Building Briefs – March 16th

Premier Inn Inshes GateWorks to Inverness Premier Inn extension completes

Construction works are complete on the extension to the Premier Inn at Inshes Gate Inverness.

The extension which was completed this month was designed by lma | architects and planning consultants and brings the total number of bedrooms at Inshes Gate to 76. In addition to the extensions, works included an upgrade to the reception of the Premier Inn and extension of the parking area. This is the second extension to the Premier Inn that the Practice has carried out.

The construction works were carried out by Ogilvie Construction.


Plan for up to 117 new homes in Carrbridge turned down

A plan for up to 117 new homes on a site at Carrbridge in the Cairngorms National Park has been turned down.

The park authority’s planning committee said the land involved was earmarked for housing.

However, it added that the developer’s three planning applications for the project were “not deemed to meet with a range of other planning policies”.

Aviemore and Highland Developments Ltd, part of the Tulloch Homes Group, had sought approval for the scheme.

The housing project has been going through the planning process for more than 10 years.

Among the planning committee’s reasons for refusal were that environmental impacts had not been fully assessed.

Rare red squirrels, capercaillie and wood ants had been recorded in the area.

Committee members were also told the village’s Carr Road was unsuitable as an access for the majority of houses proposed.

Carrbridge, known for its 18th century packhorse bridge, has a population of about 700 people.


Council agrees Inverness infrastructure deal

A new city-region deal to boost infrastructure development in Inverness and the Highlands has been agreed by the Highland Council.

The local authority said officers have been working with the Scottish Futures Trust and the Scottish Cities Alliance to explore new methods of funding for infrastructure in Inverness.

The initiative will provide an estimate of the potential economic outputs derived from major infrastructure investments in and around the city.

The move could see anticipated future revenues of a development, such as income tax and business rates, calculated and invested to finance the necessary infrastructure up front.

Highland Council director of development and infrastructure Stuart Black and convener Jimmy Gray met with Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, in February, to discuss the potential for the deal.


Fife housing plan thrown out

A plan by Ogilvie Homes for 18 executive houses near Kingsbarns has been turned down by Fife Council.

Fife Council’s north east planning committee voted by 11 votes to two against the application on a site to the west of the village, north of Station Road.

Councillors were told that two of 12 affordable houses previously built as part of an associated development to the south of Station Road had seen equities sold privately due to lack of demand, despite there being huge affordable housing waiting lists in the area.

The development was recommended for conditional approval by Fife Council planning service.

In a report to councillors, planning official Alastair Hamilton said the site was part of a larger land allocation in the local plan for housing.

It was acknowledged that the proposal did not fully comply with the terms of the development plan with respect to the proposed development outwith the existing settlement boundary.

However, as detailed in the main body of the report, he said it is considered that this area is integral to ensuring a high quality development that would respect the character and appearance of the surrounding area.


ePlanning portal reaches two major milestones

The ePlanning portal has seen a significant growth in popularity in the last year which has been marked by two key milestones.

More than 60 per cent of all applications and appeals are now submitted online as opposed to using traditional paper based postal applications. This is double the figure forecast when the site was launched, which is a fantastic achievement.

The second milestone was reached in February, when the 100,000th application was submitted through ePlanning Scotland. The portal currently processes an average of 2,200 applications and appeals a month, providing a high quality planning service.


Street names agreed for Dundee waterfront

Dundee’s industrial heritage and significant individuals and institutions from times past will be celebrated in street and place names for the city’s waterfront.

After a consultation on proposed street names and the opportunity to suggest names for three major open spaces and two footpaths/cycleways in the £1 billion re-development, councillors will discuss the results next week.

Thomson Avenue will mark the contribution to Dundee of James Thomson who was city architect between 1906 and 1924. During his tenure the Kingsway, one of the UK’s first city by passes, was built and he also proposed a visionary master plan for the waterfront.

Earl Grey Place (East and West) have been named to keep alive the link between the area and the former dock built in 1834 and closed 129 years later before being filled in to make way for the Tay Road Bridge landfall.

Patent Slip Way, which runs beneath the Tay Road Bridge ramps, recognises the track and cradle used to transfer a vessel from the river to the dock for repairs.

The Harbour Workshops and its steam-hauled patent slip, built in 1837, were on reclaimed ground between Victoria Dock and the Estuary. The upper part of the 166 metre ramp is still visible and gives a good indication of the size of ships hauled out of the Tide Harbour.

Lord Provost Bob Duncan, Mike Galloway director of city development, Iain Flett City Archivist and Jon Walton chair of city centre group DD One chose the most appropriate names from more than 500 submitted.

The public central space to the rear of the Caird Hall will be known as Slessor Gardens, the space adjacent to the river will be Waterfront Place, the public space at the Railway Station will become Discovery Plaza.

Black Watch Parade will be the name of the footpath adjacent to the river and the footpath/Cycleway next to the road bridge will be Whalers lane.


West Highland Housing Association joins the Link group

Oban-based West Highland Housing Association has joined the Link group of registered social landlords and social enterprises.

Link welcomed West Highland Highland Association (WHHA) to the group at the CIH Scotland conference on Thursday 12 March.

WHHA - which owns and manages almost 1,000 properties - retains its own identity, assets, staff and management committee and keeps its Registered Social Landlord status.

The vision for the partnership is to ensure the integrity of the WHHA, to increase the availability of affordable housing, improve efficiency and share good practice. Achieving this will help to strengthen rural communities, mitigate the impact of welfare reforms and help to continue to meet the demand for new affordable housing across the west highlands whilst providing best value for tenants.


Scottish Galvanizers upgrades Benmore Botanical Gates

Scottish Galvanizers has collaborated with George H Currie Blacksmiths to transform the entire estate entrance at Benmore Botanical Gardens in Argyll.

George H Currie Blacksmiths were called upon by Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to renovate the gates, which were commissioned in about 1880 by philanthropist and sugar baron James Duncan.


A77 Whitletts roundabout retexturing works

Scotland TranServ on behalf of Transport Scotland will carry out retexturing works northbound on the A77 at Whitletts Roundabout to improve the quality of the road surface for the years ahead.

The works will be carried out on 17 March overnight and will require a total closure of the northbound carriageway at Whitletts Roundabout. A diversion will be in place to ensure the safety of motorists and roadworkers alike.

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