BEFS Bulletin – Land Planning & Maintenance

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Events, Vacancies, Consultations And Publications In Our News Bulletin.


The Local Government and Communities Committee has published its report on the Planning (Scotland) Bill. The Committee calls for the Bill to expressly set out a purpose of planning, reflecting an ambition to create “high quality places”. BEFS welcomes the report and looks at the recommendations in relation to BEFS written and oral evidence. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Stage 1 debate on the Planning (Scotland) Bill will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 29 May.

The issue of tenement maintenance was progressed in a remarkably consensual Scottish Parliament debate yesterday, with agreement on a motion on the inadequacy of existing legislation in dealing with the condition of Scotland’s tenement housing stock. The motion gives further support to the cross party working group, chaired by Ben Macpherson MSP and secretariat provided by BEFS and the RICS (more information here), and it’s good to see the Minister for Local Government and Housing voting in favour of a review of the relevant legislation. The issue of tenement maintenance was recently presented at a meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs who also advised not to shy away from looking at amending legislation. The parliamentary working group meets again next week to look at resourcing for local authorities to utilise powers, standard entity for owners to organise works and building inspections and BEFS hopes to make papers arising available shortly. Full transcript of yesterday’s parliamentary debate is available here, or you can watch it on Parliament TV here.

Can you spare 10 minutes to contribute to new research for the heritage sector? The State of Heritage Funding Now.

The Scottish Land Commission has published a new report and briefing paper on using land value increases to deliver new housing and development. Written by a team from Heriot-Watt University, the report reviews the UK’s historic experience of land value capture and identifies what lessons current policy makers could take from this experience.

Ahead of BEFS event, Land Value Capture – An Exploration of Methods & Views, BEFS Trustee, Bill Pagan summarises his vision of capturing land value for public benefit, in this week’s blog.


Consultation on proposals for reviewing the current landlord registration fee structure and expanding the range of prescribed information applicants must provide to local authorities
Closes 7 Jun 2018.

Call for Evidence on Experience of Concentrated Land Ownership (SLC 15/18)
Scotland has an unusually concentrated pattern of land ownership compared to other countries and the pattern has remained largely unchanged for decades. Concern about the effects that this has on rural communities and the wider public interest has long been a central issue in the land reform debate in Scotland. The call for evidence will be open until 30 June 2018.

Environmental Principles and Governance after EU Exit (BG 10/05/18)
Opened 10 May 2018 and closes 2 Aug 2018.

Consultation Responses

National Lottery Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024 – Consultation Findings (HLF 21/05/18)

Improving Parking in Scotland: Consultation Analysis Report (Transport Scotland 21/05/18)

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax: First-Time Buyer Relief Consultation Analysis and Scottish Government Response (SG 18/05/18)


Report points way to using land value increases to deliver new housing and development (SLC 23/05/18)

Stage 1 Report on the Planning (Scotland) Bill (LGCC 17/05/18)

Report on the Consultation on the Scottish Government’s Draft National Outcomes (LGCC 15/05/18)

Annual Report on Welfare Reform Follow up Paper: Housing and Social Security (SG 14/05/18)

Housing and disabled people: Scotland’s hidden crisis (Equality and Human Rights Commission 11/05/18)

Affordable Housing Supply Funding – SPICe Briefing (SP 11/05/18)

Scottish Government News Releases

Household numbers continue to rise (SG 22/05/18)
The number of households in Scotland has continued to increase to 2.46 million in 2017, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Promoting Scotland’s cultural heritage (SG 12/05/18)
The Scottish Government has invited Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to apply for European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) to establish a multi-million pound Challenge Fund to protect and promote the Highlands & Islands natural and cultural heritage assets.

Energy efficiency in social housing (SG 10/05/18)
Social housing landlords will be able to make their properties more energy efficient, with money from a £3.5 million decarbonisation fund. Local authorities and housing associations will be able to use the fund on projects that improve energy efficiency and decarbonise heating, for example when installing solar panels or air source heat pumps.

News Releases

RIAS Response to Hackitt Review (RIAS 22/05/18)
The Hackitt review proposes a new regulatory standard for high rise high risk residential buildings of 10 storeys plus.

£8.6 million for heritage led projects in Scotland’s seven cities (HES 19/05/18)
Scotland’s seven cities are set to benefit from over £8.6 million of investment for heritage-led regeneration projects. The funding is being released through the City Heritage Trust programme, which is administered by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

CIfA and DGUF to sign memorandum of understanding (CifA 17/05/18)
On 12 May, CIfA’s Board of Directors and the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte e.V (DGUF) signalled their intention to formally sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) designed to permanently regulate the cooperation between the two associations. The MoU recognises that both organisations have a commitment to the promotion of archaeology, care for our cultural heritage and good practice in archaeology.

LIS Launches the Mark Turnbull Travel Award  (LIS 14/05/18)
Using overseas travel to gain an insight into best and innovative landscape practice to address some of the current landscape challenges facing Scotland. This award will benefit future generations of graduate landscape architects in Scotland as well as the practice of landscape architecture by bringing overseas experience and knowledge back to the country.

EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2018: 29 winners from 17 countries announced (EN 15/05/18)
The winners of the 2018 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s top honour in the field, were announced today by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network. The 29 laureates from 17 countries have been recognised for their impressive accomplishments in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising.

2018 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards – Public Choice Award (EN 15/05/18)
You should vote for 3 projects. You cannot vote for the same country more than once. You need to confirm your vote by clicking on the e-mail that you will receive. The winner will be announced at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony on 22 June 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Deadline for voting is 10 June 2018.

Edinburgh Doors Open Day (CA 05/18)
Be part of Edinburgh’s biggest free celebration of architecture, culture and history. The Cockburn Association is currently seeking expressions of interest for new venues and events for Doors Open Days 2018.  Find out more and get involved!

Braw Buildings (Hostelling Scotland 05/18)
Hostelling Scotland have partnered with Scottish Civic Trust’s Doors Open Days and ScotRail on an exciting new project for the Year of Young People 2018. The Braw Buildings Project offers young people in Scotland the chance to stay in one of 6 Youth Hostels across Scotland and take part in Doors Open Days.

Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) –  now open for applications (SG 14/05/18)
The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, delivered in partnership with COSLA and local government, supports locally developed regeneration projects that involve local communities, helping to support and create jobs and build sustainable communities.

Energy efficient buildings: Council adopts revised directive (European Council 14/05/18)
The Council today adopted a revised directive on the energy performance of buildings, so completing the final stage in the legislative procedure. The directive improves energy efficiency in buildings and encourages building renovation. Decarbonising the existing, highly inefficient European building stock is one of its long term goals.

New environment law to deliver a Green Brexit (BG 10/05/18)
Environmental Principles and Governance Bill announced as consultation launches on new body to hold government to account. A new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will ensure environmental protections will not be weakened as we leave the EU, the government has confirmed.

Opinion & Comment

Back to the Land? (Mark Stephens, Heriot-Watt University for SLC 23/05/18)

Three Thatched Buildings You Need To Know (Rosanne Watts, HES 18/05/18)

RTPI Scotland: Planning Bill must make clear planning will defend public interest (RTPI 17/05/18)

Devolved Taxes: the case of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) group relief and share pledges (SPICe 18/05/18)

Plaque attack! (Kenny Brophy, 15/05/18)

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”.

Graham Simpson S5W-16603
To ask the Scottish Government whether it still plans to introduce a Warm Homes Bill. (SP 11/05/18)

Elaine Smith S5W-16753
To ask the Scottish Government how many of its proposed 50,000 affordable homes will be accessible to disabled people. (SP 17/05/18)

Elaine Smith S5W-16754
To ask the Scottish Government how many affordable homes there have been in each local authority area in each year since 2016. (SP 17/05/18)

Elaine Smith S5W-16755
To ask the Scottish Government how many affordable homes in each local authority area have been (a) built and (b) demolished in each year since 2016. (SP 17/05/18)

Elaine Smith S5W-16769
To ask the Scottish Government how it encourages the private sector to modify homes in line with the needs of disabled tenants. (SP 17/05/18)

Elaine Smith S5W-16770
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to meet the demand for accessible housing for disabled people. (SP 17/05/18)


Motion debated on 23/05/18
Graham Simpson: Housing—That the Parliament believes that existing legislation is inadequate in dealing with the condition of Scotland’s tenement housing stock; backs calls for changes to legislation including, for example, having mandatory building health checks; believes that property factors can play a part in a new system; considers that there are property factor companies that perform their duties well, but that there are some that are performing poorly; acknowledges the limited role of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) in improving the performance of property factors and considers that the system for members of the public to make complaints should be improved; believes that there is a need for a more robust process to remove property factors that repeatedly break the property factors code of conduct or duties, and calls on the Scottish Government to review the current system.

  • The SNP amendment agreed there should be a review of existing regulation relating to the maintenance of tenements, which would cover mandatory health checks and property factors.
  • Labour’s amendment called for a “new system” and a review of the “gaps” in housing legislation, as well as suggesting more robust regulation for factors.
  • The Green and Liberal Democrat amendments were not selected for debate.

Read the full transcript.


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

RSA Scotland: MCICH Network – Politics of Cultural Memory in the Nations of Europe
Date: Mon 18 June 2018, from 17:45 – 19:30.
Venue: Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh EH2 2EL.
RSA Fellows and guests, IIC Members and NGS Patrons, Friends and Supporters are warmly invited to attend this lecture, the second in an RSA Fellows’ Media, Creative Industries, Culture & Heritage Network (MCICH) Series to mark 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. The MCICH Network extends its thanks to the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, National Galleries of Scotland RSA Scotland for support of this event. Early booking is advised. Dr. Emil Brix, born in Vienna, is a diplomat and historian. He is the Director of the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. He has served in the Austrian diplomatic service.

Causy Development Trust Annual General Meeting 2018
Date: Tuesday, 19 June, from 7pm.
Venue: Buccleuch & Greyfriars Free Church, 10 West Crosscauseway, EH8 9JP
Causey Development Trust AGM 2018 is on Tuesday 19th June at 7pm. The guest speaker will be Daisy Narayanan, Project Director, Central Edinburgh transformation, CEC, Deputy Director, Sustrans Scotland. All welcome!

RTPI Sir Patrick Geddes Commemorative Lecture: Tessy Britton – The Participatory City (NOT SOLD OUT as website suggests)
Date: 26 June from 6pm.
Venue: Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.
Tessy Britton, Founding CEO of The Participatory City, will give this year’s Geddes Lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. The Participatory City Foundation is an organisation established to create a large citizen-led participation ecosystem in Barking and Dagenham. Book here.


From Quarry to Quoin: A Conservation Guide to Stonework
Date: 19 June 2018, 9am-1pm.
Venue: Walpole Hall, Chester Street, Edinburgh EH3 7EN.
£50/£40 EWH members
Join us for the next instalment of our training series: a comprehensive training session where we will explore all aspects of stonework from the quarry to the workshop and beyond.
Topics covered:

  • Quarries
  • Geology of the World Heritage Site
  • Stone matching, workability and maintenance
  • Health and safety
  • Practical demonstrations

Speakers include:

  • Marcus Paine, Hutton Stone
  • Katie Strang, Scottish Lime Centre
  • Luis Albornoz, British Geological Survey
  • Christa Gerdwilker, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Maggie Tennant, St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop
  • Jordan Kirk, St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop

The RIAS is happy to recommend this event to its members, and it is recognised by the IHBC for CPD.


Volunteer with us! Architecture Fringe
With the Architecture Fringe 2018 programme released into the world we are now seeking some assistance in helping us to successfully deliver this year’s festival. We are a volunteer-run organisation and we are looking for like-minded people to enter into the spirit of contributing a small amount of their time in helping us to enact positive change on Scotland’s built environment.
Should this be of interest please drop us a line at noting ‘Volunteer Help’ in the subject heading by 12 noon on Monday 28th May 2018.

Programme Manager
This is an exciting opportunity to lead the delivery of the North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, following a successful funding application. The North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme will raise awareness of and conserve and enhance the distinct identities of Orkney’s North Isles through the delivery of a number of projects. In the latest Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey, Orkney retained the title of Britain’s best rural place to live. The aspiration is to improve the condition of heritage assets, make heritage more accessible, encouraging the involvement of young people and the sharing of heritage between generations. Closing date: Sunday 03 June 2018.


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.