Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Court provides economic elixir

The new quayside taking shape at Port of Dundee
The new quayside taking shape at Port of Dundee

Work from the Queensferry Crossing, the dualling of the A9 from Perth to Inverness and Aberdeen’s new bypass have all proven a tonic in tough times.

But two of those major infrastructure projects will shortly be at completion – the new Forth bridge as early as next month – and that leaves the question, what next?

That is certainly something the construction sector is pondering right now.

New research by the Scottish Building Federation has found optimism levels within the sector have dropped into negative territory as firms wonder where the next contract is coming from.

The truth is there is precious little on the horizon right now – and there are a lot of people chasing the scraps.

But a decision by the Court of Appeal might just provide a chink of light.

Last week a long-running legal action came to a halt – in the Scottish courts at least.

Bird protection charity RSPB Scotland had wanted to stop the development of three major windfarms in the firths of Tay and Forth.

The tactic used by the wildlife organisation was to challenge the validity of the planning approvals that Scottish ministers had granted for the arrays back in the autumn of 2014.

Ultimately futile, the court action has served to delay the first wind turbines for more than two years.

But barring a costly (for all sides) challenge to Europe, it now looks as though we will finally see the windfarms become a reality.

Developer Mainstream Renewables Power is ready to go and has said it expects to be on-site in the Forth building its long-awaited Neart Na Gaoithe array next year.

That represents an investment in the order of £2 billion – significantly more than has been spent on building the Queensferry Crossing.

And it is not alone.

Inch Cape is planning a similar investment at its development site off the coast of Angus and then there’s the prospect of a third mega-project also for this area in Seagreen.

Collectively, the development value of all three arrays is akin to the figure spent hosting the London Olympic Games. In short, they have the potential not only to fill the gap left by the passing of the infrastructure work but also to fuel the economy for years to come. What the court has done here is provide an economic elixir to slake a collective thirst for work.

I hope the turbine developments now go ahead without any further delay.

ghuband@thecourier.co.uk

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]