BEFS Bulletin – Consultations & Season’s Greetings

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Publications, Policy Developments, Vacancies And More.


BEFS has responded to four consultations in recent weeks. In response to the Local Energy Policy Statement consultation, BEFS focused on existing building stock being our most sustainable resource and made clear that principles and signposting should include the Historic Environment Policy for Scotland and related Managing Change guidance.

BEFS response to the Role of Public Sector Bodies in Tackling Climate Change consultation focused on appropriate training and skills for interventions within historic buildings. BEFS also took the opportunity to reiterate concerns around how EPC ratings are assessed in relation to traditionally built properties.

In response to the Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax consultation, BEFS emphasised the role of the built environment as a direct contributor to tourism and also impacted by tourism. BEFS was clear that responding to further consultations, in relation to revenue allocations and benefits for place, was eagerly anticipated.

Finally, BEFS responded to the Developing Scotland’s Circular Economy: consultation on proposals for legislation, today, highlighting the absence of the built environment in the consultation document.

BEFS was also invited to respond to petition PE1749 on the financial viability of listed buildings. The petition calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that: 1) financial viability studies are conducted on listed buildings requiring restoration and/or maintenance, 2) responsibility of ownership is established for this work and; 3) financial assistance is provided where listed buildings are at risk of falling into disrepair.

The Climate Heritage Network, of which BEFS is a member of the steering group, released its first action plan to help mobilise arts, culture and heritage for climate action at the 2019 UN Climate Summit in Madrid earlier this month. Dubbed the Madrid-to-Glasgow Arts, Culture and Heritage Climate Action Plan, its release kicks off a year of culture-based climate action that will culminate in 2020 at COP26 in Glasgow. Join the #ClimateHeritage Network here.

A new National Indicator on community ownership has been published. It shows that 593 assets – up 7% on 2017 – with a total area of 209,810 hectares were under community ownership in December 2018. Read the full report.

RTPI Scotland is embarking on a project to support the early stages of preparation of National Planning Framework 4. Their survey and call for evidence is looking for your reflections on how NPF3 has worked, and your ideas for improvement in NPF4.

At our AGM earlier this month, BEFS wished three wonderful board members a fond farewell. We would like to thank Bill Pagan, Peter Burman and Torsten Haak for their expertise and support of the team.

We would also like to welcome our newest board members Tyler LottCalum Maclean, and Niall Murphy.

Finally, team BEFS would like to wish you a very merry festive season and a fantastic start to 2020!


Planning Performance and Fees
Opened on 18 Dec 2019 and closes on 14 Feb 2020.

Law Society of Scotland’s call for views: Consultation on aspects of planning obligations
Closes Monday 3 February 2020.

The practice of cash retention under construction contracts
Opened on 4 Dec and closes on 25 Mar 2020.

Housing to 2040: consultation on outline policy options
Opened on 2 Dec and closes on 28 Feb 2020.

National Library of Scotland Draft 2020–2025 Strategy
Opened on 2 Dec and closes on 27 Jan 2020.

Circular Economy: Proposals for Legislation
Closes 19 Dec 2019.

IHBC launches consultation on Corporate Plan 2020-25 (‘CP25’) as ‘Stage 1’ scoping: 
First responses sought by 1 January.

What makes a strong and vibrant community? Asks Local Government and Communities Committee
Closes 22 Jan 2020.

Proposed programme for reviewing and extending permitted development rights (PDR) in Scotland
Closes 28 Jan 2020.

Proposed Remote Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill
Consultation closes on 31 January 2020.

The Replacement of European Structural Funds In Scotland Post EU-Exit
Closes 12 Feb. 2020.

Consultation Responses

Fire safety in high rise domestic buildings: analysis of consultation responses (SG 04/12/19)


Housing to 2040 Consultation: facilitators’ pack (SG 12/12/19)

Community ownership in Scotland: 2018 (SG 11/12/19)

Putting Artists In The Picture: A Sustainable Arts Funding System For Scotland (Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee 10/12/19)

AHF Annual Review 2018/19 and Strategy for 2020-23 (AHF 05/12/19)

Practical fire safety guidance for existing high rise domestic buildings (SG 04/12/19)

European Structural and Investment Funds: operational programmes 2014-2020 (SG 04/12/19)

Socially smart cities – Making a difference in urban neighbourhoods ( 03/12/19 Smart Urban Intermediaries)

Places and Spaces: Mapping Britain’s Regional Divides (NIESR 03/12/19)

Housing to 2040 consultation: information factsheet (SG 02/12/19)

Prosperity for all: A Climate conscious Wales (WG 30/11/19)

Turnaround Towns UK (Carnegie Trust UK 28/11/19)

The Contribution of Volunteering to a Healthier and Happier Scotland Influencing Policy and Practice in Scotland (Volunteering Scotland)

Child Friendly Planning in the UK: A Review (RTPI 30/11/19)

Immersive Experiences in Museums, Galleries and Heritage Sites: A review of research findings and issues (Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre)

Scottish Household Survey: Cross-Sectional Analysis 2016 (Volunteering Scotland)

Scottish Household Survey Volunteering Cross-Sectional Analysis, 2016 Highlights Report (Volunteering Scotland)

Scottish Government News Releases

Global pledge on climate crisis (SG 12/12/19)
Scotland has joined a coalition of countries, cities and companies working towards net-zero transport ahead of the 2050 Paris Agreement target.

Community ownership is increasing across Scotland (SG 11/12/19)
A new publication provides the first figure for a new National Indicator which uses the number of assets owned by community groups to measure the extent of community ownership in Scotland.

Improving housing rights for disabled people (SG 06/12/19)
New regulations will improve equality for people living with disabilities by giving them the right to make communal areas around their home more accessible.

Madrid COP25 climate summit (SG 06/12/19)
Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham will attend a series of engagements at the COP25 UN Climate Summit in Madrid.

Fire safety guidance for high-rise homes (SG 04/12/19)
Advice for residents and those responsible for fire safety. Residents in high-rise properties are being given leaflets outlining how to prevent fires in the home and what to do if one starts in their building.

News Releases

Scotland must ‘immediately’ increase net-zero action in preparation for COP26 (edie 17/12/19)
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has issued its annual progress report to the Scottish Parliament, urging Ministers to “begin work immediately” on implementing short-term net-zero legislation.

The RIAS Awards – Now open! (RIAS 12/12/19)
Entries to the RIAS / RIBA Awards for Scotland 2020 are now open! Now in their ninth year, the combined RIAS / RIBA Awards continue to demonstrate the quality and breadth of current architectural endeavour in Scotland.

14 European heritage sites shortlisted for the 7 Most Endangered programme 2020 (10/12/19)
The 7 Most Endangered programme is organised by Europa Nostra, the Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe, and the European Investment Bank Institute. This year, Egyptian Halls, Glasgow, has been shortlisted.

Retrofit scheme named World Building of the Year (AJ 09/12/19)
Dutch conversion of locomotive hangar into a public library is the first retrofit to win the top prize at the World Architecture Festival.

2019 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration Winners Announced (SURF 06/12/19)
The outcomes of the prestigious 2019 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were announced last night (05/12/19) at a celebratory presentation event in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2019 Winners (SG 06/12/19)
The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SAQP) is one of the Government’s most prestigious awards. It celebrates achievements in planning, from the detail of processing to the bigger picture of creating places for our communities to thrive.

20 Years of World Heritage in Orkney (HES 03/12/19)
On 4 December 1999, the spectacular Heart of Neolithic Orkney was inscribed as a World Heritage Site. Join the celebrations in our 20th anniversary blog.

UK planning systems neglecting rights of children (RTPI 28/11/19)
Planning systems in the UK are failing to consider the rights and needs of children, leading to detrimental effects on their health, wellbeing and future prospects, according to a new report.

Opinion & Comment

What do architects need to know about planners? (RTPI 12/12/19)

The Impact of Vacant and Derelict Land (SLC 10/12/19)

A decade of regret in Chicago: How the loss of historic churches, affordable housing, and 50 public schools changed the city (10/12/19)

We Must Understand Buildings as Intermediate Deposits of Raw Materials (Eduardo Souza, Arch Daily 07/12/19)

Standing tall: Cedar Court (Passivhaus Trust)

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-26732: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 16/12/2019
To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish a draft Climate Change Plan, and what time period will be allocated for parliamentary scrutiny of this.

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-26412: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/11/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to ban combustible materials on the outside of high-rise or high-risk buildings.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (02/12/2019)

Question S5W-26495: Michelle Ballantyne, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/11/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how many how many homes have been delivered to date as part of its 50,000 affordable homes target, also broken down by how many are new-builds.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (03/12/2019)


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

Sustainable Renovation: New Buildings from Old
Date & time: 27 February 2020; 18:00 – 20:30.
Venue: MacLaren Stuart Room G.159, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL.
Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) and a host of other organisations invite you to:
SUSTAINABLE RENOVATION: New Buildings from Old with Chris Morgan, John Gilbert Architects, to promote this SEDA Guide. Are you involved in the renovation of existing buildings? This Design Guide is primarily aimed at the domestic retrofit sector – from policy makers and development managers in housing organisations, to architects, builders, surveyors and home owners. It is also essential for those interested in upgrading non-domestic buildings.


Outreach and Development Officer
The Cockburn Association is looking to recruit an Outreach and Development Officer to support the implementation of a new fundraising strategy, helping the Association towards a more sustainable future.
Closing date: Thursday 16 January 2020.

Project Director
Scotland’s Towns Partnership is seeking a Project Director to support the Chief Executive Officer and Board to deliver the Scottish Government’s agenda on the regeneration and revitalisation of our towns, high streets and city districts.
The closing date for applications is 31 January 2020.