BEFS Bulletin – Happy New Year from BEFS

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


In mid-December BEFS encouraged its membership to lobby Members of the Scottish Parliament on what we perceived to be an anomaly in the definition of “the environment” within Part 2 of the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) Scotland) Bill. Our proposed amendment was not put forward by any MSPs but Scottish Ministers have responded with their reasoning as to why it was unnecessary. Read more here.

BEFS has responded to two consultations already in 2021. BEFS responded to the Local Government and Communities Committee’s call for views on the Scottish Government’s updated Climate Change Plan (CCPu) in relation to planning, housing, buildings, fuel poverty and green recovery. BEFS also submitted a short statement in response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the update to the Climate Change Plan 2018-2032. Both submissions can be found on our consultations page.

The Scottish Government has published a Policy statement on how nationally important land use planning matters should be addressed across the country.

BEFS team wishes you the best start to 2021 that is currently possible.


Consultation: Scotland’s Third Land Use Strategy
Opened 2 Dec 2020 and closes 17 Jan 2021.

Short-term Letting Enquiry
If you would like to contribute to this work, please email your views by Friday 22 January.

Inquiry – 21st century places: values and benefits
Opened 30 Nov 2020 and closes 29 Jan 2021.

Strengthening Scottish Charity Law Survey
Opened 21 Dec 2020 and closes 5 Feb 2021.

National Planning Framework: Position Statement
Closes 19 Feb 2021.

New Build Heat Standard – Scoping Consultation
Opened 9 Dec 2020 and closes 3 Mar 2021.

Mediation in Planning
Opened 15 Dec 2020 and closes 12 Mar 2021.

Draft Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change
Opened 16 Dec 2020 and closes 17 Mar 2021.

Community landownership and the climate emergency

Consultation Responses

Permitted Development Rights (PDR) – review and extension: consultation analysis (SG 18/12/20)


Update to the Climate Change Plan – Background Information and Key Issues (SPICe 12/01/21)

Update to the Climate Change Plan – Key Sectors (SPICe 12/01/21)

Land of Opportunity – Towards a New Land Use Strategy for Scotland (RS 11/01/21)

Reviewing and Extending Permitted Development Rights Explanation of Phase 1 Measures (SG 12/20)

Scottish Household Survey 2019: methodology and fieldwork outcomes (SG 22/12/20)

Low carbon heating in domestic buildings – technical feasibility: report (SG 22/12/20)

Scottish Planning Policy – Policy statement on land use (SG 18/12/20)

Scottish Planning Policy – amendments: housing land research paper – evidence (SG 18/12/20)

Scottish Planning Policy – finalised amendments: December 2020 (SG 18/12/20)

Planning Advice Note 1/2020: Assessing the extent of the 5 year supply of effective housing land (SG 18/12/20)

Chief Planner letter: stakeholder update – December 2020 (SG 18/12/20)

IHBC Draft response to Consultation on Historic England Advice Note: Listed building Consent Advice (IHBC 17/12/20)

Securing a green recovery on a path to net zero: climate change plan 2018–2032 – update (SG 16/12/20)

Scotland’s Garden’s and Landscape Heritage Winter 2020 Newsletter (SGLH 12/20)

Scottish Government News Releases

Delivering Scotland’s green recovery (SG 08/01/21)
Communities across the country are to benefit from fast-tracked funding to help tackle climate change and deliver Scotland’s green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Stone of Destiny (SG 23/12/20)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the Stone of Destiny is to be relocated to Perth.

Revitalising the River Clyde (SG 21/12/20)
A scheme to expand and transform one of Scotland’s busiest arts venues into a greener, year-round cultural destination is among the projects being supported by the Clyde Mission Fund.

£104 million tourism and hospitality lifeline (SG 21/12/20)
Tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland are to benefit from a £104.3 million package of support in the New Year.

Supporting culture throughout the pandemic (SG 20/12/20)
An additional £7.1 million to secure the future of as many grassroots music venues and independent museums as possible has been announced by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

Transforming vacant and derelict land (SG 19/12/20)
£50 million to help bring disused land back into use. Thousands of hectares of vacant and derelict land across Scotland will be transformed through a new £50 million programme over the next five years.

Steering Scotland’s pathway to net zero (SG 16/12/20)
More than 100 new policies and proposals to support Scotland’s green recovery and help deliver a just transition to net zero have been launched.

News Releases

Land of Opportunity – Towards a New Land Use Strategy for Scotland (RS 11/01/21)
UK’s departure from the Common Agricultural Policy should spark a debate about the future of rural Scotland, says Reform Scotland.

£104,888 boost for Scottish heritage projects (HES 22/12/20)
Brisbane Observatory, Govanhill Baths and The Ridge Foundations CIC are among the latest round of Historic Environment Support Fund recipients.

HES sign new partnership on Cultural Heritage and Climate Action with Irish Government (HES 21/12/20)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Heritage and Climate Action with the Heritage Division of the Irish Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Derelict sites to be transformed with £50m Scottish Government fund (SLC 19/12/20)
Thousands of hectares of vacant and derelict land across Scotland will be transformed through a new £50 million programme over the next five years.

Opinion & Comment

A look ahead at land reform (SLC 21/12/20)

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-34233: Stuart McMillan, Greenock and Inverclyde, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/12/2020
To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish its Heat in Buildings Strategy.
Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (23/12/2020)


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

Comfort and Convenience in the Country House
Date & time: January 18th 2021, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Online: via Zoom (free registration through Eventbrite)
This illustrated online lecture will look at ways in which elements of comfort and convenience were introduced into Victorian and Edwardian country houses. Historian and Britain’s first Professor of Industrial Archaeology, Marilyn Palmer, will consider the reasons why some landowners were keen innovators and others not, as well as the effects that new methods of water supply, sanitation, lighting and heating had on the way in which space was used in these houses and on their households.

Burns in the Burgh
Date & time: 6pm, Thursday 28 January 2021
Online: Zoom
Join us for a celebration of the ‘heav’n-taught ploughman’ through poetry readings and a virtual guided tour of the places particularly associated with the bard from his time in the capital from 1786 to 1788, with special guests.

Whose Festival is it Anyway? A Cockburn Conference
Date & time: Saturday 30th January from 11am to 3pm
Online: Book on Eventbrite (free but donations welcome).
The COVID crisis has presented significant challenges to Edinburgh’s attempts to be a year-round “Festival City”, dealing a serious blow to the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors. Important civic issues, such as economic resilience, public well-being and the wisdom of perpetual growth-centric policies, are being debated once again as Edinburgh reflects upon how its many Festivals should operate in a post-COVID world. The Cockburn Association has arranged a conference to explore these issues in greater detail. Among other topics, panellists will explore the impacts of festivalisation and how the city will meet its climate and sustainability obligations in the future.

The Power of Archives
Date & time: February 8th 2021, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Online: via Zoom (free registration through Eventbrite)
Archives are our gateway to the past, they help us connect with and understand our histories and shape our knowledge of who we are. They are, in many ways, instruments of power, determining what we remember and how we see ourselves. They also hold organisations to account, protect rights and promote social justice. In this online talk, Archivist and Head of Culture and Information at the University of Dundee, Caroline Brown, will explore these themes and reflect on how the creation of archives impacts not just history, but our world today and the direction we take into the future.

2020 Virtual SURF Awards Dinner
Date & time: 18th February 2021, 7pm.
Online: Streaming live via Vimeo.
SURF and the Scottish Government have teamed up again to deliver the prestigious SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration. These are presented to projects that are judged by a panel of independent regeneration experts to be performing outstanding regeneration work in Scotland’s communities. The awards process concludes with a celebratory dinner event, at which the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government will reveal the 2020 SURF Award winners. As public gatherings look uncertain for the foreseeable future, the dinner will be streamed live from Glasgow via Vimeo, with projects and partners joining the hosts virtually.

Planning Law for Heritage and the Arts – A Survival Guide
Date & time: 18 February 2021, 13:00 – 15:30
Online: via Zoom
Planning is also undergoing significant reform, with emergency Covid-19 measures in place while wider reform continues apace. This session aims to identify potential planning pitfalls and how to deal with them. It will give you an understanding of the key concepts underpinning the Scottish planning system and will illustrate how an Arts and Heritage development is regulated in practice and review the consequences of breaching planning controls. Topical issues and upcoming reforms will also be covered, alongside questions and comments from delegates throughout the session.

Telling It Like It Is – Effective Copywriting
Date & time: 23 February 2021, 10:00 – 12:30
Online: via Zoom
This training session is aimed at anyone looking to improve their copywriting skills to support their fund-raising activities. Offering a combination of project-based, hands-on writing exercises with tips, techniques and critical theory, the session explores the five stages of the copywriting process. While the training provides a specific focus on writing a case for support, the resulting learning can be applied to all kinds of fundraising communications.


IHBC CPD Circular
Continuing Professional Development opportunities and much more.
As part of the IHBC’s commitment to providing our members and their networks with up-to-date information on continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and information, this monthly Circular includes upcoming Branch and National CPD opportunities, Awards, Placements, Bursaries & Scholarships, Calls for Papers and more from across the UK and beyond.

Place Skills for Housing CPD Series
The focus of the Place Skills for Housing series is on supporting better place quality through considering location and place priorities for new housing led developments, as one important element of whole place planning.


Director of Heritage
This is an exciting opportunity for the right person to come and be part of our Historic Environment Scotland team. We are looking for an ambitious heritage professional with excellent leadership skills to join us. Reporting to the Chief Executive, the successful candidate will be a key member of the HES Senior Management Team, leading the heritage function.
Please return your C.V. and covering letter by the Monday 18 January 2021.

Project Officer (CARS)
Part of a wider Development Management Service Area collaborating closely with others to develop and embed the principles and practices which protect and enhance Aberdeen’s built and natural environment.  The Union Street Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) Project Officer will project manage the CARS project, deliver, process, monitor grant applications and promote and monitor projects and deliver the reporting requirements including risk management.
Closes: 18 January 2021.

Finance and Admin Officer
A critical post for an experienced charity finance professional to co-ordinate the financial activities of Fife Historic Buildings Trust and be part of a small team delivering historic regeneration projects for people and places in Fife.
Deadline for applications – 9am on Tues 19 January 2021.