Dougall Baillie starts work on Ayrshire’s historic Ballochmyle Estate

Consulting engineer Dougall Baillie Associates (DBA) has been called on to accelerate the restart of a prestigious residential development where Robert Burns composed the song The Bonnie Lass o’ Ballochmyle, and which is destined to become one of the most breathtaking estates in the country.

Dougall Baillie starts work on Ayrshire’s historic Ballochmyle Estate

The firm will commence work imminently on civil and structural engineering infrastructure for 86 homes at the historic Ballochmyle Estate in Mauchline, Ayrshire, an exclusive development set in established estate woodlands and within several acres of communal grounds, including a walled garden.

The £36 million project, by family-owned Ayr-based Milestone Developments, is bordered by the River Ayr and situated on the edge of Ballochmyle Golf Club. It will feature three-bedroom bungalows and five- to six-bedroom villas.

DBA, which has been engaged since early 2020, will be instrumental in designing the road networks, access, drainage systems and site levelling as well as facilitating building warrants and working on the superstructure design of the properties.

Alan Ferns, director of structural engineering at DBA, said: “This is a particularly interesting site with strong local historical associations. For many years, the fine, red sandstone mansion of Ballochmyle House was a hospital, until a £5m restoration after which it was converted into luxurious apartments.

“The development of large residential properties in the grounds of the estate took place ten years ago and then was paused. The Milestone project is picking up where the existing development stopped and will include properties within the walled garden.

“Elements of the walled garden, where food was produced for the original owners, the Whitefoord family, and then for the estate of Sir Claude Alexander, will be incorporated into the new properties without being in any way detrimental to its integrity.”

The Ballochmyle project is the latest in a succession of prestigious contract wins for DBA, which expects to be on site for up to two years to oversee its remit and deal with site queries.

Mr Ferns said the site posed interesting engineering challenges since it is on a slope and drainage infrastructure has to be aligned to tie in with the drainage network supporting the existing estate.

The nature of the project dictated a sympathetic approach, especially to the architecturally important walled garden, and ground conditions suggested that the firm could reduce the cost of piling by proposing traditional strip and trench foundations.

For the 41-strong East Kilbride firm, the Ballochmyle site is the latest of a number of significant housebuilding operations. In the past year, it has provided professional services to contractors for schemes with values of up to £200m, adding nearly 2000 new homes to the housing stock.

While residential homes work now comprises some 70% of the DBA portfolio, the firm has also marked up a number of significant scores in transport infrastructure, such as its involvement in the £14.1m M8/A8 interchange at Bishopton in Renfrewshire in consultation with Renfrewshire Council, SEPA, Transport Scotland and BAA.

The firm has also been concerned in projects in mega shopping centres such as Braehead and Silverburn in Glasgow and the Union Square development in Aberdeen.

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