BEFS Bulletin – Built Environment Manifestos

Get The Latest Historic Environment Events, Jobs, News And Publications In BEFS Bulletin.


A number of heritage and built environment organisations are publishing manifestos ahead of the General Election in June. Here are a few that you may find of interest:
•    RICS: Priorities for the Built Environment
•    RTPI: Manifesto for the 2017 General Election
•    Cultural Learning Alliance: Manifesto for Arts and Cultural Learning
•    The Heritage Alliance: Heritage Manifesto 2017
•    Town & Country Planning Association: Building the future – the TCPA’s manifesto for the 2017 general election

An update on the planning review has been published by the Chief Planner, which provides information on current work streams being taken forward by the Planning and Architecture Division.

Scottish Traditional Building Forum is hosting a Traditional Building Skills Demonstration in St. Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh, on 22nd- 23rd May 2017. The event will feature demonstrations by local apprentices of their traditional building skills with school children, and their teachers, and traditional building experts providing advice on how to repair and maintain traditionally built homes.

In our blog this week, Eila Macqueen, Director of Archaeology Scotland, reflects on the recent parliamentary debate on outdoor learning (see section on debates for link to transcript and Parliament TV video) and Archaeology Scotland’s experience of offering place-based learning.


Consultation on funding of The Scottish Energy Performance Certificate Register
The purpose of this consultation is to update stakeholders on the current status of the Scottish Energy Performance Certificate Register (SEPCR), to advise on pending action to amend the statutory fees payable on lodgement of energy performance data and to seek views on the manner in which the register is funded.
Opened 8 May 2017 and closes 19 Jun 2017.

Consultation on a Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland
Consultation closes 30 May 2017.

Consultation on Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme
Consultation closes 30 May 2017.

Draft Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site (2017-2022)
Consultation closes on 5 June 2017.

Guidance on Engaging Communities in Decisions Relating to Land
Consultation closes 16 Jun 2017.


Consultation on the future of the Scottish Planning System
View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Planning Circular 1 2017: Environmental Impact Assessment regulations 2017 (SG 16/05/17)
Guidance on The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill – Equality Impact Assessment – Results (SG 11/05/17)
Results of the Scottish Government’s Equality Impact Assessment of the Forestry and Land Management(Scotland) Bill

Architecture and Design Scotland – Corporate Strategy 2017 – 2020


New chair for SNH (SG 11/05/17)
Environment Secretary confirms appointment. Dr Mike Cantlay has been appointed as the chair of the board of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) by Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham.

Modernising forestry (SG 11/05/17)
Forestry and Land Management Bill introduced to parliament. The Scottish Parliament will consider forestry legislation for the first time in its history after the introduction of a Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill.

Scotland’s first urban right to buy (SG 09/05/17)
Consent granted for Portobello church purchase. A community group in Edinburgh is set to become the first organisation in an urban area to benefit from community right to buy powers.


Cutting-edge technology takes medieval Rosslyn Chapel around the world (HES 16/05/17)
A new mobile app, launched today at the Rosslyn Chapel, will let members of the public see the Chapel’s renowned stonework wherever they are in the world.

Plácido Domingo and EU Commissioner Navracsics announce Grand Prix winners of the European Heritage Awards 2017 in Turku (EN 15/05/17)
The winners of the 2017 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s top honour in the field, were celebrated this evening during a high-profile event at St. Michael’s Church in Turku, Finland. Maestro Plácido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra, and Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, co-hosted the European Heritage Awards Ceremony.

Protect your charity against cyber-attacks (SCVO 14/05/17)
You could not fail to miss the coverage of the worldwide ransomware attack over the weekend which particularly affected the NHS. The scale of the attack, and its impact on public services, is unprecedented. However, similar attacks happen on a daily basis and third sector organisations must protect themselves from risks of operating in the digital world.

Adapting to Climate Change in Rural Scotland – Leaning from the US (RTPI Scotland 12/05/17)
Graham Marchbank follows up on his blog from March with more details on climate conversations as a tool for building resilience to the effects of climate change in rural Scotland.

Statistical News Release: The Proportion of Scotland’s Protected Sites in Favourable Condition 2017 (SNH 12/05/17)
Scottish Natural Heritage has today released the latest figures tracking the proportion of Scottish protected natural features in favourable or recovering status.

IHBC’s 2017 School bursaries still available (IHBC 12/05/17)
Some bursaries are still available for the IHBC’s 2017 School in Manchester on ‘Transport Infrastructure’, on 22-24 June, so if you need help, apply now!

Global Challenges in Cultural Heritage Conference –Proposals for Panels & Papers (Stirling University 12/05/17)
As part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Global Challenges in Cultural Heritage celebrates the newly formed partnership between the University of Stirling, The Palace Museum in Beijing and Historic Environment Scotland. The conference seeks to explore approaches to specific challenges in relation to a range of shared issues including Significance, Value and Meaning in Cultural Heritage, Technology and Innovation in Heritage and Conservation Challenges and Opportunities. Proposals for panels and individual papers addressing cultural heritage themes to be submitted by 22 May 2017.

Brexit and the Third Sector – will we have a place in Europe? (SCVO 10/05/17)
As the unedifying spectacle that is UK general election continues to depress us with its stage managed press conferences and lack of genuine debate, you have to question the state of our democracy.

Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University joins the Heritage Alliance (THA 10/05/17)
The Heritage Alliance would like to welcome the newest member, the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University. The SCIBC is part of a global family of Confucius Institutes. It is developing a significant stream of activities related to the heritage and tourism sectors, based on promoting understanding, professional development, research and dialogue on areas mutual interest between the UK and China.

Edinburgh’s 101 Objects (EWHT 05/05/17)
Discover the rich history of Edinburgh through 101 of its most treasured objects. To celebrate the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, this unique visitor experience will bring Edinburgh’s vibrant past to life.


Scottish Civic Trust Celebrates 50 Years (SCT 12/05/17)
The Scottish Civic Trust, the national body for the civic movement in Scotland, celebrates its 50th birthday today, 12 May 2017. Exactly 50 years ago, the trust held its inaugural meeting at the University of Glasgow.  Since then it has been at the heart of protecting, celebrating and recording Scotland’s architecture and places, old and new.

IHBC on CPD: ‘Talk to people’ and use the tools (IHBC 10/05/17)
IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly has written an opinion piece for the new RICS Building Conservation Journal on Continuing Professional Development (CPD), in which he observes that some of the best CPD comes from talking to people who have contrasting views on conservation, while other IHBC members such as Henry Russell and John Edwards offer invaluable practice updates and insights on useful tools such as BS 7913.

Corporate Sponsorship opportunities for the Guidelines for Impact Assessment for Cultural Heritage (CiFA 08/05/17)
The project to develop new Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment was launched at the CIfA Annual Conference on 26 April. The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) have signed an agreement to author these new guidelines.


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”.

S5O-00980 Alison Harris: To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to review the guidance on what constitutes a dangerous building. (SP 11/05/17)

S5W-09171 Edward Mountain: To ask the Scottish Government what the cost is of the transfer of the powers over the management of the Crown Estate; how these costs will be met, and what additional costs the Crown Estate has to meet. (SP 10/05/17)

S5W-09176 Edward Mountain: To ask the Scottish Government what aspects of the management of the Crown Estate will be devolved to local authorities. (SP 10/05/17)

S5W-09183 Graham Simpson: To ask the Scottish Government what steps it takes to help maintain tenement buildings. (SP 10/05/17)

S5W-09184 Graham Simpson: To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding how many tenement buildings have been demolished as a result of falling into disrepair in each year since 2007. (SP 10/05/17)


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

Pauline McNeill (Glasgow) (Lab): 
To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government is doing to better resource planning authorities, in light of an increase in planning fees for major applications from 1 June 2017. (S5F-01264)

The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon): 
We need a planning system that supports both businesses and communities to deliver high-quality development on the ground. There has been a general understanding that fee levels are too low and that, in many instances, they are not in proportion to the work that is involved in processing planning applications. We have always been clear that fees and performance go hand in hand. Therefore, we are increasing the maximum fee for major planning applications to provide further resources to councils to improve performance. The Government will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that planning services deliver for Scotland’s communities.
Read the full response.

Question S5W-08764: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/04/2017
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to (a) review and (b) regulate speculative land purchasing practices to obtain planning permission on greenbelt and agricultural land.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (28/04/2017)

Question S5W-08883: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/04/2017
To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish the findings of its research into barriers to engagement and the role of community councils in planning.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (02/05/2017)


Members’ business debate on motion S5M-05008, in the name of Brian Whittle, on heritage and environmental conservation charities’ support for outdoor learning. 

Motion debated:
That the Parliament acknowledges the work of various national conservation charities, including RSPB Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, in the provision and promotion of outdoor education; believes that outdoor education should be seen as an important component of the curriculum, with meaningful benefits to both pupils’ learning and their health; considers that sites such as Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire, which is run by the National Trust for Scotland, the RSPB’s Mersehead Reserve in Dumfries and Galloway, and the Dumfries House Estate in East Ayrshire endeavour to work with local schools to arrange visits to their sites, along with various educational activities; understands that many organisations have seen a marked decline in the number of pupils participating in recent years; believes that, while visits are often provided at little or no direct cost to schools, the cost of transport has become prohibitive as school budgets have been squeezed; notes the calls on schools across Scotland to consider making use of schools attainment funding to support greater use of outdoor education, and thanks RSPB Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and other similar organisations for their commitment to supporting outdoor learning.

Read the full transcript of the debate.
You can also watch the debate on Parliament TV.


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

Sacred Heritage: Archaeology, Identity and Medieval Beliefs – Rhind Lectures
When: May 19 @ 6:00 pm – May 21 @ 5:00 pm.
Where: Auditorium National Museum Scotland, Edinburgh.
Medieval churches and monasteries are key features of the British landscape, contributing to local identities and sense of place. Yet the relationship between heritage and medieval religion has received relatively little critical reflection. These lectures will place research on medieval beliefs within a wider framework of sacred heritage, reflecting on issues of value, authenticity and interpretation. The lectures develop chronologically from the 12th century to the use of archaeology today, with case studies focusing on Scottish monasticism and Glastonbury Abbey.

 Archaeological Research in Progress 2017
When: 27 May 2017.
Where: National Museums Scotland Auditorium, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.
The Society is hosting the 2017 ARP conference, the national conference examining recent and ongoing archaeological projects across Scotland. Please book online or phone 0131 247 4133. Tickets £35 for Fellows, Archaeology Scotland members and students. £40 full price.

AHSS Strathclyde Group – Briglands House & St. Andrews Guided Walk
When: Saturday 27th May 2017, from 9:00 – 15:00.
Where: Briglands House & St Andrews.
Cost: £30.00 per person, to include coach travel, all entries, morning coffee and lunch.
Meet at the bus stance on North Hanover Street across the road from the side entrance to Queen Street Station. The coach tour from Glasgow will include Briglands House, Rufflets Hotel for lunch and St Andrews. There will be a two hour walk round St. Andrews. We hope to end the walk in an 18th century house with a lovely restful garden owned by one of our members.

Arts & Business Scotland Development Forum (Edinburgh)
When: Thursday, 1 June 2017 from 15:00 to 18:00.
Where: Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, National Galleries of Scotland, The Mound, Edinburgh.
Development Forums provide an opportunity for participants from the cultural, public and private sector to engage and share best practice. The next Arts & Business Scotland Development Forum is designed to promote and support the Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage programme. This event is open to both members and non-members of Arts & Business Scotland. The Topic in Focus is Capital Fundraising, which will provide a unique opportunity to hear from two speakers with considerable experience in this area: Alan Horn, Director of Development, The Glasgow School of Art, and Gill Poulter, Heritage Director, Dundee Heritage Trust. They will share their insight into and knowledge of the capital projects they have been instrumental in delivering.

Lessons from Planning Complaints to the Ombudsman in Scotland
When: Tuesday 6 June, 6 – 8pm.
Where: Edinburgh.
Cost: Free for PAS volunteers, £5 for non-volunteers
Planning is one of the public services which continues to attract a high number of complaints to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). Graham U’ren has provided independent professional advice to the Ombudsman on such complaints for 10 years. In this session, he will outline the statutory framework within which the SPSO operates with particular relevance to planning and related services. He will then highlight some common areas of complaint and the way in which the planning system has responded. The aim is to assist PAS volunteers to advise clients on situations which may potentially involve formal complaint procedures and how to manage expectations in doing so. Book your place at

Sir Patrick Geddes Commemorative Lecture 2017 – Poverty, Places and Equality: A role for place based approaches?
When: Wednesday, 07 June 2017 at 5:45PM – 8:15PM.
Where: The Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU.
Naomi Eisenstadt – Independent Advisor to the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality.

AHSS Forth & Borders Group – Save the Royal High School Fundraising Concert and Reception
When: Thursday 8th June 2017, from 18:30 – 21:30
Where: Stockbridge Parish Church, 7B Saxe Coburg Street, Edinburgh EH3 5BN
Tickets: £45 including post-concert reception.
Two world-class pianists: Malcolm Martineau and Steven Osborne, with eminent
soprano Lorna Anderson, will perform works by Beethoven and Schubert. Proceeds will go towards funding the campaign to save the Royal High School from a hotel scheme that The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland believes will irretrievably damage one of the most important Greek Revival buildings in the UK and the world and, by extension, the set piece of Calton Hill, which lies at the core of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.

SAH Glasgow Seminar “Making and Re-Making Glasgow: Heritage and Sustainability”
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM.
Where: Mackintosh Queen’s Cross, 870 Garscube Rd, Glasgow.
Cost: Tickets £20.
Join speakers from University of Glasgow, Glasgow Museums, Historic Environment Scotland, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, and The National Trust for Scotland for a discussion of heritage and sustainability in Glasgow on June 10.

AHSS Dumfries & Galloway Group – Newark Castle Trip
When: Wednesday 14th June 2017 from 14:00.
Cost: £20 (members to provide own transport)
Meet at Newark Castle, near Maybole, Ayrshire. Afterwards there will be  tea at Glenapp Castle, near Ballantrae. Newark Castle was a tower house which has been extended considerably since it was built in the 15th/16th centuries. The most recent additions by David Cousins c.1850 and James Miller 1907-08 transformed it into the popular Baronial style. Glenapp Castle is another Baronial Castle designed by David Bryce in 1870 for its owner James Hunter. It is now open to the public as a luxury hotel and restaurant.


Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage is delivering a series of training courses and events across Scotland. Our training is best suited to registered charities and constituted community groups. Here are the upcoming dates:
•    Crowdfunding, Wed. 24th May, Glasgow – Betty’s Room
•    In Focus: Membership & Friends + Sustainability, Wed. 31st May, Aberdeen – Aberdeen Science Centre
•    Planning to Progress, Tuesday, 6th June, Edinburgh – Arts & Business Scotland
•    In Focus: Storytelling, Tuesday 13th June, Dundee – Discovery Centre


Two vacancies at the National Trust for Scotland

Building Surveyor – Ayrshire & Arran
Building Surveyor – Glasgow & West
The Surveyor is part of the Buildings Conservation & Services team, and reports to the Lead Surveyor (who in turn reports to the Head of Consultancy Services). The Lead Surveyor (in conjunction with the Head of Consultancy) decides the most effective way of servicing client group needs (driven by their plans) through the team of Surveyors. Whilst each Surveyor (and indeed the Lead Surveyor) is assigned to a client group of properties, s/he is required to be flexible as far as practicable to help even out any workload fluctuations that may occur across all the groups. It is also expected that team members with a specialist interest or technical expertise in any particular area be prepared to share this expertise across the team if this enables the most effective way of delivering response to client group needs.
Closing date for both vacancies: Monday 22 May 2017

IPO – Intern Project Officer (RTPI)
RTPI Scotland is recruiting an Intern Project Officer for a fixed term 6 month period. The successful applicant will be based in our small and friendly team in Edinburgh, and in an exciting time for planning will support our work to influence the ongoing review of the planning system. More information, including how to apply, here.
Deadline: 22/05/2017 09:30.

The AHF Needs A New Chief Executive – Could It Be You? (AHF)
We are now able to advertise details of our Chief Executive role, which will shortly be becoming vacant. The AHF believes that better places can be built through community enterprise. Historic buildings and places play an essential role in daily life, cultural identity and the economy. The historic environment can inspire creativity and enterprise, bring communities together, and make people happier about where they live. The Chief Executive will have overall responsibility for the operational management of the AHF and, with the Board, devise and implement the organisation’s strategy. The ideal candidate will bring a broad range of experience of working with a board, leading and managing a team and managing a large budget.
Deadline for applications 5th June.

Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust Seeks New Board Members
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust is at an exciting stage of its development as we respond to societal and funding challenges. Our Board of Trustees guides our future and we are looking to make new appointments that will strengthen and complement the skills and experience of our Trustee Board and help us deliver our strategic plan. Trustees should be passionate about saving and enlivening historic buildings in the spirit of heritage preservation and community empowerment.
Full details here.

We’re hiring – Design Officer (B1) (A&DS)
We are looking for an enthusiastic design professional to help us provide advice and promote the benefits of good design in the built environment. The post offers the opportunity to develop your career and gain experience working across a broad range of topics. If successful, you will be developing and supporting projects and promoting the benefits of a well-designed built environment.
The deadline for receipt of your application is noon Wednesday 7 June 2017.