The stream of news from Dundee’s Waterfront is gathering pace as the 2018 opening of the V&A Dundee draws closer. With a steady drip of news about road openings, development partners, even the appointment of the V&A’s catering operator, it is not surprising that so many eyes are on the Waterfront.
It is gratifying that these developments are being noticed, and not just locally. However, the focus on the Waterfront sometimes obscures what else is happening in terms of new-build development and regeneration across wider Dundee. Without detracting from the importance of the Waterfront, it is worthwhile looking north, east and west to absorb – and celebrate – the new-build activity across Dundee and Tayside.
Our own work with developers, on the whole development process from site acquisition to estate agency, highlights the breadth of activity going on across the region. We are also seeing healthy demand for new-build property at all price ranges and there are encouraging signs of increased activity in the local new-build sector.
A good example of the city-wide character of new build in Dundee is the Whitfield district. DJ Laing Homes has now received planning permission to build the first 24 homes at Aberlady Crescent in a proposed Development of 96 houses and Strathmore Homes (Scotland) Limited has just completed 10 new houses at Strathmore Avenue Dundee. Invertay Homes are also building at Whitfield Loan in Dundee and other developments locally include Summerfield Park, Foggyley Gardens and Pitkerro Road Dundee.
The turnaround in Dundee’s new-build market is not an overnight phenomenon. As with any developments, there has been a lengthy process of site acquisition, infrastructure development and planning applications before any construction takes place. But a wide range of developments are coming to fruition, from affordable housing to top-end houses and apartments. All these developments attest to the city’s appetite for growth – from the regeneration ambitions of the Council to the growth ambitions of local builders and developers.
At the same time, there is growing outside interest in development and building in Dundee. For example, construction businesses that have traditionally focused on the West Coast or Aberdeen are turning their attention to the City of Discovery.
It is natural that media and tourism attention should focus on the £1 billion development of the Waterfront area. It is certainly a great story that will become even more compelling in 2018 and the years beyond.
However in recognising Dundee’s regeneration and new-build momentum we should celebrate the achievements city-wide and region-wide. The Council itself has recognised the importance of looking beyond the Waterfront, and of building housing, communities and amenities in wider areas such as Whitfield. Let’s do justice to this by taking notice of it, not just sharing the excitement about the Waterfront but also looking behind it.