BEFS Bulletin – Building Maintenance Case Studies

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Events, Vacancies, Consultations And Publications With BEFS Bi-Monthly Bulletin.


In recent months we have witnessed renewed parliamentary interest in the topic of building maintenance, particularly around the challenges faced in buildings under multiple ownership. BEFS is looking to gather some specific case studies for use in advocacy on the topic. Read more about BEFS aims and how to submit your examples here.

There are a number of parliamentary receptions on the built environment in November, which offer fantastic advocacy opportunities. Join RICS for their Tenement Maintenance Parliamentary Reception on 1st November. Also keep an eye out for STBFs parliamentary reception on Scottish Traditional Building Skills on 21st November and LIS’s reception on ‘Landscape for Scotland’ on 14th November.

The Scottish Parliament’s Acting Lobbying Registrar has confirmed that the new Lobbying Register will come into force from Monday 12th March 2018. From this date forward, certain face-to-face meetings with MSPs, Scottish Government Ministers, special advisers or the Permanent Secretary will need to be registered. In addition, a four-month familiarisation period has begun, allowing test returns to be made on the new register website.

Get ahead of the game! In 2018 Scotland puts its young people (8-26 year olds) in the spotlight. The Year of Young People 2018 (YOYP) is led by the Scottish Government, in collaboration with VisitScotland, EventScotland, Young Scot, Children in Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, Creative Scotland and YouthLink Scotland. VisitScotland have created a handy toolkit for you to plan how you’ll take advantage and benefit from the year.

In this week’s blog, Joanna Hambly, The SCAPE Trust, tells us about Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project and the role of volunteers in surveying Scotland’s coastal archaeological heritage.

Check out our new section of the bulletin that highlights opinion and comment pieces relating to the built and historic environment.


Brexit and Local Government inquiry launched (BP 17/10/17)
The Communities and Local Government Committee’s Brexit and Local Government inquiry looks at which powers currently held by the EU could be transferred to town halls after the UK’s exit.

Guidance for Local Authorities when carrying out their new duties and functions under Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015
Closes 17 Nov 2017.

Consultation Responses

Housing (Amendment) Scotland Bill – Finance & Constitution Committee’s Call for Evidence Submissions

Submissions Received by Local Government and Communities Committee on the Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Bil


Warming Scotland up to Energy Efficiency: Putting Consumers First (Consumer Futures Unit, Citizens Advise Scotland xx/10/17)

Disrupting the Housing Market – A policy programme to save the home-owning democracy (Localis xx/10/17)

The cost of housing for low-income renters (Institute for Fiscal Studies xx/10/17) 

A short briefing on a ‘no-deal Brexit scenario’ (Institute of Economic Affairs xx/10/17)

Help to Buy (Scotland) Administrative Procedures (SG 25/10/17)
Administrative Procedures for Agents administering the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build Scheme.

New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE) Administrative Procedures (SG 25/10/17)
The Administrative Procedures for the RSLs and LAs administering the New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE) scheme

Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) Buyer Information Leaflet (SG 25/10/17)

The Scottish Government Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement (SG 18/10/17)

Scottish Government News Releases

Local Housing Allowance (SG 25/10/17)
Joint call to halt ‘damaging’ rates for social rented sector. Around 12,000 young people could be facing a shortfall up to £8.6 million through UK Government plans to introduce Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to the social rented sector.

£1.5m for Community Choices Fund (SG 24/1017)
Communities from Arbroath to Ullapool will share £1.5 million to increase the numbers of people involved in making decisions about investment in their local areas.

Bute House repairs (SG 23/10/17)
Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, has temporarily closed to enable unscheduled essential repair work to take place. Recent routine monitoring revealed that urgent ceiling repairs and further inspection work are required to the A listed building.

Progress at Brexit meeting (SG 16/10/17)
A set of principles to guide negotiations around any potential UK or GB wide frameworks after Brexit has been agreed. But Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, Michael Russell made clear that the Scottish Government continues to be unable to recommend that the Scottish Parliament gives consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill unless significant changes are made.

News Releases

Landmark launch for online Scottish land information service (SHN 24/10/17)
A new resource has been launched which will allow citizens, communities, professionals and business to access comprehensive information about any piece of land or property in Scotland for the first time. Launched today by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Sheenagh Adams, ScotLIS, a lynchpin of Registers of Scotland’s (RoS) digital transformation, is an easy to use, map-based, online land information service.

New LSE analysis suggests Scotland would lose billions of pounds with Brexit (Herald Scotland 24/10/17)
London School of Economics analysis has warned Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow will be among the hardest hit cities in the UK after Brexit. Scotland would suffer a “devastating” Brexit bombshell with its towns and cities losing nearly £30 billion as a result of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, analysis suggests.

Scotland’s ‘heritage angels’ crowned (HES 17/10/17)
Heritage volunteers, professionals and organisations from across the country were honoured in the capital this evening (Monday 16 October), as the winners of the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2017 were revealed.

Revised Westminster boundary proposals criticised (Boundary Commission for Scotland 17/10/17)
The Boundary Commission for Scotland has published the revised proposals for UK Parliament constituencies that reflect responses to a consultation on the initial proposals published in October 2016. The 2018 Review of UK Parliament Constituencies will result in the total number of seats being reduced from 650 to 600, with the number of Scottish seats decreasing by six to 53.

Labour MSP launches fire safety Bill (Herald Scotland 15/10/17)
Scottish Labour MSP David Stewart has launched a new members’ bill on fire safety in social housing following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Parliamentary Committees engage in inter-parliamentary dialogue on Brexit at Westminster (SP 13/10/17)
Senior representatives of three Scottish Parliament Committees today participated in inter-parliamentary dialogue on Brexit related issues including the implications of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill upon the devolution settlements in the United Kingdom.

Proof that places shape who we are – and what that means for society today (NTS xx/10/17)
Scientific research carried out by the National Trust has found that natural and historic places have a powerful effect on all of us. In the ‘Places that Make us report’ the National Trust set out to understand the depth of people’s connection with place.

FutureTown Design Competition (STP xx/10/17)
STP invites you to take part in the third annual FutureTown Design Competition to gain media profile for your town and a keynote slot to present your idea at the annual Towns Tea Party! Shortlisted entries will also be displayed in a showcase exhibition at Scotland’s Towns Conference on 21 November. The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday 6 November.

Opinion & Comment

Cities & Towns: The 2017 General Election and the social divisions of Place (New Economics Foundation 17/10/17) 

Making Local Place Plans work (Kate Houghton, RTPI Scotland)

The planning system should be a tool to empower citizens in Scotland (Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland)

Case Study: Your Kirkwall (David McAllister, PAS)

The truth about “soft densification” (Dr Richard Dunning, Hannah Hickman and Professor John Henneberry, RTPI)

Parliamentary Questions

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Scottish Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.Questions in which a member has indicated a declarable interest are marked with an “R”.

Michelle Ballantyne S5W-12180
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that the Regulation of Energy Efficiency in Private Sector Homes (REEPS) will not disproportionately disadvantage rural homeowners. (SP 24/10/17)

Michelle Ballantyne S5W-12179
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce the cost of building houses in rural areas compared with urban areas. (SP 24/10/17)

Liam McArthur S5W-12065
To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made to make buildings more energy efficient since it was announced that this would be designated as a national infrastructure priority. (SP 20/10/17)

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Colin Beattie S5O-01362
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making toward reaching its target of building 50,000 affordable homes before the end of the parliamentary session.
Taken in the Chamber on 25/10/2017

John Mason S5O-01346
To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it is giving to how tenement housing can be better maintained.
Taken in the Chamber on 25/10/2017

Question S5W-11526: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 25/09/2017
To ask the Scottish Government how much each local authority spent on rural housing projects in 2016-17, also broken down by the (a) (i) name and (ii) postcode of each project, (b) grant-receiving organisation, and (c) number of (A) units and (B) bed spaces.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/10/2017)

Question S5W-11851: Patrick Harvie, Glasgow, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 05/10/2017
To ask the Scottish Government what the timescale is for the next revision of the National Planning Framework.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (11/10/2017)


Portfolio Question Time: Communities, Social Security and Equalities
Housing Maintenance (Tenements)

John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP): 
To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it is giving to how tenement housing can be better maintained. (S5O-01346)

The Minister for Local Government and Housing (Kevin Stewart): 
The maintenance of the common parts of tenements is principally the responsibility of the owners and is usually governed by rules and conditions that are set out in the title deeds for the flats within a block.

The Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 provides a structure, known as the tenement management scheme, for the maintenance and management of tenements. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 gave local authorities discretionary powers to require owners to carry out work on substandard houses and to provide assistance with repairs and improvements to private property. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 amended those powers to make them more effective and introduced new provisions to allow local authorities to pay missing shares for work that is agreed by a majority of owners in a tenement.

In the private rented sector, the new private residential tenancy, which comes into effect in December this year, will significantly improve tenant security and better enable tenants to exercise their right to report a breach of the repairing standard to the housing and property chamber of the first-tier tribunal.

Read full debate.


Motion S5M-08370: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2017
Tackling Short-term Lets in Scotland 
That the Parliament notes what it understands as the anxiety being expressed by communities over the rapid growth in entire homes being let for short-term occupancy across urban and rural Scotland and the view that this should not be at the expense of people in housing need nor compromise the peaceful enjoyment of people’s homes; believes that this issue is long-tanding in parts of the Highlands and the south-west and that this form of letting is now increasingly displacing residential communities in Edinburgh and across Lothian; notes reports of distress being felt by residents, particularly in communal property in the centre of the capital; acknowledges the recently-launched Homes First campaign, and notes the calls for all parties to urgently bring forward planning, fiscal or regulatory measures to enable local government to provide effective controls over the change of use of residential property to short-term let property.
Current Status: Eligible for Members’ Business, Pending Cross Party Support

Motion S5M-08354: Ben Macpherson, Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2017
Maintenance of Tenement Communal Property 
That the Parliament recognises that a significant proportion of people in Edinburgh and across Scotland live in tenement buildings; believes that the maintenance of communal property, otherwise known as the common parts or “Scheme Property” as defined in the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004, in tenements is essential to the upkeep of the buildings and the standard of living for owner occupiers and tenants; understands with concern that, in many cases, such Scheme Property is in a state of disrepair, degradation or deterioration; believes that current legislation is not consistently fulfilling its intention to encourage owners to establish effective arrangements for managing communal repairs and undertaking maintenance; acknowledges the various potential solutions put forward by groups and individuals in the housing sector to help address this issue, and notes the view that, for the wellbeing of owner occupiers and tenants and to sustain and enhance the country’s urban infrastructure and environments, the government should review the situation and consider any legislative changes, new initiatives, enhanced use of existing rules and/or further action by local authorities that could facilitate improved upkeep of Scheme Property.
Supported by: Stewart Stevenson, Joan McAlpine, Graham Simpson, Miles Briggs, John Mason, Graeme Dey, David Torrance, Ash Denham, Jenny Gilruth, Clare Haughey, Jeremy Balfour, Fulton MacGregor, Ivan McKee R
Current Status: Eligible for Members’ Business, Pending Cross Party Support


For the latest information about BEFS Members’ events see our events calendar.

Perth: Past, Present, Future
When: Thursday 26 October 2017, 7.00pm-9.00pm.
Where: Royal George Hotel, Tay Street, Perth.
Perth: the fair city in the heart of Scotland. Once a thriving hub of enterprise large and small, has Perth now lost its way? A key event to highlight the joint 50th anniversaries of the Scottish Civic Trust and Perth Civic Trust, this seminar considers Perth’s history and heyday, its current issues and challenges, and what can be done to encourage a more positive future, with a particular emphasis on retailing in the city centre. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions.

Icon Conference: Scotland Tour of Highlights
When: 27th October, from 9.00 – 16.30
Where: Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Due to popular demand, Icon Scotland Group will host a one-day event returning to some of the themes and presentations given in the Scotland and Care of Collections Group sessions at last year’s Icon conference in Birmingham. The day will comprise ten presentations from across the UK on a wide range of subjects and will allow plenty of time for networking. Refreshments and lunch are
provided. Tickets: £30 – £70.

British architects, landscape designers and gardeners in Russia
When: Monday 6th November 2017 at 6.30pm.
Where: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.
Dr Patricia Andrew is an art and garden historian with a career in galleries and museums, and has also served on the Committee of the Garden History Society in Scotland. She specialises in Scottish artists at home and abroad from the 18th Century to the present day. This is a joint lecture with Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage, focusing on the legacy of British (particularly Scottish) architects, garden designers and engineers in Russia.

Designing across the generations for age-friendly places
When: 8th November 2017 from 6pm – 8pm.
Where: A&DS, Bakehouse Close, 146 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DD.
Over a three-and-a-half-year period, the Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) research project has been bringing together early career designers and older participants to envision places, from homes to public spaces, which are inclusive, enabling and inspirational. The project’s findings have implications for the way we design for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities so that going outdoors in younger years becomes a lifelong passion for getting out and about. On Wednesday 8th November 2017, join A&DS and the MMP team for the launch of the project’s latest publication.

Community Heritage Conference 2017
When: Friday 10 November 2017 to Saturday 11 November 2017.
Where: Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow.
We are delighted to announce booking for Community Heritage Conference is now open. Over two days we have more than sixty presentations, debates and workshops lined up to celebrate and explore the dizzying range of heritage projects across Scotland, with guest contributions for other parts of the UK, from across Europe, and from the USA. As always we will have dozens of displays, as well as our One Minute Mayhem – an ‘open mic’ session giving anyone the opportunity to stand up and have their say for 60 seconds.  Tickets are priced at just £30 for the two days (including lunch). Please contact Cara Jones if you would like to book space for a display or would like to take the stage for the One Minute Mayhem.

‘From Banditry to Books, from Reiving to Screeving: The Borders Enlightenment’
When: November 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Where: National Museum Scotland Auditorium, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1J.
Lecture given by Professor Ted Cowan Hon FSA Scot, Emeritus Professor of Scottish History and Literature, University of Glasgow. This lecture seeks to explore and assess enlightenment influence upon the inhabitants of the Scottish Borders. It also asks whether it is possible that folk with surnames such as Hume and Scott, up to their necks in all kinds of violence, feuding, skullduggery and general mayhem, through to 1603 could, two or three generations later, transform or be transformed, into some of the most distinguished of recipients and exponents of enlightenment.

‘From Banditry to Books, from Reiving to Screeving: The Borders Enlightenment’
When: November 15 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
Where: Dumfries Museum, The Observatory, Rotchell Road, Dumfries, DG2 7SW.
Lecture given by Professor Ted Cowan Hon FSA Scot, Emeritus Professor of Scottish History and Literature, University of Glasgow. Please contact Dumfries Museum on 01387 253374 to reserve a free place at the lecture or via email (

‘There goes the neighbourhood’ –Academy of Urbanism Neighbourhood Summit 
When: November 22 @ 12:00 pm – November 23 @ 5:30 pm.
Where: West Park Conference Centre, 319 Perth Road, Dundee DD2 1NN.
As part of Scotland’s Towns Week, the Academy and its partners are holding a one-and-a-half-day event focusing on changing neighbourhoods, following the success of the 2016 event Streets Beyond – Beyond Streets. Drawing from national and international examples, the aim is to explore the physical, social and economic attributes that make for successful neighbourhoods. Using lessons from successful ‘established’ neighbourhoods, we aim to identify factors that can help regenerate existing neighbourhoods and making new neighbourhoods and estates more ‘liveable’.

SCT Conference 2017: 50 Years of Conservation Areas – Booking Now Open!
When: 27 November 2017
Where: Trades Hall, Glasgow.
As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations and recognising that the Civic Amenities Act was passed in 1967, the Scottish Civic Trust’s next annual conference, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and The Institute of Historic Building Conservation, will tackle the theme of “Fifty years of conservation areas” – what has been learned, what has been lost, and what are the threats and opportunities in the future.

Helen Shenton to give 2017 Plenderleith Lecture
When: 30th November, from 18.15 – 19.15.
Where: National Galleries of Scotland, The Mound, Edinburgh.
Icon Scotland Group is delighted to announce that this year’s Plenderleith Lecture will be given by Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist of Trinity College Dublin. The title of the 20th Annual Harold Plenderleith Memorial Lecture will be, “Conservation+, personal reflections on a journey from conservator to director”. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception. The event will as usual be preceded by Icon Scotland Group’s AGM (to which all Group members are invited) from 17.00 -18.00. We are also pleased to announce that a CPD visit to the National Museums Conservation Collections Centre in Granton will run in the afternoon of the same day from 14.30 to 16.30, and is bookable separately through Eventbrite.

Glasgow’s Britannia Panopticon & West Boathouse
When: Saturday, 2nd December 2017, 10:30-12:30
Where: McLennan Arch, Saltmarket entrance to Glasgow Green, Glasgow G1 5JZ.
SPAB Scotland is organising a visit of the spectacular Britannia Panopticon Music Hall and the ‘cute’ West Boathouse, before heading to Glasgow’s Christmas Market. Built in 1857, the Britannia Panopticon, on Trongate, “is an exceptionally rare survival of a music hall and the earliest and sole surviving example of its type in Scotland” –possibly even the earliest in Britain– as the listing description for this heritage designated building (Category A) notes. The West Boathouse, in Glasgow Green, dates from 1905 and is now Category B listed. The boathouse is a “by far the largest” of this “rare building type in Scotland”. For both buildings, conservation works are under preparation, and we will learn more from the professionals involved about their challenges and concepts when planning the works. After the building visits, we will head to the Christmas Market to celebrate (a day early) the start of the Advent season.


IHBC’s Course Connection Day 2017: Free support & networking for conservation-curious Students 
When: 23 Nov – Ask Carla ASAP!
Where: Birmingham.
The IHBC’s celebrated ‘Course Connection Day’ takes a new twist in 2017 as students on any UK specialist course can apply to join the IHBC for a free, expenses-paid introductory day of conservation and career support, with limited places allocated on application to IHBC Support Officer and lead for the Day, Carla Pianese. Contact the lead for the day, IHBC’s Support Officer Carla Pianese.

Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage – Fundraising: Make it Happen (St Andrews)
When: Thursday 2nd November, 9:15am – 4:30pm.
Where: Learning Loft, Museum of the University of St Andrews.
Cost: £25/£50 + VAT.
This one-day training event explores funding opportunities for heritage groups and organisations with a focus on private sources (charitable trusts, businesses and individuals). The event includes an overview of the fundraising process; the seven steps of fundraising, and an in-depth look at how to develop an effective case for support for your organisation or project. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss ideas and share stories at the training.  All refreshments and lunch are provided and travel bursaries are also available.


Project Manager (Edinburgh World Heritage)
We are looking to appoint a Project Manager to lead and manage the conservation and adaptation of the Canongate Housing development. The main purpose of the position will be to lead and manage EWH’s programme of conservation and adaptation of the Canongate Housing development in order to deliver a collaborative and successful project.
To apply for this role, please send us your CV, together with a completed application from and covering letter in support of your application by 5PM, Friday 27th October 2017.

Engagement and Monitoring Officer (Edinburgh World Heritage)
We are looking to appoint an Engagement and Monitoring Officer to engage with the residents of the Canongate Housing development.The main purpose of the position will be to engage with the residents of the Canongate Housing development in order to deliver a collaborative and successful project.
To apply for this role, please send us your CV, together with a completed application from and covering letter in support of your application by 5PM, Friday 3rd November 2017.

London Based Team Coordinator And Administrator (AHF)
We are currently seeking to appoint a full-time Team Coordinator and Administrator to help ensure the smooth running of the organisation, to help it communicate the impact of its work and to provide support to the AHF’s Investment, Finance and Operations teams and the Chief Executive.
Closing Date: 9am on 20th November, 2017.


Information in the Bulletin is extracted from a number of websites including the Scottish Government (SG); the Scottish Parliament (SP); Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS); Historic Environment Scotland (HES); Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); English Heritage (EH); Design Council (DC); Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG); Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); National Assembly for Wales (NAW); Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS); Scottish Government Building Standards  (SGBS); Europa Nostra (EN); Historic England (HE).

If you have any questions or comments on the above, or would like to submit information to be included, please get in touch with Saskia Smellie or tel: BEFS Office on 0131 220 6241.