Building Briefs – February 11th

  • Top police award for new Aberfeldy housing development

A brand new affordable housing development in Aberfeldy has already won its first accolade after being granted a Secured by Design (SBD) Gold Award by Police Scotland.

Secured by Design is a national police initiative that encourages developers to create new and refurbished housing projects with a view to security, minimising the opportunity for anti-social behaviour and crime.

To achieve the Gold Award, the landscape and layout of the development was created with crime prevention in mind, ensuring plenty of natural surveillance and minimising the flow of pedestrians and cars through the area. Physical security measures were also implemented into the homes such as SBD approved doors, locks and windows.

The £3.5 million development, which is located on the western outskirts of the village, brings 24 good quality homes to the rural Perthshire area, consisting of 20 semi-detached houses and four apartments.

Completed in just last month, the houses boast a range of modern energy efficiency innovations, all aimed at minimising bills. These include solar panels, state-of-the-art insulation, gas central heating and smart meters.

To guard against the elements, the homes also feature weatherboard cladding, which gives the development a rural look, helping it fit in with the local landscape. In order to also complement the surrounding area, which is rich in wildlife, the homes have been developed to incorporate bat and swift boxes.

Construction was started in mid-2017 and was undertaken by Tayside firm George Martin Builders, with the houses completed and ready for handover to Hillcrest at the end of last month. The handover marks the completion of the first phase of the development, with the second set to bring a number of new homes for purchase.

The vacant land that formed the site of the picturesque new homes was part of the Bolfracks Estate, and formerly used for livestock farming. The estate was owned by the Breadalbane family from 1806, until it was bought by the current owner of Duntium Farm’s grandfather in 1922.

The estate also boasts some unique pieces of archaeology, with possibly the best known being an ancient stone circle known as ‘Croft Moraig’.


  • Highland Council seeks views on proposed nursery development

Public views are being sought on a proposed nursery development at Deshar Primary School in Boat of Garten.

Highland Council is hosting two consultation events on the plans on February 14.

A drop-in session will take place in Deshar Primary School from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, followed by a second session in the Community Hall from 5pm to 7pm.

Council officers will attend both drop-in sessions to explain the background to this initiative, outline the current position and answer any questions.

Attendees will be invited to give feedback at the sessions.

Responses to the proposal can also be submitted by email to

The feedback form can be found here.

The deadline for responses is 9am on February 22.


  • Councillors consider major improvements to Alexandria Library

The cultural committee of West Dunbartonshire Council will consider exciting proposals to install a lift at Alexandria Library and create a museum space which will celebrate the town and area’s cultural heritage.

The project will also see multi-purpose rooms created for community use.

The Alexandria Library building, which dates from 1884, is one of the most popular branches in West Dunbartonshire but has no disabled access to the first-floor and this project will seek to remedy that issue.

Councillors will decide on the proposal at the cultural committee meeting on February 25.


  • Hawick flood scheme community timber project opens

Local groups from across the Scottish Borders can now apply to put trees felled during the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme to good use.

Interested community and charitable groups should visit here to download an application form, and outline the details of a project which would use some of the timber and how it would benefit the local community.

The application process will be run in two phases, with the first phase starting today offering tree trunks to Borders-wide groups from Scottish Borders Council-owned land.

The second phase will follow on later this year once further trees are felled in the autumn.

The deadline for phase one submissions is April 8.

Applicants will then be advised if they have been successful by the end of May.

The timber is from tree felling works which are required to allow the construction of the new defences in the town.

Every tree that is removed will be replaced with two new trees as part of the landscaping strategy for the town.

To date, the site clearance and tree felling works have been undertaken on Mansfield Road, Weensland and the river banks between James Thomson Bridge and North Bridge. In November 2018, when the Council reviewed the scheme’s progress and re-profiled its programme, a decision was taken to postpone the remaining tree felling works until autumn 2019 to minimise impact on the town’s landscape.


  • East Lothian Council recognised for planning excellence

East Lothian Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) has been nominated for a prestigious planning industry award.

The LDP has been shortlisted as a finalist in the category for Excellence in Plan Making at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

The LDP is the key planning document guiding development across East Lothian to 2024 and beyond and has involved a huge amount of preparation and extensive public consultation. It was approved by Scottish Ministers in September 2018, after the Report of Examination made only minor recommendations for changes to the work of East Lothian Council’s planning team.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony held at Milton Court Concert Hall in central London on 24 April 2019.


  • Lochrin Square fills up with double letting deal

One of Fountainbridge’s flagship office buildings, 2 Lochrin Square, is now fully occupied after the completion of two new lettings, brokered by joint agents Knight Frank and JLL.

Brand protection consultancy, arc-net, has taken 1,300 sq. ft at 2 Lochrin Square, while software company Perivan Technology has expanded its presence in the building by relocating to a larger suite of 1,800 sq. ft.

2 Lochrin Square

The lettings also mean that the wider Lochrin Square office development, comprising of both 1 and 2 Lochrin Square, is now fully let.

The lettings come as the transformation of Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge continues, with more new office buildings set to be delivered over the next 24 months.


  • Funding boost for Inverurie’s Ury Riverside Park development

A planned development at Inverurie’s Ury Riverside Park has landed a major funding boost of £112,000.

Aberdeenshire-based CR Contracting North will use the LEADER funds to undertake a wide range of planting within the 60ha site.

Company director Chris Rogerson said: “We’re really pleased to have been awarded this contract for planting – we also recently constructed the path network, so we are happy to continue with the further development of the park.

“Our plan is to complete the path network, then to plant the wet woodland, grassland and wetland meadow areas. Assuming the weather is favourable we aim to complete the works by winter next year.”