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Independence impact on Scottish construction shown by survey

A marked drop in the value of prvate sector projects gaining planning approval in Scotland has been identified by industry analyst Glenigan, with insecurity over the independence vote taking the blame.

Private sector approvals up to July this year were shown to have matched last year’s figures, while other areas in the UK have fared markedly better.

The previous strong growth enjoyed by Scottish industrial and commercial approvals has been reversed.

Office approvals are now 24% lower, while retail projects have dropped by 59% and industrial by 43%, according to Glenigan.

Further to these, the utilities sector has suffered a £100 million deficit, following a 26% decline compared with the same period last year.

The one bright spot appears to be provided by the housing market, which is performing 59% ahead of the 2013 figure.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén, said: “The decline in private non-residential planning approvals and project starts are not a direct vote of confidence for or against an independent Scotland.

“Rather, the drop in activity, which follows a relative positive performance in 2013, appears to reflect investors’ temporarily deferring decisions due to political and economic uncertainty ahead of next week’s vote.”