Building Briefs – January 22nd

  • Small piece of history returned to Boroughmuir High School

A high school in Edinburgh has been presented with the original 1930s school bell discovered in the property restoration of its previous home in Viewforth.

(from left) S6 pupils Gregor Holmyard, Isabella Della Sala, head teacher David Dempster, CALA project manager Craig Donaldson, S6 pupils Imogen Moran and Greg Manson

During the sensitive refurbishment of the former Boroughmuir High School building, the CALA Homes (East) construction team rescued the artefact and has now gifted it to the new school.

CALA delivered and presented the bell to pupils and head teacher David Dempster at the new premises, where it will sit pride of place in school’s display cabinet dedicated to the school’s history.

A Grade B listed building, the former Boroughmuir High School was occupied from 1913 and was one of the first in Edinburgh to use steel frame architecture.

The large school bell was installed in the elevated tower and was used to mark the end of classes until February 2018 when the move was made to the new location at the bottom of Viewforth where the road meets Dundee Street.

The recovered bell was produced in 1938, as is inscribed around the body, by specialist bell casters and hangers in Glasgow and Edinburgh, John Bryden & Sons.

Craig Donaldson, CALA’s project manager at Boroughmuir, helped ensure the safe delivery of the historic bell to the new school.


  • Planning and Architecture business plan 2019 to 2020: in-year review

The Scottish Government’s Planning and Architecture Division has published its Planning and Architecture business plan 2019 to 2020: in-year review.

The document sets out business priorities for Planning and Architecture Division and how they will deliver the vision for a world class planning system to support inclusive economic growth and create great places for people and communities.


  • Extension planned at Dingwall church hall

Plans have been lodged for an expansion of a church hall in Dingwall.

An application prepared by Reynolds Architecture has gone before Highland Council calling for significant alteration and extension of St Clement’s Church Hall, to equip it with the space required for an upgraded community kitchen.


  • £7m Blairgowrie retail scheme gets green light

A £7 million retail village in Blairgowrie has been green-lit by councillors.

The Westpark Partnership retail village on the edge of the Perthshire town is expected to create 150 jobs, with Lidl and Home Bargains taking over two large units on the site alongside three smaller shops.

The project is the first phase of a masterplan which includes 400 homes, a hotel, family restaurant, primary school and neighbourhood centre.


  • Preferred Musselburgh flood protection scheme approved

The preferred Musselburgh flood protection scheme has been approved by East Lothioan Council.

The cabinet also approved the next phase of project which is the outline design for the preferred flood protection scheme for the town and also look to seek additional external funding for this major infrastructure project.

Musselburgh has a history of damaging floods from the River Esk - the last major flood, and inundation of the High Street occurred in 1948. There were also significant events in 1927 and 1891. Recent changes in weather patterns suggest that further floods may occur and so in 2015 the council commissioned a project team to assess the possible risks to the town. Using computer modelling which simulated a range of flood risks the project team have identified the best flood protection measures that can be introduced to Musselburgh.


  • Partnerships boost performance of road maintenance and street lighting in Dundee

A pair of partnerships continue to consistently deliver better road maintenance and street lighting in Dundee, according to two new reports.

The Roads Maintenance and Street Lighting Partnerships, both tie-ups between local councils and Tayside Contracts, provide value for money and effective repairs and upkeep.

Roads in Dundee are maintained jointly by Dundee City Council and Tayside Contracts as the Roads Maintenance Partnership.

Its work is monitored and compared with national standards and based on 77 key performance indicators.

The on-going successful street lighting partnership between the council and Tayside Contracts repairs and maintains more than 24,000 street lights in Dundee. This year Angus Council will join Dundee and Perth & Kinross in the partnership.

Members of the city development committee will consider the reports at its meeting on Monday.


  • East Lothian Council approves climate change strategy

A five-year strategy to tackle the climate crisis has been approved by East Lothian Council.

The Climate Change Strategy 2020-2025 sets out the council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency at a local level and sets out the vision and overall aims for a ‘Net Zero Council’ and a ‘Carbon Neutral East Lothian’ with specific outcomes, key priority areas and actions over the next five years towards achieving these overall aims.

Two major aspects of climate change are covered: Climate Change Mitigation – which sets out how East Lothian Council will reduce its emissions to reach net zero as soon as reasonably practicable, and work with partners towards a carbon neutral East Lothian; and Climate Change Adaptation which recognises that climate change is already impacting upon the planet and sets out how East Lothian Council will adapt to and prepare for future changes in climate and to enable local communities and businesses to become more resilient.