Building Briefs – June 16th

Eastwood Health and Care Centre£15m health centre to open in East Renfrewshire

A new £15 million health centre is due to open this summer in East Renfrewshire.

The Eastwood Health and Care Centre was built by Morgan Sindall in partnership with the council, hub West Scotland, the Scottish Futures Trust and East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde funded £9.2m towards the project, while £5.7m was provided by the local authority.

Final preparations are now underway to install five GP practices and community health and care services in the building.

Additional features include clinics, podiatry, physiotherapy, children’s services, adult mental health services, speech therapy, district nursing, health visiting and social work.

The development will be officially opened on 08 August 2016.


45 new homes for Bonnyrigg

Taylor Wimpey East Scotland can confirm that planning permission has been secured for its further landholding at Hopefield in Bonnyrigg for 45 new homes.

Situated off Auld Coal Road, this development will deliver a wide mix of two, three, four and five bedroom family homes and will represent continued investment in the local area by the developer.


Scotland passes 2020 emissions target by 42 per cent

New figures have revealed Scotland has passed its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target by 42 per cent.

Climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham revealed emissions fell by 12.5 per cent year on year to 41.9 MtCO2e in 2014, a 45.8 per cent reduction since 1990.

In addition, source emissions dropped by 39.5 per cent between 1990 and 2014 compared to the UK’s 33 per cent reduction over the same period.

Overall, Scotland has reached its 2020 target six years early and is one of the leading countries in West Europe for reducing emissions.


First time buyers aided by LBTT sales increase

House sales in Scotland have seen a significant boost thanks to a new property tax, with first time buyers among the beneficiaries.

The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), introduced earlier this year to help first time buyers get a foothold on the property ladder, has led to an 11 per cent boost in sales.

The tax has also contributed towards a 7.8 per cent drop in house prices, mostly at the higher end of the property ladder.

According to the house index released this week by UK estate and letting agency YourMove, a total of 104,344 home sales were completed in the first year of the new tax. The average house price in Scotland now sitting at around £170,667 compared to the £185,080 in April of 2015.

House prices in Aberdeen, East Lothian and West Dunbartonshire have seen significant drops in the average sale price.

However, areas such as Midlothian and Falkirk saw house sale prices increase. Midlothian saw an increase of around 4.3 per cent in comparison to the previous year and Falkirk went up by 3.8 per cent.

The figures released also showed that the most expensive place in Scotland to buy a house was East Renfrewshire, with the average house price sitting at around £249,238.


1,000 more Edinburgh pupils back to school before the end of term

One thousand pupils are returning to school earlier than planned after the latest programme of remedial works was submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP).

The announcement revealed that four primary schools, Pirniehall, St David’s, Broomhouse and St Joseph’s, will now open on Monday 20 June – ahead of schedule. Pupils from Rowanfield School will also return earlier than planned on Monday 27 June.

This follows the 900 pupils from Oxgangs and St Peter’s Primary Schools and Braidburn School who returned to their own schools last month, followed by Firrhill High School, which completely reopened on schedule last week.

This means that a total of 4,600 pupils will have returned to their own schools before the end of the summer term.

The remaining primary schools – Craigour Park, Forthview, Craigroyston and Castleview – will all be handed back during the summer break, as will Craigmount, Gracemount, Drummond and Royal High Schools. Where there are opportunities for earlier reopening, parents will be advised.

This means that all 17 affected schools will welcome back their pupils for the start of the new term on 17 August.

Correspondence from ESP and their contractors providing safety assurances will be published on the council website before each school reopens.

The council has confirmed that an independent inquiry into the school closures will commence after the summer holidays.


Holmes Miller to showcase Bearsden primary school plans

Residents are being invited to attend a drop-in event showcasing designs for a new primary school in Bearsden.

Architectural practice Holmes Miller has designed a building to be developed on the site of St Andrew’s Primary School.

The project is part of East Dunbartonshire Council’s Primary School Improvement Programme and local people are now being urged to view plans for the new primary school.

The workshop will take place at both St Andrew’s and St Joseph’s Primary Schools from 3pm - 7pm on Tuesday, 21 June.


Permanent approval for Moray Gypsy/Traveller site

A family has been granted permanent planning permission for a previously unauthorised Gypsy/Traveller site in Moray.

The Stewart family, who have lived on the site at Doohill, near Lhanbryde, for seven years, had an application for temporary planning permission turned down by Moray councillors four years ago.

They appealed the decision and in May 2013 a government appointed planning reporter upheld the appeal and granted a temporary three-year approval.

The reporter concluded that while the development was contrary to Moray Council’s policy on countryside around towns, it integrated satisfactorily into the surrounding landscape and had a minimal impact on the rural character of the area.

The decision to uphold the appeal was also based partially on the council’s failure to identify halting sites for Gypsy/Travellers in Moray which would disadvantage the family in continuing their way of life.

This week’s meeting of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee was told that while there were no other privately owned and occupied Gypsy/Traveller sites proposed within Moray, approval of the Doohill development would not set any precedent or compromise other policies or principles in the Moray Local Development Plan.

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