Building Briefs – October 22nd

The View Cruden HomesCruden opens new housing development in Edinburgh

Cruden Homes and joint venture partners Places for People have launched the developer’s second new homes project in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh.

Comprising a range of one and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom terraced villas, The View forms the next part of the multi-million pound ongoing re-generation of Craigmillar.


Robertson secures Scottish Prison Service cleaning contract

Robertson Facilities Management has secured a major contract with the Scottish Prison Service which will see it provide cleaning services at five prisons and the SPS College.

The contract is for an initial three years with an option to extend for a further three years. Mobilisation on the contract has now been completed and full service commenced on 1 October, with Robertson Facilities Management, part of Robertson Group, providing cleaning and window cleaning to sites from Glasgow to Peterhead.


Dundee City Council to find £28m in savings in two years

Dundee City Council has revealed it will have to find £28 million of savings over the next two years as a result of the UK government’s spending review.

The updated figure is revealed in a new report to go before councillors at the end of the month.

The outcome of the Westminster government’s spending review will be announced next month, with the Scottish Government then expected to make a budget announcement in late December or early January.

The report by executive director of corporate services Marjory Stewart estimates the cost of continuing to provide the current level of council services taking in to account inflation, technical budget adjustments and other cost pressures.

Since 2010, the council has delivered savings and efficiencies of £51m. A significant proportion of these have been achieved through the first three phases of the council’s efficiency programme, Changing for the Future. A fourth phase is planned to make the changes needed to deliver the latest £28m of savings.


ScottishPower wind farm business enjoys surge in profits

ScottishPower owner Iberdrola has doubled profits in its UK wind power business in the first nine months of its financial year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the Spanish company’s UK renewables business leapt to €301 million (£221m) in the first nine months of 2015, from €150m in the same period of last year. This more than offset a sharp fall in profits in Iberdrola’s UK supply and generation division.

The doubling of earnings in the UK renewables business was driven by better wind conditions and additions to the wind farm portfolio. The euro-denominated earnings figure was also boosted by sterling’s appreciation against the single currency.


Sports Direct store and gym in Dundee won’t open until next year

Sports Direct LocheeA major retail development that was due to open in Dundee in November will be delayed until next year.

The £5 million Sports Direct store and gym could create up to 100 jobs and will take the place of what was once the Venue nightclub at the Stack Leisure Park in Lochee.

Plans were approved by Dundee City Council in June, providing the store sells only sports goods and clothing.

Site owner TJ Morris and the retailer have since called for this condition to be removed so that 20 per cent of the sales floor area can be used for selling other retail goods.

Sports Direct has now confirmed that the appeal will see the project delayed until spring.


Proposed cycle lane to link east and west of Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council is set to begin consultation on proposals for a major cycle route linking the east to the west of the city.

If approved, plans for a ‘family-friendly’ cycleway between Roseburn and Leith Walk will be put to the public for feedback.

Members of the transport and environment committee will consider proposals to consult on the suggested route, which runs through the city centre via George Street, on Tuesday.

The cycleway, which includes sections of segregated lanes on main streets, would plug a gap in the cycle network and link to the city’s off-road paths.


Work underway to conserve historic Ballachulish Slate Arch

Structural conservation works will shortly be commencing to conserve and interpret Ballachulish’s historic slate arch, the Highland Council has announced.

The £277,000 Ballachulish Slate Arch – Conservation & Interpretation Project is funded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Highland Council and Historic Environment Scotland and will not only secure the long term future of the slate arch structure, but also enable the local community to research its slate quarrying history and create new heritage interpretation for local people and visitors.

The path to the arch, along with paths within the east quarry, will also be upgraded over the winter period.


New plan to rebuild Drumtochty Hotel

A plan has been lodged to rebuild an Aberdeenshire village pub destroyed in a gas explosion more than six years ago.

The Drumtochy Arms in Auchenblae was close to reopening following a major refurbishment when the blast happened on January 7 2009, leaving three people seriously injured.

The severity of the damage led to the demolition of the building, and although consent for a replacement was granted the now-lapsed permission was never taken up.

Now owner Charles Anderson has submitted fresh plans to rebuild the hotel, restaurant and bar on the cleared site.

The proposal, which will go before Aberdeenshire councillors, involves the creation of a pub with a games room, restaurant, garden area, lounge, function suite and eight bedrooms.

An empty adjacent butcher’s shop would become a food preparation and storage area, including a food takeaway, and a bothy would be turned into a manager’s flat.


Dundee pavilion likely to be demolished after fire

A pavilion in Dundee’s Baxter Park is likely to be demolished in the wake of a devastating fire.

The building was to have been an important part of the creation of a new games area but was ravaged by flames in April after vandals set fire to a wheelie bin.

It has lain in a state of disrepair ever since and is now set to disappear for good, with the costs of maintaining it or bringing it back to its former glory prompting the council to look at levelling the site.

Councillor Craig Melville said the burnt-out pavilion had become an eyesore and should be demolished.

He said there were “some issues to be considered” before permission for demolition can be given.