Work to commence on Dingwall housing project



With coronavirus restrictions continuing to ease across Scotland, work is set to commence at a brand new residential development of six flats in Dingwall.

1-6 Joe Yates Court

No.1-6 Joe Yates Court, from local developer Ark Estates, will comprise six one-bedroom flats over three floors, providing much needed affordable housing in the town.

Located in the heart of the county capital, Joe Yates Court - named in honour of one of the town’s great characters - boasts easy access to Dingwall’s main pedestrianised shopping street.

After an unforeseen delay to the project caused by the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, the kick-off of the project from Ark Estates - headed up by former Dingwall Academy pupil, Willie Gray - is being widely welcomed in the community.

With the local economy and the construction sector hit hard by lockdown, work commencing at the new residential development is the latest sign of the green shoots of recovery for the Highlands, but James Manson from principal contractor O’Brien Homes, is keen to stress that the return to work on the site will be carried out adhering to enhanced safety measures.

He said: “The strict COVID-19 health and safety procedures we will be introducing at Joe Yates Court include the introduction of temperature checks for staff and site visitors, a rota work system and one way routes to facilitate social distancing.

“There will also be enhanced facilities and increased cleaning on site, and new systems for materials delivery introduced where social distancing can be maintained. There will be a phased return to work, building up from a small number of workers, while safe systems of working are monitored and assessed. We will also introduce  increased parking to facilitate workers commuting to work alone.”

Willie Gray, managing director of Ark Estates, commented: “It’s great to see work commencing at Joe Yates Court. Now lockdown restrictions are easing we are delighted to be able to get back to work. But the safety of workers on site and the supply chain remains the priority, so the phased return to work will be strictly in line with government advice.

“Generally, I think it will be a real boost to the local economy which has suffered due to coronavirus. We have O’Brien Homes as principal contractor on the development and the use of local trades and labour will have a hugely positive effect on the local economy, providing employment for up to 30 workers during the build.”

Councillor Margaret Paterson, who knew Joe Yates, said: “Joe Yates was a stalwart in the town for many years. He was well loved and well respected. Once you met Joe you could never forget him as he was full of enthusiasm for his beloved town of Dingwall. He was a member of many groups in the town and if you needed something done Joe was there ready and able. He was fantastic as compere for various concerts in the Town and no matter how many times I heard his jokes they still made me laugh. Joe Yates was a legend.

“I’m delighted about the development as we desperately need housing and also the jobs boost at this difficult time. When people see building work going on they know that the future is looking up in this difficult time we have been through and this is some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Cllr Gordon Adam, chair of The Highland Council’s, Black Isle, Dingwall and Seaforth Committee, added: “Local members welcome this addition of six new homes being developed in Dingwall which will provide much-needed affordable one-bedroom flats, in line with the council’s housing commitments.”



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