BEFS Bulletin – A final news packed bulletin before the minced pies get us!

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


The Scottish Government has published the Draft Budget for 2019-20. Historic Environment Scotland’s grant will be reduced by 3.2% but this is anticipated to be balanced by a 4.6% increase in income. A Town Centre Fund of £50m is being created to “invest in inclusive growth which supports town centres to become more diverse and sustainable”, delivered through local authorities. Planning Development will receive an increase of 26% in support of planning reform but this increase includes resource previously allocated to administration. Architecture and Design Scotland’s budget remains static as does Planning and Environmental Appeals and Scottish Natural Heritage. Creative Scotland’s budget is reduced by 6%. The Scottish Parliament will likely vote on the budget in February. Full details.

The Scottish Government has published the results from the latest housing conditions survey. Key findings include that 50% of all of Scotland’s homes have disrepair to critical elements (which refers to weather tightness and structural stability). 68% of all of Scotland’s traditionally built homes (pre-1919) have disrepair to critical elements, compared with 67% in 2016. 40.3% of all dwellings failed to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, compared with 44.7% in 2016.

The Scottish Government is encouraging all stakeholders to respond to the Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence on the Shortage Occupation List.

Historic Environment Scotland are asking for your views on the content and functionality of two Managing Change in the Historic Environment Guidance Notes: the Demolition and the Use and Adaptation of Listed Buildings.

BEFS recent Historic Environment Working Group (HEWG) focused on a workshop gathering responses to the HES Historic Environment Policy Consultation (which closed at the start of December). The responses from this well attended workshop were synthesised into a formal consultation response, which  can be found here.

Graham Simpson MSP has kindly sponsored the Tenement Maintenance Parliamentary Reception taking place on Wednesday 16 January 2019. Further details on how to book on can be found here.

Rebecca Tenant, Chair Landscape Institute Scotland, calls for a united approach to landscape, place & change to ensure that Scotland’s landscapes are embedded in our communities, in our first blog this week.

Ewan Allinson reflects on asymmetries of power and tensions between conservation and community interests, following BEFS Community Empowerment and Landscape event, in our second blog.

In our final guest blog following this event, Andrew Ormston, Director and Lead Consultant at Drew Wylie Projects, discusses the cultural value of land.

Katherine Pollard, Policy Officer, Scottish Land Commission, explores the potential of Compulsory Sale Orders to be a powerful instrument to help tackle the blight of vacant and derelict sites in Scotland, in our fourth blog this week.

At our AGM earlier this month, BEFS wished Graeme Purves a fond farewell following four years as BEFS Chair. We would like to thank him for his enthusiasm, expertise and support of the team.

We would also like to welcome our new Chair, Iain McDowall, who chaired his first BEFS Board meeting last week. Iain has a wealth of experience in the built environment as a Chartered Surveyor as well as in governance. Further details and a short bio can be found here. We welcome him to the team and look forward to working together.

We also welcome our newest Board member, Sarah Kettles.

Finally, team BEFS would like to wish you a very merry festive season and a fantastic start to 2019!


The Demolition and The Use and Adaptation of Listed Buildings (HES)
This consultation will close at 6pm on Friday 15 February 2019.

Commonhold Consultation (Law Commission 10/12/18)
Opened 10 December 2018 and closes on 10 March 2019.

Construction and Scotland’s Economy – Call for Views (SP 06/12/18)
The closing date for receipt of submissions is Wednesday 13 February 2019.


A Connected Scotland: Our strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections (SG 18/12/18)

Energy Performance Certificates: An Alternative Approach (Common Weal 17/12/18)

FixMyStreet! The geography of citizen reporting on neighbourhood issues in the UK report (Research my society 11/12/18) 

Investigation of Potential Land Value Tax Policy – Options for Scotland (SLC 10/12/18)

Land Focus: Land Value Tax Briefing Paper (SLC 10/12/18)

Heritage Lottery Fund Policy Directions (DCMS 07/12/18)

Pro-Poor or Pro-Rich? The social impact of local government budgets, 2016-17 to 2018-19 (SPICe 07/12/18)

Housing Conditions Survey 2017 (SG 04/12/18)

House of the rising son (or daughter) – Housing, Wealth and Debt (Resolution Foundation 04/12/18)

The case for reforming private renting: Interim report (IPPR 04/12/18)

Local authority land acquisition in Germany and the Netherlands: are there lessons for Scotland? (SLC 03/12/18)

Building for the Baby Boomers (Policy Exchange 03/12/18) 

Brexit and the UK’s environmental ambitions (IPPR 30/11/18)

Increasing the Supply of Social Housing: What are the current options? (Class 26/11/18)

Housing supply requirements across Great Britain: for low-income households and homeless people (Crisis UK 11/18)

Scottish Government News Releases

Tackling social isolation and loneliness (SG 18/12/18)
Scotland has become one of the first countries in the world to develop a national strategy to deal with the serious problem of social isolation.

£2m to assist Glasgow’s fire recovery (SG 14/12/18)
Around £1.85 million of the Scottish Government’s Fire Recovery Fund is to be used by Glasgow City Council to provide business rates relief and support business recovery.

Statistical News Release – Life Expectancy (SG 12/12/18)
Statistics published today by the National Records of Scotland indicate that life expectancy for those born in 2015-2017 varies between Scotland’s council areas by up to 7.2 years for males and 5.0 years for females.

More affordable homes (SG 11/12/18)
Latest figures show a 21 percent rise in the number of affordable homes delivered in Scotland during the last year.

4% increase in number of new build homes completed (SG 11/12/18)
There were 18,182 new build homes completed across all sectors over the year ending June 2018, an increase of 4%, or 695 homes, on the previous year.

Scotland signs up to forestry pledge (SG 11/12/18)
A global ambition to restore landscapes and forests has been supported by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Building Scotland Fund (SG 10/12/18)
Industrial and commercial developments around the country will be given support, under the first release of funding from the £150 million Building Scotland Fund. The Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) has received £25 million to help fund a wide range of commercial and industrial projects.

Building and fire safety (SG 06/12/18)
Sound alerts for evacuation in high rise buildings and extending the mandatory installation of sprinklers in new flats, will be introduced in legislation next year.

News Releases

RIAS / RIBA Awards for Scotland 2019 (RIAS 12/18)
Open for Entries – The RIAS / RIBA Awards for Scotland 2019, celebrating the best in Scottish architecture! The deadline for entries is 21st February 2019. An early bird discount of 10% is available until 7th February 2019.

IHBC Marsh Award for Successful Learning in Heritage Skills 9IHBC 12/18)
IHBC Marsh Award for Successful Learning in Heritage Skills is designed to recognise the contribution of an individual for their significant learning in traditional building activities and craft skills, related to the appropriate care, maintenance or improvement of buildings and their context. Anyone can make a nomination by filling a short form online. Deadline 28 February 2019.

COSLA claims Scottish Budget will lead to cuts (COSLA 13/12/18)
COSLA has said the “Budget Reality” is that it will lead to a £237m cut to local authority funding, in contradiction to the Cabinet Secretary’s claims that it supports local government.

New ‘exceptional talent’ visa for architects (RIBA 11/12/18)
Today (11 December 2018) RIBA and the Home Office announced that from 10 January 2019, the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise) visa will be available to applicants from architecture, with RIBA playing a role in assessing applications made under the scheme.

Report examines merits of land value tax in Scotland (SLC 07/12/18)
A new report looking at land value tax, published today, Monday 10th December, suggests that land value taxation could help deliver Scotland’s land reform objectives and raise revenue in a more progressive way.

Winners Announced: The 2018 ‘20th Anniversary’ SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration (SURF 07/12/18)
Representatives of the five category winning initiatives for 2018 were personally congratulated on their inspiring work by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Communities, Aileen Campbell MSP.

Quitting UNESCO would be an act of cultural vandalism (Holyrood Magazine 05/12/18)
Hidden amid all the Brexit hysteria, movements within the UK Government to withdraw the UK from UNESCO should give cause for alarm.

Archaeology Scotland helps teachers to bring Scotland’s history to the classroom (CiFA 05/12/18)
Archaeology Scotland, along with the major Scottish heritage organisations including Historic Environment Scotland, Dig it! Surgeons’ Hall Museums, and National Museums Scotland, have put forward their best resources on Scotland’s past, which will now be accessible in one place – Heritage Resources Portal:

New planning bill duties could see Scottish system grind to a halt, planners warn (RTPI Scotland 05/12/18)
The latest draft of the Planning (Scotland) Bill will place up to 88 new duties and responsibilities on planners without the resources required to undertake them, according to figures published today from the Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland (RTPI Scotland).

AJ Architecture Awards 2018: Architect of the Year (AJ 04/12/18)
Congratulations to Collective Architecture. The Glasgow and Edinburgh-based architects really couldn’t be better named. Not only does the 42-strong firm itself operate as a collective – a limited company owned by an employee-owned trust – but the firm has steadily established a reputation for forging high-quality and socially conscious architecture from its close collaboration with clients in Scotland and beyond.

Land value capture to have a proactive role in place making (04/12/18)
Ways in which Scotland can successfully harness land value capture to create places where people want to live are being explored by the Scottish Land Commission.

Calls for meaningful action on land value capture (HCLG 29/11/18)
The Housing, Communities & Local Government Committee has called for “meaningful action” on implementing measures on land value capture.

Opinion & Comment

Battlefield Registration – what is it trying to protect? (Nick Bridgeland 14/12/18)

Where’s the Party? The ever changing face of our social spaces (Iain Anderson, HES, 11/12/18)

How we are influencing the Scottish Planning Bill (Craig McLaren, RTPI Scotland 04/12/18)

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

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

Question S5W-20182: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on extending the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme beyond a one-year cycle to assist voluntary organisations in better planning and preparing the delivery of long-term housing-related projects and services.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (06/12/2018)

Question S5W-20186: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/11/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what the (a) purpose and (b) remit is of its Short Term Lets Delivery Group; which groups are represented on it; on what dates it has met; what future meetings are planned; which stakeholders it has engaged with, and by what date it will present its findings.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (06/12/2018)

Question S5W-20200: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/11/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what the mandatory minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) level is for new home completions.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (03/12/2018)


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

Planning for Low Carbon Heat
Date: Tuesday 12 March 2019
Venue: Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2JL
The way we heat our buildings is going to change dramatically in the coming years. The new Planning (Scotland) Bill, Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies and district heating regulations will have a significant impact on how planning approaches energy and place, with the potential to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions and create new, local economic opportunities.
Zero Waste Scotland is hosting a free workshop to help planners understand more about the changing policy landscape and how these changes might be addressed in practice. The session is free for all planning professionals, whether in the public or private sector.

IHBC Annual School – Nottingham 2019 ‘Heritage, Risk & Resilience. Confronting conservation calamities’
Date & time: Full School: Thursday 4 – Saturday 6 July 2019
Day School: Friday 5 July 2019
Venue: Nottingham.
The IHBC will hold its 21st Annual School in Nottingham, from 4-6 July 2019, hosted by the IHBC East Midlands Branch.
The Annual School focuses on the theme of ‘Heritage, Risk & Resilience: confronting conservation calamities’ and explores:
•    Heritage challenges and insights into solutions for Fire | Flood | Structural Failure
•    Case studies – Technical, practical and strategic advice
•    Planning for the worst: dealing with the aftermath
The Annual School includes three exciting days of:
•    Tours – Nottingham, Leicester, Derby & the East Midlands
•    CPD support: Up to 20 hours Continuing Professional Development linked
•    Business opportunities: Sponsors, exhibitors, networks & supporters


Next Step Initiative is offering The Ethnic Minority Career Museum, & Built Environment Heritage Traineeships (With Bursary)
High Quality Grant-Supported Traineeship at Scottish Heritage Organisations
Available Positions:
Conservation & Culture Traineeship x 1 (Edinburgh)
Museums & Galleries Traineeship x 2 (Edinburgh)
Technical Conservation Skills Traineeship x 2 (Stirling)
Museum and Heritage Traineeship x 2 (Glasgow)
Applications are now open for 7 full time 12-month accredited work-based placements in heritage management starting March 2018. Training Bursary grant of £13,500 gross per annum.
Application deadline: Midday Friday 11th January 2019.

Heritage Officers x2 East Lothian Council 
Two exciting opportunities to lead heritage projects with East Lothian Council.
Heritage Lottery Fund Great Place Scheme – Preston Seton Gosford Heritage Connections Project Officer (FT, fixed term 2 years, flexible working available)
Historic Environment Scotland – Cockenzie Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme Project Officer (FT fixed term 4 years, flexible working available) .
Applications open:  11th of January 2019
Closing date:  27th of January 2019

Board Members – Architecture and Design Scotland
How would you like to help shape Scotland’s built environment?
Architecture and Design Scotland: Appointment of 4 Board Members. Scottish Ministers are looking to appoint 4 new members to the Board of Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS). We are interested to hear from Architects and other related professions as well as those with significant experience of communications, media or marketing as we look to build a new team to drive A&DS forward.
The closing date for applications is 25 January 2019