Building Briefs - June 16th

Ayr homes launchWork starts on £2.5m Ayr town centre project

Ayrshire Housing has announced the start of work on a new £2.5 million housing development in Ayr town centre.

22 flats and houses, designed by John Gilbert Architects to achieve the Scottish Government’s silver energy efficiency standard, are set to transform a former school site on King Street and Limonds Wynd.

The main building works are now underway by contractor Ashleigh Building and set to be completed by May 2016.

Pupils of nearby Newton Primary School joined Provost Helen Moonie as work began on the site.


Work to start on top Aberdeen hotel

A new hotel and country club could be built on green belt land in Aberdeen as soon as 2018 after the Scottish Government gave planners the green light.

The £40million development on the fringes of Hazlehead Park is set to bring 200 bedrooms, a restaurant, spa and new swimming pool to Aberdeen.

It is expected to create more than 300 jobs and generate more than £10million each year for the economy of the northeast.

Last month, the council voted 28-7 in favour of the development.


Plan for Aberdeen hotel at former E&Ms site withdrawn

Plans to transform a famous Aberdeen city centre department store into a hotel and restaurant have been withdrawn.

Esslemont and Macintosh - affectionately known simply as E&Ms - in Union Street closed in 2007.

Proposals could have seen the property converted into a 98-bedroom hotel, with a four-storey glass extension.

The store, established in 1873, closed with the loss of 100 jobs after receivers were called in.


Firm to build 350 homes on edge of St Andrews

Construction of the first houses in the St Andrews West expansion could begin next year.

A landowner has applied for planning consent in principle for up to 350 homes on fields south-west of Younger Gardens.

Consent is also sought by Mount Melville Ltd for the erection of a budget hotel, pub and restaurant, shops, business units and a health centre.

Land west of the university town is earmarked for more than 1,000 new homes in Fife Council’s development plan for St Andrews and East Fife.

If permission is granted, work could begin on the first 35 houses in the latter part of 2016.

Craigtoun North, as the 42-acre site is known, is about to go on the market and Mount Melville director Mike Younger said there is already interest from house builders, and in the hotel and pub/restaurant.

Construction of the houses would be carried out in five phases over eight years.

A community hub in the south of the site would contain several small shops, including a convenience food store, and the proposed offices, pub and restaurant, health centre and hotel.

Determination of the planning application is expected early next year.


Students unveil alternate Aberdeen Harbour plans

Final year architectural technology students Scott Crichton and Robert Lucas at Robert Gordon University have published alternative designs for the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour, following publication of a 20 year master plan for the area.

This would entail creation of a new marine operations centre and ferry terminal for the facility, capable of accommodating large cruise liners.

The work forms part of the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment End of Year Show, which runs from 18 to 24 June.


CPO primed for Dundee fire site

A fire ravaged listed building in a prominent part of one of Dundee’s conservation areas could be subject to a compulsory purchase order if councillors back the move next week.

The property at 28 Roseangle was last used as a guest house, but since a fire in 1998 has become increasingly derelict.

A repairs notice was served on the building’s owner in December 2014 but no work has been carried out, and according to a report to be discussed by councillors on Monday (June 22) the property continues to deteriorate because it is open to the elements.

Built in around 1830 the two storey property has a basement, three bay windows and is made of sandstone fronted with ashlar.

Will Dawson convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “This is another significant step on a long process during which we believe we have given the owner of this property every chance to carry out the repairs needed.

“It is category C listed after Historic Scotland recognised its significance in 1989 and is in the heart of the West End Lanes Conservation area.

“The prominent location and significant deterioration of the building over the past few years have raised concerns not just with council officers but also among local people unhappy at the way it has been left.

“That situation is not sustainable so we are looking to take the building and its future under council control.”


Scottish private sector rents up more than nine per cent

A new tenant in Scotland is now paying on average 9.2 per cent more than a year ago, as the cost of living in the private rented sector continues to spiral in all regions of the UK.

New findings from the HomeLet Rental Index show that the average rent in Scotland for new tenancies in three months to May 2015 was £652 per month. The figure is up 2.7 per cent from the three months to April 2015 (£635) and 9.2 per cent from the same period in 2014 (£595).

The Index also reveals that rent prices in every region of the UK are now rising, an occurrence only seen twice previously in the history of the Index; once in October 2014 and once in December 2010.

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