Building Briefs - February 25th



  • Finnieston student accommodation plan consultation opens

A public consultation website about proposed student accommodation in Finnieston has gone live.

CW Properties wants to build a six-storey block with around 210 bedrooms at 131 Minerva Street.

An existing building at the site is currently used for offices and was previously a brass foundry.

Feedback on the proposals is being sought online, including an interactive session on Friday (26 February) between 10am and 4pm.

 

  • Ardrossan community asked for say on regeneration plans for North Shore site

Ambitious £150 million plans for the regeneration of Ardrossan are gathering pace and North Ayrshire Council is asking the local community for their say on a key component of the proposals.

Over the next eight weeks, the council will be looking for feedback on their vision for the layout of the North Shore/Ardrossan Harbour site.

They recently took full ownership of the site following agreement with Peel Ports and the school and community campus has already been earmarked for the area.

Proposals for the development of the site also include sports pitches, housing, commercial uses, roads, a new coastal path and facilities associated with an extended marina.

And the consultation exercise – which runs until April 9 – will be seeking views on the proposed mix of uses and layout of the area.

The feedback from this will be taken forward and form part of a report to the planning committee recommending a development framework for the site.

An architect will be appointed in March to develop detailed designs for the school and community campus and there will then be additional opportunities to comment on more detailed proposals - eg specific building designs - as planning applications are submitted for other parts of the site further down the line.

The development of the North Shore site is part of a wider £150m regeneration programme including Ardrossan Harbour, new housing, an extended marina, and new connections which together have the potential to transform the town over a five-ten year period.

If you would like to have you say, please visit the website

 

  • West Lothian Council to restart home improvements

West Lothian Council is set to restart spending on home improvements as soon as the coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Almost all council improvement programmes were stalled in the first lockdown last spring and only essential repairs were carried out.

Council officers gave a report on revised spending programmes to a meeting of the Services for the Community Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP).

A report to the PDSP said: “Expenditure totalling £23.270 million is forecast for the 2020/21 programme. The month nine projected expenditure represents a net slippage/saving position of £5.971m against the budgeted resources for 2020/21, mainly due to the ongoing effects and restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the final outturn position for the year will be reported to Council Executive in June 2021. 

“Any slippage or acceleration on projects in the 2020/21 programme will be rolled forward into the revised two-year programme.”

The council is also set to begin the demolition of the decaying homes on Livingston’s Deans South estate. 

West Lothian Council’s Services for the Community PDSP heard that missives will be completed this month and housing developers Springfield are keen to make a start. This means the demolition process could start next month.

Contracts for the new council-owned properties, 29 of which will be built at Deans South, have now also been signed.

The homes which are part of the council’s 1000 House programme will be built by CCG Construction which has been awarded the contract for Deans South and also at Eagle Brae in Livingston where another 29 homes have been planned.

Marjory Mackie, housing strategy and development manager, told the meeting that the council were awaiting final discussion on the firm’s construction programme and she would report to the committee when she had that information.

 

  • West of Scotland expansion for Lar Housing Trust

Lar Housing Trust has expanded its portfolio in the West of Scotland with the acquisition of two new developments.

The charity, which provides high quality mid-market rental homes across the country, has opened its third site in Glasgow. It has purchased a fully let development of 12 three-bed and 12 two-bed flats in the Ruchill area in the north of the city.

And Lar has made its first foray into Ayrshire having concluded a deal to purchase 29 completed homes in Mossgiel Road in Ayr.

Lar now has a total of 39 sites around the country with over 850 homes already in its portfolio.

 

  • DWF advises Squarestone Asset Management on new cinema in Ayr

Legal business DWF has advised developer and investor Squarestone Asset Management on its latest plans to reinvigorate the town centre in Ayr.

The deal will see Squarestone Asset Management partner with Irish boutique cinema brand, Arc Cinema (CGI attached of cinema), to bring an eight-screen cinema multiplex to the town centre. Arc specialises in providing a VIP cinema experience for the price of a standard ticket and the new cinema will be the first new one in Ayr for 80 years.

The new cinema will be the anchor letting in what is planned to be a new leisure and cultural destination complete with bars, restaurants and complementary leisure activities to breathe new life into the former retail-led Kyle Centre.

 

  • Councillors approve sale of former Maryburgh primary school to Men’s Shed group

A community asset transfer application was approved by members of the Highland Council’s communities and place committee when they agreed to the sale of the former Maryburgh Primary School to Maryburgh Men’s Shed group for £1.

The property which was surplus to council requirements was put up for sale on the open market and attracted the interest of the Men’s Shed as a potential community asset transfer under the Community Empowerment Act. Councillors have agreed to the transfer on the grounds that the local community benefit from the proposed alternative use outweighs the potential capital gain to the local authority of a potential sale.

Maryburgh Men’s Shed group intention is to create a facility that will have a specific focus on tackling social isolation among the growing number of older members of the community irrespective of gender. The group intends to redevelop the building for use as a workshop and meeting space - the latter of which they will lease to other community groups to support their running costs.

The transfer will be made available in late 2021 to early 2022 on conclusion of the former school grounds being used as a compound by The Highland Council for housing construction on the former school site.

 

  • Aberdeenshire Council nominated for two prestigious planning industry sector awards

Aberdeenshire Council’s planning and environment service has been named in prestigious industry awards for its work on the Proposed Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan (LDP) 2020.

The council is a finalist in two categories at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Delivering Digital Engagement During a Pandemic in the ‘Excellence in Plan Making Practice’ category and the ‘Excellence in Tech within Planning Practice’ category.

RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence have been running for more than 40 years and celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Amidst a global pandemic, Aberdeenshire Council moved seamlessly from a consultation strategy traditionally reliant on face-to-face engagement to one promoting primarily digital means of engagement last year.

Adapting to changes imposed by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, the council revised its Development Plan Scheme and embarked upon delivering an online consultation for its Proposed LDP 2020. 

A ‘one stop shop’ micro-website was created to ensure ease of access to information which included a virtual drop-in ‘room’, an interactive ‘story map’, three short films, interactive activities for young people, a live chat function and additional resources made available to assist communities.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony held virtually in the Awards Room on Evessio at 4pm on Thursday, 29 April 2021.

 

  • Fife Council backs Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021, co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland, runs 1-5 March and Fife Council is focusing on the advantages to be gained from an apprenticeship - for individuals, employers and the economy. 

This year’s theme is ‘Business Backing Talent’, to showcase the great things that happen when employers back talent through apprenticeships. Many businesses and other organisations across Fife have already helped many people transform their careers through apprenticeships.

Fife Council is committed to creating employment and training opportunities for the young people of Fife and is currently recruiting for 35 posts. As a result of this commitment, the council’s Building Services Team is creating 22 Modern Apprentice Trade posts, Fleet Operations is creating four Modern Apprentice Trade posts and the Grounds Maintenance service is creating nine Modern Apprentice posts.

To apply visit www.fife.gov.uk/jobs Applications closing date is Thursday 4 March 2021.