Building Briefs – May 30th – Scottish Construction Now
(from left) Robin Holdsworth (Secretary Constructionarium), John Swinney (Deputy First Minister of Scotland & cabinet secretary for education & skills), David Sibbald (acting chairperson & director Constuctionarium Scotland), Dale Lyons (director Constuctionarium Scotland)
Constructionarium Scotland signs Memorandum of Understanding with CITB
A celebration was held to mark the progress of Constructionarium Scotland over the past seven years and to announce the plan for the coming years. The event, which was hosted by Fiona Hislop MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with CITB, a partnership described by Constructionarium Scotland as “very important to plan for the future”. Over the past seven years, Constructionarium has given approximately 1000 students the practical experience of building scaled models of iconic buildings from around Europe. Students spend a week starting off with a drawing and finishing with a completed project. These projects are supported by some of the most prestigious construction companies working in Scotland.
Plans revealed to transform Aberdeenshire piggery site
Plans to transform a derelict Aberdeenshire piggery into a holiday lodge development have been submitted to the council. The existing buildings at Dowrieburn, near Fettercairn, would be demolished to make way for 57 holiday chalets. In submitting the application, developers Monarch Leisure and Park Homes Ltd have taken account of concerns expressed by nearby residents at a public meeting last month regarding safety on the narrow C-Class road around the site.
Following discussions with officials from Aberdeenshire Council Roads Department, the application contains proposals for new passing places along the public road which would be built and paid for by the developer. Also included in the application is an independent consultant’s report which emphasises the number of vehicles entering and leaving the site is unlikely to exceed one every fifteen minutes. The proposals include the creation of a “luxury” holiday destination featuring landscaped grounds, walkways, fishing ponds and a nature observation tower.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise highlights development milestones
An Lochran, Inverness Campus Picture credit: Tim Winterburn
Infrastructure projects led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have reached key milestones over the past year, the development agency revealed in a new report. Inverness Campus saw the opening of three new buildings, An L?chran, Aurora House and the first student accommodation block. In Argyll, the new Fairmile Building in Sandbank Business Park near Dunoon was formally opened, and the European Marine Science Park near Oban secured a number of new tenants.
The year also saw the completion of Dales Voe South in Shetland, a 185m quay to support the growth in decommissioning work, and the installation of all four turbines in the MeyGen tidal energy project off the Caithness coast. Both projects were supported by HIE. HIE meanwhile approved further investments in the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and the new Orkney Research and Innovation Campus, a joint venture with the islands’ local authority.
Wave Energy Scotland, a subsidiary of HIE, approved ?12.4 million to 17 technology development projects. Digital connectivity continued to improve for businesses and households across the region, with the number of premises with access through the HIE-led Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project reaching 155,000. A further 1,400 premises are now connected through 13 projects supported by Community Broadband Scotland (CBS), which is also run by HIE on behalf of Scottish Government.
CBS has delivered or has firm plans to deliver broadband to a total of 11,200 premises across Scotland within its current budget. Details of HIE’s achievements over the year 2016-17 will be published in the agency’s annual report and accounts, which will be laid before the Scottish Parliament in the autumn.
Lobster shack plans for Arbroath public toilet
A public toilet block could be transformed into a lobster shack at Arbroath harbour.
Carswell Properties Ltd has taken out a long lease on the Angus Council-owned property at Old Shore Head and has submitted plans to change the building into a hot food takeaway selling crab and lobster. The plans include outdoor seating and the return of a public toilet at the east end of the harbour.
The toilets were closed by Angus Council in February 2014 as part of a cost-cutting move to shut nine public conveniences. Many of the other toilets have been put up for sale but this building cannot be sold as it is part of the public land linked to the harbour.
Hearing set for Moray Firth icehouse redevelopment
Plans to redevelop a 200-year-old former icehouse on the shores of the Moray Firth are to be the subject of a planning hearing. Officers in Moray Council’s planning section had recommended refusal of the application to extend the structure at Portgordon to form a coffee shop and staff accommodation.
However members of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee voted in favour of adjourning consideration to a hearing in view of the volume of letters of support for the application. Seven objections were received to the redevelopment plans compared with 48 letters of support, most of them from people living Portgordon. Officers had recommended refusal on the grounds that the proposed development was not among exceptions permitted within the coastal protection zone and was not considered appropriate in preserving the area’s open coastal character.
In addition, they believed the extension would have a detrimental impact on the icehouse’s architectural and historic merits.
The hearing, a date for which still has to be set, will allow both objectors and supporters of the development to present their respective cases to the committee.