Building Briefs – October 27th

New Bellsmyre homes handed over to tenants

David McBride hands over the keys to the new tenants at the new West Dumbartonshire council houses in Whiteford Crescent, Dumbarton.Delighted tenants have moved into their new homes in Whiteford Crescent, Bellsmyre - the latest to be completed under West Dunbartonshire Council’s new build housing programme.

The properties at 15-23 Whiteford Crescent are the first of 36 new council homes to be completed across three sites in Bellsmyre. The 3 and 4 bedroom homes have generous space standards, are accessible to people with mobility issues and are built to high energy efficiency standards to reduce energy bills for their tenants. The homes also meet the Secured by Design standard to help reduce crime.

The 31 remaining houses in the project, located at Aitkenbar Drive/Howatshaws Road/Auchenreoch Avenue and Whiteford Avenue/Penniecroft Avenue, will be completed before the end of the year.

The project is being delivered by Robertson Construction using the Scape Framework, a partnership where the main contractors work collaboratively with the client to deliver publicly-funded projects. The framework delivers value for money and cost certainty, allowing tenants to move into their homes faster than would normally be possible.


Trio of contracts worth £11m for ISG

Construction company ISG has been awarded three new contracts in Edinburgh with a combined value of more than £11 million.

The largest of the projects will see ISG convert Elliott House, Hillside into 138 student apartments in a £6.6m project for property developer McLaren.

The multinational contractor has also secured a £3.1m contract with the University of Edinburgh and a further £1.4m scheme with independent school the Edinburgh Academy, where it will build a sports facility.


Buildings at Ashludie to be demolished

Parts of a former Angus hospital are to be demolished after planning chiefs ruled the buildings served no purpose.

Angus Council decided three of the five buildings which make up Ashludie Hospital in Monifieth are not worthy of developing and should be knocked down to make way for new housing.

In a report, senior planning officer Kirsty Macari agreed the units should be knocked down as they would serve no purpose, but the remaining two should be kept.

While part of the former hospital is of historical interest — having been built in 1866 by Arbroath manufacturer Alexander Gordon — the satellite buildings were added more recently.

It is these sections of the hospital that NHS Tayside and Glasgow property firm Capital Property applied to Angus Council for permission to tear down to make way for new development.


Planning granted for bespoke houses in Ayrshire

Lawrence McPherson Associates have obtained planning permission from East Ayrshire Council for a development of 3 and 4 bedroom bespoke houses for Stanecastle Homes.

Situated on the site of the former Busbiehill Guest House outside Knockentiber which has lain derelict for years, the site sits on top of a hill and commands stunning panoramic views across Ayrshire and to the forth of Clyde and to Arran.

The houses are laid out in a courtyard form reflecting the vernacular architecture of the area. The living accommodation is orientated to take advantage of the spectacular views.

The design aesthetic of the proposed houses therefore reflects the rural nature of the site whilst incorporating traditional and contemporary elements. The houses are one and a half storeys will be finished in off white render with slate to the roof.

The placement of the houses within the site has been done in such a way as to relate to the footprint of the original buildings as far as possible whilst respecting the dominant building line along the access road whilst achieving a steading configuration.


Pupils settle into Shetland primary school extension

Redman Sutherland Architects have completed a new primary school extension for Shetland Islands Council, providing new offices, a library and increased teaching space.

The new Happyhansel Primary wing is built around a covered entrance lobby with a glazed roof permitting light into an existing canteen, cloakroom and waiting area.


New homes for heroes in Carnoustie

A new 16 home development which includes “homes for heroes” is taking shape in Carnoustie.

The £2 million affordable housing development at Camus Crescent will have 11 properties for rent – eight 1-bedroom cottages, two 2-bedroom cottages and one 4 bedroom family home.

The other five properties are being constructed for Houses for Heroes Scotland, which provides housing for disabled veterans in Scotland.

The development is due for completion in early spring 2015.

The project is funded in part from the grant received from the Scottish Government as part of Angus Council’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme delivery plan.


Dundee firm takes on Plough Inn site flats plan

Blocks of eco-friendly flats are to be built on the site of a former pub in Perth.

The two buildings, which contain 20 apartments between them, will occupy the site of the former Plough Inn on Jeanfield Road.

Each flat will feature two bedrooms and an open plan living area and will come with an underground parking space.

Developers will also have to provide spaces for bicycles to be stored and four nesting boxes for swifts, in the “interests of biodiversity”.

The site is on the junction between Letham, Burghmuir, Cornhill and Jeanfield roads.

Developers have tried to allay fears that the buildings may be too big by reducing the highest point of the roof below that of the adjacent block of flats.

The planning application for the flats development has been approved by Perth and Kinross Council officials.

Following the demolition of the Plough Inn, plans for a previous development of 14 flats on the site ground to a halt as a result of the economic downturn.

The idea has now been resurrected by Dundee-based firm Green Pad Ltd.


Glasgow homeless hostel ordered to carry out repairs

A hostel in Glasgow’s East End used to accommodate homeless men has been denied a three year permit and given several months to carry out a programme of repairs.

Owners of the Bellgrove Hotel were given a one-year House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence, with six months to install new toilet and bathing facilities.

The hostel has been regularly criticised for its slum-like conditions and the fact its private owners take in as much as £1.5 million a year in housing benefit.

One source at Glasgow City Council said the authority’s licensing committee was keen to keep the hostel “on a tight leash” but admitted it had limited scope to deal with the property.

Lawyers for Careside said a programme of refurbishment was continuing.


Mackintosh–designed kitchens up for sale

A selection of kitchen units designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is set to go up for auction next month with an estimated price of £20,000.

Lyon & Turnbull, the Edinburgh auction house, will be selling three lots which previously made up the kitchen of The Moss, a house designed by the architect and built in Drumgoyne, near Killearn, Stirlingshire.

The three lots which make up the kitchen include a small pine kitchen dresser valued at £400 to £600, a large pine kitchen dresser valued at £3,000 to £4,000 and a substantial range of kitchen cupboards and work tops whose estimated value is between £3,000 and £5,000. The kitchen collection will be sold on 29 November.


Graham Construction gives food bank a makeover

Kilsyth Health Centre main contractors Graham Construction have pitched in to transform the town’s food bank with a major makeover.

The construction company volunteered its expertise to provide much needed work at the Kilsyth Community Food Bank (KCFB) premises in Parkfoot Street.

The heavily-used food bank collects and stores food to distribute to local people who cannot afford to buy groceries.

Graham contributed labour and fittings to paint walls and lay carpet tiles to refresh and renew the building, which stores the food until it is given out.

New PVC windows and doors were also donated by Graham sub-contractors CMS Enviro Systems to improve security and insulation.

Meanwhile Graham Construction has started work on three new community health centres for NHS Lanarkshire in East Kilbride, Wishaw and Kilsyth.

The three projects, which are valued at £42 million, will see a range of health services housed in state-of-the-art centres in each of the towns.

The new two storey facility at Kilsyth will house a GP surgery and incorporate community services including dental care, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy when the centre opens in summer 2015.


Decision to bunker turbine plan near Forfar Golf Course upheld

An Angus Council committee has bunkered an appeal over a wind turbine overlooking a golf course.

Plans for the 250-foot turbine by the 10th hole of Forfar Golf Course, Cunninghill, were refused by the local authority in July and a meeting of the council’s development management review committee has upheld the original delegated decision, which split local opinion.

Agents for the applicant, AD Craig of Brechin, applied for a review at local government level, following an unsuccessful Scottish Government appeal in June.

The committee was attended by five councillors — chairman David Lumgair, Bill Bowles, Jeanette Gaul, Alex King and Bob Spink.

After a site visit, they decided to back the planning department’s decision.

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