Herald Property Forum Awards

18 Sep 2009

by Alison Campsie, the Herald

A new optimism in the Scottish construction and housing market was marked at The Herald Property Forum and Awards 2009

Key figures in the industry were recognised for their high standards and innovation despite the unprecedented economic challenges of the past year.

More than 250 delegates attended the event at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow, where a panel of experts in housing, regeneration, construction, and the property market led a debate on the key issues facing the market.

Speakers included Alex Neil, Minister for Housing and Communities; Steve Inch, executive director of development and regeneration at Glasgow City Council; Baroness Margaret Ford, chair of the London 2012 Olympic Park Legacy committee and Jonathan Fair, chief executive for Homes of Scotland.

While delegates spoke of the bruising effect of the credit crunch on house sales and construction projects, there were calls from across the board for innovation in planning and investment solutions.

There are very good causes to be optimistic
Steve Inch, executive director of development and regeneration at Glasgow City Council
Across the board, it was agreed that major capital projects should remain on track as far as possibile amid the slowdown in a bid to save jobs.

Steve Inch, executive director of development and regeneration at Glasgow City Council, said that there was still £3.9bn worth of construction work under way in the city, down from £4.2bn last year, including 1m sq ft of office space in the pipeline, two hotels, and two major shopping centres.

"There are very good causes to be optimistic," Mr Inch said.

The housing minister said that the Scottish Government was looking at a range of measures to keep the housebuilding and property sectors buoyant, including a revolving infrastructure fund which would remove the need for developers to pay for key works upfront.

Scottish Water recently introduced a similar scheme. The minister said: "It helps cashflow and it means we get the jobs, and we get the development."

Mr Neil called for more private investment in the new-build rental sector, claiming that the return on rental rates made the sector a sound investment in light of low bank and building society interest rates.

The Herald's own award for the Homebuilder of The Year went to Meridian Homes, with a commendation to Manor Kingdon (Scotland). Shortlisted for the award was Miller Homes (Scotland).

Winner of the Social Housing Residential Development of the Year award went to Tenants First Housing Co-operative for its project at Roanheads Village in Peterhead.

Commended in the same category was New Gorbals Housing Association for Hutchesontown Phase 1. Shortlisted were the Margaret Blackwood Housing Association for Cala Sona Phase 1 in Wishaw; Bield Housing Association for Oakburn Gardens, Milngavie; and the Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership/R&D Construction Group Ltd for Ailsa Gate.

Creators of the Best Conversion were McEarchan MacDuff Architects for its development of The Cornmill at Drum Farm, Kippen. Shortlisted were Westbridge Gardens in Cook Street, Tradeston, and Travis Homes for its development at Lainshaw Estate in Stewarton.

Winner of the Best Apartment Category was Merchant Homes for the Ash Apartment in Park Court, Glasgow. Palazzo in the city's Ingram Street earned Manor Kingdom a commendation, and Fox Construction was shortlisted for its Laurieston development at Largs.

The Best Luxury Home award went to Scops Developments for Avenel at Knockbuckle Lane, Kilmacolm. Shortlisted were Meridian Homes for The Glamis and Manor Kingdom for The President.

Taylor Wimpey was credited with creating the Best Show Home for The Killearn and a commendation went to Springfield Properties for Altyre at Glassgreen Gardens, Elgin. Shortlisted again for The President development was Manor Kingdom.

Mactaggart and Mickel won the Best Family Home category for The Arran at Marr Meadows, Barassie. Shortlisted were Taylor Wimpey for The Maple, Miller Homes for The Moray, and Varcity and Gladedale for The Strathmore II.

The award for the Best Communications Campaign was presented to Miller Homes, for MiWay.

Produced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

  • Westbridge Gardens in Cook Street shortlisted for Best Conversion

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