Building Briefs – Sept 17

Pentland Firth turbine firm MeyGen signs 10-year power deal

The developers of a planned tidal energy scheme in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth have signed a multi-million pound deal to sell electricity generated by the project.

MeyGen said it had signed a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with energy firm SmartestEnergy.

Under the first phase of the project, four 1.5MW turbines will be installed on the seabed.

MeyGen said eventually the scheme could have up to 269 turbines. It plans to start installing devices over the next two years.

MeyGen, owned by Atlantis Resources, said the PPA agreement could be worth more than £50m over its lifetime.

The agreement with SmartestEnergy will provide revenues from power generated and exported to the grid under the first phase of the project through to 2025.


Application withdrawn for Kelty housing development

A planning application to build nearly 50 houses in Kelty has been withdrawn.

Persimmon Homes had lodged a planning application to build 47 homes — 27 houses and 20 flats — on the Great North Road housing estate in the village.

The application, plus a second for 16 on Seafar Drive on the same site, went before Fife Council’s west area planning committee last month.

However, councillors decided to delay their decision until they had carried out a site visit. This week the application was withdrawn.

The two applications had attracted more than 100 letters of complaint, highlighting worries including overdevelopment, road safety and the integration of the proposed homes.

There was also concerns about old mine workings which lie beneath, flooding problems and the spread of Japanese knotweed.


Public invited to have say on shaping Aberdeen city centre

The first in a series of public consultations designed to help shape a masterplan which will regenerate Aberdeen city centre will take place later this month.

The four day event, led by Aberdeen City Council’s appointed team, BDP, aims to explore regeneration opportunities for the area and to gather views on what could be done in both the long and short term to breathe new life into the city centre.

The public sessions, which will take place in The Academy shopping centre, Belmont Street, will allow people to advise what they think the big city centre issues are for the future, and offer their ideas for improvement as the area continues to change.

The consultation events will run from: 10am until 5pm on Wednesday and Friday 24 and 26 September; from 10am until 8pm on Thursday, 25 September; and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday, 27 September. Members of the project team and city council planners will be on hand to speak to anyone interested in getting involved.

Following the first round of public consultation, the BDP team will return with some draft ideas later in the year to hear what people think about these. Next year they will prepare a phased transformational masterplan for the city centre, incorporating detailed proposals for the area and a delivery programme for it.


Glasgow school set for demolition after fire

Sir Alex Ferguson’s former primary school looks set for demolition after a major blaze ripped through the building.

Fire crews were called to the blaze at the derelict school building on Govan’s Broomloan Road on Tuesday night.

It is the second fire this year at the former Broomloan Road Primary School this year after a blaze ripped through the building in May.

Around 35 firefighters fought to tackle the blaze throughout the night and two crews remained in attendance throughout Wednesday morning.

Building control officers are also in attendance to carry out a full safety inspection on the building.

STV reported the blaze is being treated as suspicious and the building will now be demolished over safety concerns.


Riverside reports ‘excellent’ financial results

The Riverside Group Ltd has reported excellent results for the year ended 31 March 2014, generating an operating surplus of £68m or 22.5 per cent of annual turnover, against 20.1 per cent the previous year.

After interest costs of £34m, the Group, which includes Irvine Housing Association, achieved surplus before property sales of £34m, with a further £15m realised from sales through the asset management programme.

The Group has achieved the improvement over last year through a continued focus on operating costs and a strong performance from its commercial activities. Riverside’s development companies, Prospect and Compendium Living, have taken advantage of the market upturn and the expansion of the in-house repairs company, Evolve, has reduced the VAT cost on repairs.


Blaze destroys North Lanarkshire housing site

Homes under construction in North Lanarkshire have been partially destroyed by a major fire.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews battled the blaze which broke out at the site on Monday night.

An SFRS spokesperson said: “Our crews were confronted with an intense fire within six two-storey residential buildings that were still under construction.

“The fire was burning over an area measuring around 50m by 10m with difficult underfoot conditions meaning crews had to rely on their professionalism and skill throughout the operation.

“They deployed to strategic positions in order to surround the fire and used three main jets to tackle the flames.

“Three properties were destroyed by the fire and only the determined efforts of the crews prevented all six buildings being lost.”


New Dundee academy plan given green light

The new Baldragon Academy building in Dundee has been approved.

The secondary school for more than 1,000 pupils was given the green light at a meeting of Dundee City Council’s development management committee after members unanimously agreed to add extra conditions on to the application.

Councillors accepted a motion calling for traffic calming measures for Harestane Road, which borders the site, as well as higher capacity parking, to be included in the plans.

It is now hoped that car parking will be built at the school for almost 100 per cent of full-time staff, while a traffic management plan will also be put in place.

At the same meeting, members also gave the green light to 22 new duplex studio apartments on Brown Street.

The flats, which will also include a new management facility, common room and reception, will be designed for students.


Funding agreed for UK’s largest community wind farm

A £15m funding package has been agreed to build the largest community-owned wind farm in the UK.

Community firm Point and Sandwick Power plans to build three turbines on Lewis in the Western Isles capable of generating 9MW of power.

The funding package was agreed with Santander Bank, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Social Investment Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund.

The wind farm is at Beinn Ghrideag, west of Stornoway. It is expected to generate £1m a year for local communities.


Councillors vote against wind farm in Angus glen

Angus councillors have voted against a wind turbine scheme in the Angus glens which attracted 67 letters of objection.

The planning application by Greencat Renewables on behalf of landowner Graeme Richardson sought to install two 225kw turbines just over 47 metres high on land 605m north west of The Welton.

The site is surrounded by the tops of Brankam Hill to the south west, Strone Hill to the north west and The Carrach, Mile Hill and Kinclune Hill to the north east.

The development standards committee previously refused planning permission for nine 84m wind turbines on the site in August 2012, siting adverse impact on the landscape and unacceptable visual impact on the occupants of residential properties.

An appeal was made to the Scottish Government, but the reporter upheld the council’s decision.

Another application, submitted in 2008 for five 100m turbines, was withdrawn prior to being decided.

The new plan sought to build two turbines at a lower height and was recommended for approval by the council’s head of planning and place Vivien Smith.

Six people addressed the development standards committee against the plans.

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