Building Briefs – November 27th

Scottish GovernmentJanuary launch for new planning applications website

A new website for all planning applications in Scotland will be launched in January.

From 13 January 2016, anyone submitting a new planning application will be directed to the web site.

However, anyone who is in the process of completing an application at this time will still be able to submit it using the existing site.

The existing and new sites are free to use and managed by the Scottish Government, in partnership with local authorities.


Highland projects approved for capital discretionary funding

Two projects have been approved for capital discretionary funding by the Highland Council’s Resources Committee.

Members approved a contribution of £100,000 over two years towards the Falls of Shin Community Project, subject to a full funding package being in place. The money will support the development of a new visitor centre and restaurant at the Falls of Shin in Sutherland. The previous visitor centre was destroyed by a fire in May 2013, resulting in the loss of seasonal jobs and tourist income to the area.

Members also agreed the award of a maximum of £28,763 from the Capital Discretionary fund to help reconstruct the Merkinch Welfare Hall in Inverness, which aims to provide social and economic benefit to people in the community.

Merkinch Enterprise are undertaking to restore the hall and convert it into a mixed use community facility, with a boxing gym and fitness room with office space at a total cost of around £810,000.


Work continues on North Ayrshire nuclear reactor

EDF Energy is underway with maintenance works on a power station’s nuclear reactor in North Ayrshire.

During routine inspections, engineers discovered three graphite blocks were cracked on one of the two nuclear reactors at the Hunterston B power station.

Known as keyway root cracking, the maintenance was predicted to start at this point in the station’s lifetime.

Further inspections will now take place to see if any additional cracks are found.


Plans for £150,000 playground for Stow village park

Plans have been drawn up to develop a new play park for children and teenagers in a Borders village.

Stow Community Park Group wants to build a £150,000 playground on council-owned parkland.

Scottish Borders Council officials have proposed leasing almost an acre of Stow park to the community group.

They have asked councillors to approve the lease plan, which would allow the group to pay an annual rent of £1 over 10 years.

According to a report to the executive committee, the group has provisionally secured a £50,000 grant for the project from two nearby wind farm funds.

The remaining £100,000 could be raised through council grant schemes.


New £474,000 West Lothian cycle and pedestrian link opens

A £474,000 cycle and pedestrian link has been opened in West Lothian.

The new route runs along the A779 between Starlaw and Bogall and completes a link between the communities of Bathgate and Livingston.

An additional 1km of shared off road use for cyclists and pedestrians is also provided.

Low powered LED street lighting LED lamps have been installed along the full length of the route to reduce carbon emissions and lower energy costs.

The project was funded by both West Lothian Council and Sustrans.

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