previous month.

This compares to a UK average of £211,230, which was an increase of 8.1 per cent over the year, and an increase of 1.1 per cent when compared to the previous month.

The volume of residential sales in Scotland in March 2016 was 11,017, an increase of 45.4 per cent on the previous year. Changes in Land and Buildings Transaction Tax that came into effect on 1 April 2016 for additional dwellings, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties, are likely to have contributed to this increase. The city of Glasgow showed the biggest volume of sales in March with 1,579 sales.

The biggest price increase over the last year was in East Renfrewshire where the average price increased by 7.0 per cent to £201,282. The biggest decrease was in the city of Aberdeen, where prices fell by 9.2 per cent to £176,394.

The average price for a new build property in May 2016 was £200,554, an increase of 12.2 per cent on the previous year, while the average price for an existing resold property was £138,700, an increase of 3.6 per cent on the previous year.

The average price for a property purchased by a former owner occupier was £167,494, an increase of 4.1 per cent on the previous year. The average price for property purchased by a first time buyer was £115,428, an increase of 4.0 per cent on the previous year.

The average price for a cash sale was £130,169, an increase of 4.0 per cent on the previous year, while the average price for property purchased with a mortgage was £146,214, an increase of 4.1 per cent on the previous year.


Council holds event to mark success of Campbeltown THI

An event has been held to mark the success of a major town centre revitalisation project in Argyll and Bute.

More than £7 million has been spent through the Campbeltown’s Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) since 2009. The scheme saw over 40 buildings repaired, a number of derelict buildings brought back into use, and local contractors benefiting as the result of the projects.

A drop-in event to celebrate the initiative’s success was held on Thursday, 7 July. The exhibition highlighted what has been achieved in the town to date and what is planned with assistance from the latest Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).


Public invited to see Hawick Flood Scheme plans

Teries will be able to view and comment on the proposed Hawick Flood Protection Scheme during a two-day public exhibition being held next month.

Hawick Town Hall will host the event on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 August from 9am to 9pm on both days.

Members of the public are encouraged to come along to find out more information on the plans being taken forward by Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

Consulting engineers CH2M and SBC officers will be on hand to answer any questions members of the public may have.

The Hawick Flood Protection Scheme is currently in its outline design phase and as a result is seeking to engage with as many local people as possible.

The Flood Scheme’s newly appointed project artist Andrew Mackenzie will also be in attendance to show the proposals for the permanent public artworks associated with the scheme.


Assessments at Dundee hotel suite after ceiling collapse

Assessments are to be carried out at the function suite of a Dundee hotel after the ceiling crashed in on the best man during a wedding.

The best man was hit on the head with falling debris from the Queen’s Hotel on Saturday evening and was rushed to Ninewells Hospital suffering from concussion following the incident.

A spokeswoman said that the hotel will remain closed until further notice.


Fife Council’s wind turbine reaches final milestone

Fife Council’s newest wind turbine project at Lower Melville Wood recycling/resource recovery facility near Ladybank, has reached its final milestone by connecting to the National Grid.

Final commissioning and testing of the turbine took place over the last few weeks allowing the turbine to start exporting power to the grid.

Generation output is expected to be in the region of 800,000kWh per year with all electricity generated to be exported to the National Grid. This is enough power for over 200 houses.

The turbine, managed by Resource Efficient Solutions, Fife Council’s arm’s length environmental and resource management company, is the local authority’s first commercial scale turbine structure at an impressive 75 meters tall to the tip of the blade with 25 meter blades.


Views sought on Orkney’s sports facilities

Local residents are being invited to voice their opinions on sports and pitch facilities in Orkney.

Consultants 4 Global are to draft a strategy document in the coming months which will cover the full range of sports related facilities including swimming pools, fitness gyms, games halls and golf courses, as well as football, rugby and hockey pitches.

The blueprint will examine the current standard and use of the facilities, as well as where future development or investment should be targeted.

Two public drop-in sessions are to held later this week for residents to express their views:

• 7.15pm – 8.30pm at Stromness Community Centre on Tuesday, 19 July.

• 6.30pm – 8pm at Pickaquoy Centre on Wednesday, 20 July.

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