Building Briefs – November 17th

Sod_Cutting_Harthill_1Sod cutting marks start of new council homes in North Lanarkshire

The site of the former Harthill Primary School is set to become home to another new housing development being delivered by North Lanarkshire Council.

Plans are in place to build 20 new homes on the site - a mix of cottage flats, semi-detached bungalows and wheelchair accessible bungalows.

The properties form part of the council’s NL Homes house building programme which will see 2,150 homes built by 2027.

Cutting the sod was Councillor Allan Graham, convener of enterprise and housing committee, and joining him was local councillor, Martin McCulloch. Also attending were representatives from North Lanarkshire Council and developer Lovell.

The development is expected to be completed by summer 2018.

The Scottish Government contributes towards the development costs at each site.


Properties in Glasgow and Edinburgh sell twice as quick as UK average

The average UK property takes 96 days to sell but sellers in Edinburgh and Glasgow have to wait just 41 and 50 days, respectively, according to a new report.

The latest City Rate of Sale report from Post Office Money, developed with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), examines the average time a property takes to sell in more than 20 major cities across the UK.

It found that cities to the West of the UK were more likely to see a longer wait than those in Scotland, with residences in Liverpool and Belfast typically taking over 100 days (112 and 119 respectively) to sell.

When properties have been on the market longer, buyers can potentially negotiate a better deal, particularly in areas like Liverpool where 87 per cent of properties for sale are affordable to first-time buyers.

Edinburgh and Stoke on Trent have seen the biggest fall in the time properties spend on the market – despite the fact that they are opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of house price growth.

The Edinburgh housing market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and a lack of new buildings is responsible for the fall in time on market and increase in prices. Edinburgh has also seen prices rise by 10.4 per cent over the past year, well above the 3.9 per cent growth for Scotland as a whole.

Stoke-On-Trent, meanwhile, is a hotspot for FTBs; this has stimulated demand for houses priced under £250,000 and reduced the time on the market. However, competition has not increased so much for more expensive properties, as a number of newly built properties in the area have increased supply, this has placed downward pressure on prices. Homes in Stoke-on-Trent increased by only 0.9 per cent in value, the smallest increase of any major city in the UK.

In contrast, southern cities Southend and Portsmouth have seen the sharpest increase in the typical time that properties have spent on the market with Southend seeing a 12 per cent increase and Portsmouth, a 10 per cent increase. In part, this reflects the fact that both cities are becoming less affordable as they have both seen a higher increase in house price values than is normal for their respective regions.

House prices have risen in each of the cities analysed in this report over the last year, with the average price of a home in the UK rising by 5.0 per cent in the year to August 2017. However, overall both house price growth and sales volumes have decelerated suggesting we have reached a ‘tipping point’ where growth has left many areas unaffordable for the average buyer. This could see delays for the 11 per cent of current homeowners who want to move up the ladder in the near future.


Additional Edinburgh date added to property factors consultation events

The Scottish Government has added an extra Edinburgh date to its series of interactive events to consult on proposals to revise the Code of Conduct for registered property factors and other related amendments to the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011.

Due to demand, the event in will take place on Friday 24 November at Conference Room 1, Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, EH6 6QQ from 14:00 – 16:30.

For more information click here.


University of Dundee symposium to discuss ingredients of successful neighbourhoods

The ingredients that make for successful – and not so successful – neighbourhoods will be explored at a University of Dundee symposium later this month.

There goes the Neighbourhood’ will take place on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 November. It is being organised by Dundee-based members of the Academy of Urbanism, an organisation that seeks to celebrate great places across the world and the people and organisations that create and sustain them.

The first day takes the form of a study trip to Broughty Ferry, a finalist in the Academy of Urbanism’s Great Neighbourhood Award, while the second will feature talks, workshops and discussion at the West Park Conference Centre.

The keynote speech will see Rob St. Mary, director of outreach at Patronicity in Detroit, Michigan, talk about his experience of engaging communities. In just over three years, Patronicity has helped large and small Michigan, Massachusetts and Indiana communities to create over 200 projects, crowdfunding over $7 million with an extended economic impact of over $25m.

The symposium takes place as part of Scotland’s Towns Week, a programme devised to enable architects, planners, developers and community stakeholders to collaborate, share best practice, ultimately to bring life, vitality and vibrancy back into town centres.

More information is available here.


South Lanarkshire community ‘lights up Christmas’ for Ugandan village

Pupils from Duncanrig Secondary School helping at The Luwero Project in Kiryanyzona, Uganda last month
Pupils from Duncanrig Secondary School helping at The Luwero Project in Kiryanyzona, Uganda last month

A community in central Uganda will have an extra special Christmas this year after pupils from two South Lanarkshire schools filled an old shipping container with essential supplies and shipped it to the small village of Kiryanyzona in the district of Luwero, Uganda.

Pupils from Auchinraith Primary School in Blantyre and Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride emptied the disused shipping container and filled it with crucial supplies including solar panels, plumbing kits, and power cables with help and donations from partnership housing provider Lovell and its sub-contractors. Lovell is currently working on a new development of 38 affordable homes on behalf of Clyde Valley Housing Association on a site located just next to the Primary School on Victoria Street.

The equipment will reach the village in time for Christmas and was sent out as part of a joint fundraising effort for The Luwero Project, an initiative that supports the community of Kiryanyzona, many of whom are young children who have lost both their parents to the Ugandan AIDS epidemic. As well as helping to empty the shipping container and donating supplies, Lovell and its Blantyre site subcontractors Kenny Waste Management, Gallacher and Greer, Star Electrics, Avonside Roofing and Bonus Electrical supported various other fundraising efforts throughout the year including quiz nights, a football tournament, and a Ladies’ Day.

In total, Duncanrig and Auchinraith parents, pupils and staff have raised £45,000 which recently allowed sixteen secondary school pupils and four members of staff to spend two weeks visiting Kiryanyzona and helping the local community with various initiatives such as clearing the roadsides to avoid children being bitten by snakes on their way to and from school.

Share icon
Share this article: