Developers have successfully cleared the first hurdle in the redevelopment bid for the site of Scotland’s oldest asylum which could eventually be the setting for more than 500 new homes.
At a meeting in Forfar, Angus development standards committee councillors unanimously backed the conditional approval recommendation for permission in principle relating to the massive Sunnyside Hospital project to the north of Montrose.
The green-light was described as a “positive, albeit baby step forward” for the multi-million pound project, but with an early marker put down in some quarters over the hope that the scheme will see as many of Sunnyside’s listed buildings as possible retained.
SNP councillor Bill Duff, who sits on the committee, was enthusiastic in his welcome for a plan he described as “a complex project not without significant challenges.”
“I very much welcome this application. I note phasing plans allowing 265 houses to 2026, which complies with the local plan .
“Personally, I am comfortable with the developer’s target of 500 houses, as this will be a long-term project and the population growth will be gradual and dictated by market demand.”
Arbroath West and Letham Liberal Democrat Richard Moore expressed the hope applicant Sunnyside Estate would retain and re-use all 12 of the listed buildings on the expansive site but councillors heard an application for the demolition of the former Booth House nurses’ home has already been lodged and will be considered separately later.
Mr Duff added: “I would sincerely hope we remain pragmatic about this aspect; the project must be viable for the developer and I trust Historic Environment Scotland can agree a common sense compromise with the developer and Angus Council.”
The empty Sunnyside buildings have become a magnet for unwanted visitors, especially so-called ghosthunters, and one of the main figures in the redevelopment project delivered a timely Halloween warning for people to stay away from the site.
Jamie Pert, joint managing director of local firm Pert Bruce Construction, one of the partners in the project company, said the company was keen to progress development and avoid a “Strathmartine situation”, in reference to the former hospital on the outskirts of Dundee which has been blighted by vandalism and fireraising over a number of years
“Approval of permission in principle is just the start of the journey, but the first step in this unique opportunity,” he said.
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FM Group recently purchased the former ScottishPower headquarters at Cathcart from ScottishPower and are now about to go to public consultation to show the proposed redevelopment of the buildings.
The site consists of two buildings at 42 Spean Street, Glasgow. The proposals are as follows.
Grade ‘B’ listed Cathcart House office building conversion
• 80 flatted dwellings over five levels
• Reinstated central lightwell and amenity courtyard
• 2no ground floor leisure/ commercial units, totalling 490 m2
A late 1960s office extension conversion
• 75 flatted dwellings over six levels
• Lower ground level parking, with external amenity deck
It is anticipated that following this public consultation process the design proposals will be further developed and that a detailed planning application will be submitted in January 2017.
The management team behind Andy Murray’s Cromlix House hotel has launched a new hotel management company in the Caribbean.
Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), which manages 14 boutique hotels across Scotland, including Inverlochy Castle, Greywalls Hotel and Fasque Castle, has teamed up with landowner and developer Jonathon Milne of FM Group and New Zealand real estate investor Kelly Glass of K-Group, to launch The Liming.
ICMI said The Liming will announce “exciting plans across the Caribbean in the coming weeks and months”.
ICMI’s Malaysia-based director Dr Sin Chong Chai, managing director and hotel manager Norbert Lieder and marketing specialist John Green are leading ICMI’s venture in the Caribbean.
Lieder, who spent five years managing hotels in St Lucia and St Kitts, said: “We have a track record of developing and managing profitable hotels which are known for exemplar service and attention to detail.
“While there are a number of great hotels across the Caribbean we believe there is a real gap in the market for a new concept of relaxation with no gimmicks or distractions – just a fabulous product and the best service on offer.
“Our intention is to replicate our success in Scotland, where we now manage 14 properties, across the Caribbean islands.”