BEFS Bulletin – Autumn Budget 2017

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The Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, has presented the Autumn Budget, the second budget of 2017. The key heritage announcements include £4 million to Jodrell Bank, the UK’s next candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status and £2 million Cultural Development Fund funding for place based cultural development. Read The Heritage Alliance’s full summary of the Budget from a heritage perspective, here.

Within the context of the Scottish planning review, the National Trust for Scotland commissioned research to better understand public perceptions of how well the planning system is delivering. The results show there is still much to be done to get a planning system that people have confidence in, and that delivers the kind of places that they want. Read the full report.

We have a fitting blog for you this week, given that we are celebrating Scotland’s Towns Week. Lauren Pennycook, Policy and Development Officer at Carnegie UK Trust, reflects on the Trust’s new report Searching for Space: What place for towns in public policy? and the challenges facing Scotland’s towns.


Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme: Second Consultation on Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies, and Regulation of District and Communal Heating
Opened 14 November and closes 20 February 2018.

Consultation Responses

Consultation on the socio-economic duty: Analysis of responses (SG 23/11/17)

Consultation on Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme: Analysis of Responses (SG 14/11/17)

Energy efficiency and condition standards in private rented housing: Analysis of responses to the public consultation exercise (SG 14/11/17) 

Analysis of responses to the Consultation on Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies, and Regulation of District Heating (SG14/11/17)


Icon launches next five-year strategy: 2017-21 (ICON 11/17)

House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee – European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implications for Devolution (BP 21/11/17)

Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill – SPICe Breifing (16/11/17)

Private Sector Rent Statistics, Scotland, 2010 to 2017 (SG 14/11/17)

The Land Question: Fixing the dysfunction at the root of the housing crisis (Civitas 11/11/17)

Scottish Government News Releases

Budget falls short for Scotland (SG 22/11/17)
Finance Secretary responds to UK Government financial plans. The UK Government’s budget does not represent a good deal for Scotland, as a consequence of a real terms cut to Scotland’s revenue block grant of over £200m next year.

Average 2 bedroom private rents up by 4.4% (SG 14/11/17)
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland. Between 2016 and 2017, 15 out of 18 areas of Scotland saw increases in average rent levels for 2 bedroom private rental properties, ranging from 0.7% in the Ayrshires to 6.9% in Lothian and 7.0% in Greater Glasgow.

State of Economy report (SG 10/11/17)
Strong jobs market drives pick-up in growth. The latest report on Scotland’s economic performance has shown a strong first half of 2017. The State of the Economy paper has been published by Scotland’s Chief Economist, Dr Gary Gillespie.

News Releases

Builders vow to ensure Scots not left behind following Budget for housing (SHN 23/11/17)
With the Chancellor yesterday announcing a raft of measures aimed at significantly increasing levels of home building and “reviving the British dream of home ownership”, Scotland’s home building industry vowed to continue to hold the Scottish Government to account to ensure those living north of the border were not left behind.

Forres Voted Scotland’s most Beautiful High Street (STP 23/11/17)
The Moray town of Forres has been crowned as Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street, after winning a public vote out of a final shortlist of ten towns competing for the title. See full results here.

Call for Scottish third sector to show value and support for EU nationals (SCVO 11/17)
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is calling for third sector organisations across the country to put supports in place to encourage EU nationals on their staff to remain in Scotland.

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland – Special Notice (RIAS 17/11/17)
The Royal Incorporation has agreed to the request from our Secretary, Neil Baxter Hon FRIAS Hon FRIBA, to leave the organisation after ten years of service.

PM: We must get back to building the homes this country needs (DCLG 15/11/17)
Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge that it is her personal mission to ‘build more homes, more quickly’. The number of new homes delivered each year has been increasing since 2010, but the Prime Minister will say there is more we can do to build the homes the country needs.

Interactive map of construction activity across UK and Ireland launched (IHBC 15/11/17)
Considerate Constructors Scheme(CCScheme) has launched a pioneering construction map information to offer a single point of reference for construction activity across the UK and Ireland.

Glorious Gardens – the Second Stage is under way (SGLH 13/11/17)
Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage’s Glorious Gardens project is entering its second stage.  The purpose is to produce a conservation strategy for the historic designed landscapes of the Clyde and Avon Valleys based on site records, researched and written by a team of volunteers, during Phase 1 of the project.

Creating Inspiring Learning Spaces (A&DS 11/17)
One of our top priorities is to help create inspiring places for learning. Drawing from our years of experience of working across the learning estate, we collaborate with local authorities to regenerate space for learning, by design. Our focus is on facilitating ‘space to succeed’ for all learners. We work to these principles derived from policy drivers, and in collaboration with learners, educators and estates practitioners.

The Heritage Alliance response to the Migration Advisory Committee (THA 11/11/17)
The Heritage Alliance has responded to The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s call for evidence to advise the Government on the likely economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union, and on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy

IHBC New Research Note ‘New arrangements for National Amenity Society (NAS) statutory consultations in England’ (IHBC 11/17)
For anyone looking for insights on new NAS consultation arrangements in England, and related good practice more generally, the IHBC’s new Guidance Note – developed in consultation with England’s NASs and available on the IHBC’s ToolBox resource – is an essential new starting point.

Scotland’s environment website
The gateway to everything you want to know about Scotland’s environment. This website brings together environmental information and data in one place so that is easy to search, discover, analyse and interpret. Find out more about Scotland’s environment web.

Forestry Commission Scotland’s Revised Historic Environment Resource Guide (FCS 11/17)
This resource guide has been designed as a route map to the information and advice available to forest and woodland managers in regard to the historic environment. The guide identifies the various designations and legislation that may apply to the historic environment, and provides links to the legislation and guidance on these designations.

Self and custom build challenge fund: prospectus and form (SG 09/11/17)
The Self and Custom Build Challenge Fund is now open for applications. It will support projects which deliver innovative housing models that contribute to increasing housing supply through self and custom build. Applications should be submitted by Friday 1 December 2017.

Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SG 09/11/17)
The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning are one of the Government’s most prestigious awards. They celebrate achievements in planning, from the detail of processing to the bigger picture of creating places which will become the legacy of our professionalism. Having shortlisted 22 projects in the four categories of Partnership, Place, Plans and Process, they have now recognised 16 projects with awards for 2017.

Opinion & Comment

Interview: Roseanna Cunningham on what Brexit means for the environment (Holyrood 23/11/17)

Blog: We’re changing private renting for the better (SHN 23/11/17)

What Makes a Great Learning Environment? Designer Blogs (A&DS 17/11/17) 

Real community planning in Lockerbie? (Nick Wright 13/11/17)

Blog: Why I am sleeping in the park – Graham Ross (A&DS 11/17)

Blog: Why I am sleeping in the park – Jim MacDonald (A&DS 11/17)

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”.

Richard Lyle S5W-12873
To ask the Scottish Government what (a) housing and (b) electrical safety standards must Airbnb and other similarly-let premises meet, and what assessment it has made of how many are meeting these. (SP 22/11/17)

Alison Johnstone S5W-12770
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the recommendation in A Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland that it should have been introduced in 2016-17, when it will set the date for the delivery of net zero-carbon new buildings. (SP 16/11/17)

Alison Johnstone S5W-12771
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-19841 by Derek Mackay on 10 March 2014, whether it will provide an update on what progress it is making on delivering the recommendations in A Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland: 2013 Update. (SP 16/11/17)

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

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

Question S5W-12180: Michelle Ballantyne, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2017
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.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (06/11/2017)


Motions for debate today (23/11/17)
Bob Doris: Building Regulations and Fire Safety in Scotland – That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations in the Local Government & Communities Committee’s 9th Report 2017 (Session 5), Building Regulations and Fire Safety in Scotland (SP Paper 213), and welcomes contributions from Members on the key issues and questions set out in that report.


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

COTAC 2018 conference – ‘BIM for Heritage: Stepping into the Future with the Past’
When: 8 December
Where: London
COTAC’s 2017 conference, ‘BIM for Heritage: Stepping into the Future with the Past’, on 8 December in London, is co-sponsored by IHBC and Ramboll, and offers delegates a unique overview of the challenges and benefits in heritage-related BIM practice, including recent publications and emerging case studies.


Structural Repair of Historic Buildings Masterclass
Date: 23 February 2018
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife
Time: 09.30 – 16.30
Cost: £190 + vat …… Remember if you are a BLF, IHBC or RIAS member you are eligible for 20% discount on this seminar. Please just give us a call with your member number.
The aim of this Masterclass is to provide professionals with a sound understanding of the philosophy of conservation and a better understanding of the relationship between structural engineering and conservation, of safety issues and of the aesthetics of conservation based structural repairs.

Transform your approach to community engagement  
SP=EED Verification is for anyone who would like to enhance their skills and become recognised as a community engagement practitioner. Previous participants have come from local authorities, planning consultancies, the energy sector, and third sector organisations. SP=EED is a two-part programme: Part 1 is an interactive workshop facilitated by our trainers, with Part 2 being an assessed written reflective learning assessment based on a real life engagement process you have been involved in. Upcoming date for Part 1: Edinburgh, Thursday 25 January 2018 *places still available*

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