BEFS Bulletin – Working Group for Tenement Maintenance Report

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


The Scottish Parliamentary cross-party Working Group for Tenement Maintenance, of which BEFS and RICS are the secretariat, has published its report of recommendations. The report calls for regular building inspections, the establishment of compulsory owners’ associations and Building Reserve Funds to be written into legislation to protect the future of Scotland’s tenement buildings. More information and the full report can be found here.

We are looking for case studies of projects or initiatives undertaken between April 2018 and March 2019. Your project could feature in our Historic Environment Case Studies database and be linked to the Our Place in Time (OPiT) performance report 2019. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your work within the national strategy for the historic environment, contributing to the case for continued government support for the sector. Further information on what we are looking for and how to submit your project here.

The Engine Shed is Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre. Part of Historic Environment Scotland, it serves as a central hub for building and conservation professionals and the general public. Complete this short survey to inform an evaluation of the delivery of activities to date and to share your views on priorities for the future.

The Scottish Government have published a version of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 showing how it would look if the amendments to the Planning (Scotland) Bill were accepted. It is also now confirmed that stage 3 debates on the Bill will take place in the Scottish Parliament on 18, 19 and 20 June 2019. BEFS Policy Lead provides a brief and concise overview of Stage 3 amendments.

Young Placechangers – last chance to get your Idea funded! The final deadline for the Young Ideas Fund is 21st June. Groups can apply for up to £3000 to involve their local community to develop their idea and deliver changes on the ground. So, if you are between 12-25 years old or support/work with young people and you have an idea to how to change your local place for the better, now is the time to put pen to paper.

The 2019 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration, in partnership with the Scottish Government, are now open for applications. The SURF Awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious in the field of Scottish community regeneration. This year, there are five categories of entry: Scotland’s Most Improved Place; Housing and Regeneration; Creative Regeneration; Supporting Youth Employability and Community Led Regeneration.

The Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum will be delivering a traditional building skills demonstration during this year’s Royal Highland Show at the end of the month.

The Architecture Fringe 2019 is now in full swing. Check out their fantastic programme of events.


A consultation on proposals to designate four Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters
Opened 7 Jun 2019 and closes 30 Aug 2019.

Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system
Opened 6 June. Closes 31 July 2019.

Energy Efficient Scotland: Consultation
Closes 17 Jun 2019.

The future of low carbon heat for off gas buildings: a call for evidence
Closes 17 Jun 2019.

Climate Change and Environmental Action Plan 2019-24
This HES consultation will close at 12pm on Wednesday 19 June.

Forestry and Land Scotland Corporate Plan – Consultation
Closes 5 Jul 2019.

Consultation on adding new categories to the definition of a House in Multiple Occupation
Closes 8 Jul 2019.

Strengthening Fire Safety for High Rise Domestic Buildings
Closes 17 Jul 2019.

Short-Term Lets: Consultation
Closes 19 Jul 2019.

A Scottish Government consultation on Implementation of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018
Closes 4 Aug 2019.

Proposed Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill
Consultation closes on 6 August 2019.


Heritage and Immigration Brexit Briefing Update (THA 06/06/19)

Archaeology and Immigration – Position Statement Briefing (CIfA 05/19)

High Streets in Great Britain (Office for National Stats 06/06/19)

Defining and measuring housing affordability – an alternative approach (Affordable Housing Commission 06/06/19)

OS data supports Britain’s high streets – Interactive Map (OS 06/06/19)

Planning Bill stage 3: proposed amendments (SG 31/05/19)

Scottish climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2019 (SG 31/05/19)

Brexit Update – Breifing (SPICe 30/05/19)

Empty Housing (England) – Briefing (HoC 29/05/19)

Adapting European Cities to Population Ageing: Policy challenges and best practices (EPSON 04/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

New Bill to lift households out of fuel poverty (SG 11/06/19)
The Fuel Poverty Bill enshrines in law the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty and transform homes to be warmer and more energy-efficient.

Number of new build homes completed tops 20,000 for the first time in a decade (SG 11/06/19)
There were 20,255 new build homes completed across all sectors over the year ending December 2018, an increase of 15% on the previous year, and the highest number of annual completions since 2008.

More affordable homes completed (SG 11/06/19)
The Scottish Government is on track to hit its ambitious target of 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

Rural skills plan (SG 10/06/19)
A new strategic approach to support the skills needs of rural Scotland has been launched.

Rural tourism investment (SG 06/06/19)
Projects to benefit from a share of nearly £2.9 million. Some of Scotland’s most iconic, rural and island tourist sites will receive funding for new facilities to further enhance the experience of visitors.

News Releases

Saltire Society Housing Design Awards 2019 (SSS 11/06/19)
The Saltire Society Housing Design Awards have celebrated good housing made for the people of Scotland for over 80 years and we are pleased to announce the 2019 shortlist.

New partnership for Orkney’s World Heritage Site (HES 11/06/19)
An ambitious new partnership to shape the future direction for Orkney’s World Heritage Site has been unveiled today.

Planning system widening North-South wealth divide (Centre for Cities 11/06/19)
The restrictive planning system has made urban homeowners in the Greater South East more than £80,000 richer over the past six years than those elsewhere in England and Wales, Centre for Cities has found.

Celebrate landscapes greatest legacies at this year’s Landscape Institute Awards (LI 11/06/19)
2019 is the Landscape Institute’s 90th anniversary. Up from one open category last year, we now have three that are open to everyone – including the Landscape Legacy Award. There are also opportunities for leaders in the sector to join our judging panel.

Government plans new regulator for building safety (SCN 07/06/19)
The UK Government has proposed the creation of a new national regulator for building safety as part of a series of reforms in response to the Hackitt report.

Building excellence celebrated at FMB Scotland Awards (SCN 07/06/19)
High-quality building work, fantastic craftsmanship, exceptional customer service and building excellence were recognised last night the Federation of Master Builders’ Scotland Awards.

High streets in Great Britain – ONS & OS releases data analysis & interactive maps (ONS 06/06/19)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Ordnance Survey (OS) have collaborated to identify high streets in Great Britain, what types of properties and businesses are on high streets as well as how the number of businesses and employment have changed in recent years.

Architecture on Shortage Occupation List (RIBA 06/05/19)
RIBA responds to MAC’s recommendation to add architecture to Shortage Occupation List (RIBA 06/05/

Clearer plans needed on climate change (SP 05/06/19)
Clearer plans are needed on how climate change will be addressed according to a new report issued today by Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

100 miles of new paths celebrated across Scotland (SNH 05/06/19)
More than 100 miles of new and improved paths will be created across Scotland as part of a scheme to boost outdoor access.

My Place Mentoring (SCT 03/06/19)
We are delighted to be able to offer community groups across Scotland the opportunity to build their skills and capacity through our free mentoring programme.

RIAS Award Winners 2019 (RIAS 29/05/19)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) announced 10 winners for its 2019 Awards, representing the very best of current Scottish architecture.

Opinion & Comment

How we can make tourism work in Scotland (Herald 09/06/19)

Coming Soon…….more of the same? (Duncan Smith 07/06/19)

The role of heritage in uncertain times (NLHF 07/06/19)

SPAB Scotland working party (Lucy Stewart SPAB 29/05/19)

What on earth do the arts and culture have to do with climate change? (Claire Buckley, URBACT 25/04/19)

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”.

Question S5W-23544: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 30/05/2019
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of it declaring a climate emergency and committing to review all its policies, how long it expects this assessment to take and for action to be taken to ensure that coastal communities in the Western Isles are adequately protected.

Other Parliamentary Activity

The Parliament has agreed the following parliamentary recess dates in 2019:

  • 30 June to 1 September 2019 (inclusive)
  • 12 to 27 October 2019 (inclusive)
  • 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020 (inclusive)


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

Gosford House Tour & Picnic
Date & time: 11am Saturday 15th June
Venue: Gosford House, Longniddry, East Lothian
Gosford House is an imposing neo-classical mansion which was one of the last great architectural commissions of the celebrated Scots architect, Robert Adam. Constructed for the seventh Earl of Wemyss, the building was completed in 1800 – eight years after the architect’s death – and is recognised as an outstanding example of the later period of his work. This private tour will be given by Lord Wemyss, and is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from the owner about this splendid building.

Johnstone School Kirkcudbright
Date & time: 18 June, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 at 12:00PM – 2:00PM.
Venue: Cairndale Hotel, English Street, Dumfries DG1 2PF.
Don’t miss this fascinating presentation from Andrew Ward telling us about the Kirkcudbright Development Trust’s journey to secure ownership of Johnston School in Kirkcudbright and the plans for its future including developing it into a dark skies visitor centre and how Creetown Initiative took ownership of the Barholm Arms in Creetown and what they have done with it

Historic Environment Scotland kick off European Space Agency project
Date & time: Fri, 28 June 2019, 09:30 – 13:30.
Venue: The Engine Shed, Stirling.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) kick off ESA Business Applications project to address challenges faced in managing / maintaining assets affected by coastal erosion, ground movement and climate change. Speakers will cover the challenges faced in managing and maintaining historically important assets and how they presently manage the situation. This will include an overview of technologies that are currently being used and how satellite capability may assist. An overview of the Engine Shed and importance of educational / school curriculum / showcase aspects will also be provided. The workshop will also provide an overview of the satellite and space market and why it is important to the Scottish and UK economy. Speakers from representatives of the Scottish Government and Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA), The Bayes Centre, University of Edinburgh and the European Space Agency will provide an update on what is going on in this important sector.

Walter Scott’s Romantic Landscape : Abbotsford Gardens Study Day
Date & time: 27 July 2019, 11am – 4pm
Cost: £20.00 SGLH Members, £30 Non-members
Since 2014 Gardens Heritage Development Manager Pippa Coles has been overseeing the rehabilitation of the gardens and policies at Abbotsford.  With Pippa as our guide for the day, we shall begin with a brief introduction, followed by an examination of the formal gardens and terraces surrounding the house.  After lunch in the Ochiltrees Café, we shall explore the wider landscape created by Walter Scott as the setting for his romantic creation.  This will be an opportunity to see work in progress, and to discuss the challenges of managing this iconic landscape. For further information or to book, please contact


Scotland Branch: Contemporary Design in Historic Places – case studies in Dunfermline
Date & time: 19 June – 10:00 – 16:00.
Venue: Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, Abbot Street, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 7NL.
IHBC Scotland Branch 2019 CPD Training, jointly with Fife Council, takes the theme of contemporary design in historic places. Case studies in Dunfermline will stimulate discussion on issues that IHBC members regularly face in the adaptation of old buildings into new uses; the contemporary alteration or extension of a historic building.

An introduction to dendrochronology in Scottish archaeology, buildings and landscapes
Date: 20 June
Location: Dalkeith
The day will introduce you to the principles and techniques involved in using dendrochronology to date and investigate archaeological sites and historic buildings, using mainly Scottish examples. This will help participants recognise when dendrochronology could be applicable in their projects.
A presentation and practical session in the morning will be followed by a related site visit in the afternoon. This workshop will suit professional archaeologists, students of archaeology and interested individuals from other walks of life.


City Mills Development Officer
Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust are seeking an enthusiastic and driven historic buildings conservation professional to join their team.
Closing date: 5pm on Thursday 13 June 2019.

Professional Development (PD) Officer
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is seeking a Professional Development (PD) Officer to operate across all their UK-based branches.
Closing Date: Monday 8 July 2019.