Building Briefs – September 10th

  • Savills opens new office in Inverness

Global real estate services provider Savills yesterday opened a new office in Inverness.

Nick Penny, Fay Gonzales and Hugo Struthers
(L-R): Nick Penny, Fay Gonzales and Hugo Struthers

The new office, headed up by director Faye Gonzalez, comprises experts in estate management, rural agency, architecture, building surveying, CPO, Valuations, rural tourism and diversification.

Nick Penny, head of Scotland at Savills, said: “At a time when property markets are experiencing some Brexit headwinds, Scotland is bucking the trend across all sectors including residential, commercial and rural. It is being seen as a comparatively safe location in which to invest and do business by investors from all over the UK and further afield.

“Our newest Savills office in Inverness is strategically placed in one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, where there are good opportunities across all sectors. I know the Inverness team will go from strength to strength and I wish them every success.”

The new office is based at Elm House, Cradlehall Business Park, Inverness IV2 5GH.


  • Councillors urged to approve Dounreay electricity substation

Proposals for a new electricity substation on the Caithness coast could take a step forward this week with councillors being asked to give the green light.

The development, at Dounreay, would be used to link a marine cable from Orkney and the mainland.

The substation could carry power from more renewable energy projects on Orkney to the grid, in a move people in the isles have been clamouring for.

Scottish Hydro’s application to create the new facility will go before a special meeting of Highland Council at the chamber in Inverness on Thursday.

It is being recommended for approval, subject to a pre-determination hearing, a legal agreement over wear and tear on nearby roads and notification to Scottish Ministers.


  • Public urged to vote for Stronelairg & Melgarve Substations Project for global engineering award

People in Scotland are urged to back the Stronelairg & Melgarve Substations Project to win the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award, which celebrates the best civil engineering projects of the year that have made a positive impact for their local communities.

Stronelairg wind farm is a 66-turbine wind farm situated south-east of Fort Augustus in the Highlands. The substation – located 700m above sea level - takes energy from the windfarm and increases the voltage. The connected Melgarve substation then steps up that voltage and connects the power into an overhead line. This green energy now connected to the grid will power 188,000 homes and save 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The Stronleairg & Melagarve Substations Project is competing against projects including the Northern Spire Bridge in Sunderland, the Shed cultural centre in New York City, the Colwyn Bay Waterfront in Wales, and a children’s surgery facility in Leeds. This project

Voting is now open and closes on September 27. (All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win an Amazon Echo.) The public can follow award updates on social media using #ICEPeopleschoice. The winning project will be revealed on November 12.


  • Nominations sought for Aberdeenshire Architectural and Landscape Design Awards

Aberdeenshire Council is seeking nominations from communities, residents and businesses for the 2020 Aberdeenshire Architectural and Landscape Design Awards.

Both conceptual and completed developments can be nominated for these awards which are now in their 12th year. The Aberdeenshire Architectural and Landscape Design Awards are given to outstanding design achievements in the categories of Business Enterprise, Conservation and Building Adaption, Innovative Solutions to Housing Need, Landscape Design, Community Development and Innovative Single Houses.

Nominations are now being sought and will close on December 20. Eligible projects include extensions, single houses, commercial properties, conceptual housing schemes, landscaping, regeneration projects and the creation of new communities. The first phase of judging will take place in April, ahead of further judging in May, and the winners announced at a ceremony in Aberdeenshire on 1st October 2020.

The Awards were established in 1997 as a means of raising the profile of good innovative design. Taking place every two years, the awards provide a benchmark for the quality of recent development, the effectiveness of planning policies. It also seeks to inspire excellence and innovation across Aberdeenshire.

The judging panel will feature the chair and vice-chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), the director of Infrastructure Services and four external professional advisors.

There are three tiers of award: Distinction, Highly Commended and Commended along with the Ian Shepherd Award given to the entry considered to be the best of all those submitted.


  • Greenock road improvement works underway

Inverclyde Council has begun road improvement works at Weir Street in Greenock.

The £85,000 project is being funded by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and will see the junction at Gibshill Road be widened. The works are expected to last 8 weeks.