BEFS Bulletin – Housing & Liveable Cities

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


Join the Cross Party Group on Architecture and the Built Environment discussion on Housing and Liveable Cities. Following on from the meeting in March looking at the Scottish Government’s 2040 Vision for Housing programme and showcased opportunities for innovative and creative ways of delivering homes that can support our existing town centres and communities, this meeting will look further at housing’s contribution to liveable cities. The meeting will take place in Committee Room 2 on Wednesday 11th September 2019, 6pm to 8pm.

Have you booked your ticket for the Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow conference on 18th September at The Lighthouse in Glasgow? Hosted by the Scottish Civic Trust, in collaboration BEFS and Under One Roof, this national conference will discuss issues and challenges relating to tenements, including maintenance, energy efficiency, repairs and relations with neighbours and owners.The full agenda is now available on the Eventbrite page.

Does heritage have a role to play in the secret to happiness? This is your last chance to enter Historic Environment Scotland’s survey about how historic sites and heritage places affect our wellbeing, which closes tomorrow, Friday 6th September.

Scottish Archaeology Month in now underway with hundreds of events taking place all over Scotland. From the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders, there are free talks, tours, exhibitions, workshops and hands-on events to help you discover some of the amazing history, heritage and archaeology on your doorstep.

This year, Doors Open Days turns 30 with an incredible programme of events. Find out what is happening in your region.

It’s that time of the year again! #WikiLovesMonuments 2019 officially started on September 1st. Join the world’s largest photo competition, contribute to Wikipedia and compete for that €1500 grand prize. Last year Scotland uploaded 4411 pictures. Can we beat that number this year?


Crown Estate Scotland draft 2020-23 Corporate Plan Consultation
Opened 31 Aug 2019 and closes 25 Nov 2019.

Are Scotland’s Roads Funded Properly? 
The deadline for submissions is 6 September 2019.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019
Closes 13 Sep 2019.

Committee investigates environmental impact of travel and tourism
Submissions should be made by 5pm on Friday 13 September.

Consultation on the Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development
Closes 19 Sep 2019.

The Stone of Destiny
Closes 19 Sep 2019.

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing and other supported domestic accommodation
Closes 22 Oct 2019.

A Consultation on Scotland’s National Transport Strategy
Closes 23 Oct 2019.


New 2019 Technical Building Standards Handbooks + Dissemination Events (SG 05/09/19)

Pathway to zero carbon homes by 2045: warm, climate friendly and affordable to heat (EHA 05/09/19)

Protecting Scotland’s Future: the Government’s Programme for Scotland 2019-2020 (SG 03/09/19)

12 immediate actions for Scotland’s response to the Climate Emergency (CE Response Group 08/19)

Financial Implications of Implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (RTPI Scotland 27/08/19)

The State of our Estates (Scape Group 23/08/19)

Value of arts and culture in place-shaping (Arts Council 21/08/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

Protecting Scotland’s Future (SG 03/09/19)
Ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and securing a positive future for generations to come are the focus of this year’s Programme for Government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in Parliament.

South of Scotland Tourism Investment (SG 28/08/19)
A former coal mine turned visitor attraction is to benefit from £67,000 Scottish Government funding through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

Small Area Population Estimates (SG 22/08/19)
Figures published today by the National Records of Scotland provide the latest mid-2018 population estimates for the 6,976 small areas of Scotland, known as data zones.

News Releases

Government questioned over ‘abandoned’ empty homes pledge (SHN 05/09/19)
Speaking to the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee yesterday, housing minister Kevin Stewart admitted a commitment to give councils more powers to force sales of empty buildings will not be met in this parliament.

Housing alliance calls for energy efficiency budget to double to tackle fuel poverty and climate change (SHN 05/09/19)
A report setting out a credible pathway to making all homes in Scotland zero carbon by 2045 has been published today by the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland.

£182,543 boost for Scottish heritage projects (HES 04/09/19)
We have awarded £182,543 to heritage projects across Scotland as part of the Historic Environment Support Fund.

Glasgow City Council makes steady progress on regeneration of derelict land (SHN 03/09/19)
A report carried out by Glasgow City Council has revealed that between 2017 and 2018, 66.4% of vacant and derelict land in the city has been developed for housing.

Glasgow firm’s unique energy data analysis tools enable clients to reduce emissions (Herald 30/08/19)
Climate change concerns are forcing city authorities around the world to start thinking more coherently about how they use and generate the energy for their citizens. To do this, new tools are needed to model the built environment that makes up a city.

Survey on the UK’s first Voluntary National Review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (DID 29/08/19)
We are inviting people and organisations to share their views on the UK’s Voluntary National Review process and gather ideas on future stakeholder engagement.

Call for nominations for empty homes champions awards (SHN 29/08/19)
Shelter Scotland is calling for nominations for an awards ceremony to recognise the work of people fighting to bring Scotland’s 39,000 privately-owned, long-term empty homes back into use.

Climate heritage hits the road (HES 29/08/19)
How can we adapt local heritage sites in the face of climate change? The Adapt Northern Heritage project team have been working with local communities to look at the changes that could be considered to protect historic places in Scotland and beyond.

Repair and maintenance of housing falls by £451m in Scotland as housing stock increases (SHN 28/08/09)
Scotland has seen a real term per property decrease in repair and maintenance work of £313 since 1997, according to new research by Scape Group.

Cost of Planning Act duties could reach £59M, RTPI Scotland finds (RTPI Scotland 27/08/19)
Planning departments across Scotland may need up to £59M over the next 10 years to undertake duties contained in the new Planning Act.

Poll: 88% back a legal right to adequate housing in Scottish law (CS 27/08/19)
Shelter Scotland have launched a new campaign to secure the legal right to a decent home, after a poll found 88 per cent of Scots back the idea.

Are Britain’s heritage attractions child-friendly? (Ecclesiastical 19/08/19)
Research commissioned by specialist heritage insurer, Ecclesiastical, has revealed many parents never visit art galleries, stately homes, theatres, castles or museums with their children.

How do you search for geospatial data? (OS 05/08/19)
Earlier this year the ‘Data Discoverability’ project took some really positive steps towards making it easier to find and access location-based information (or ‘geospatial’ data) on the web.

Opinion & Comment

Carbon targets need construction mindset shift (Herald 05/09/19)

Infrastructure levy a chance to clarify planning process (SHN 03/09/19)

Where are the architects who will put the environment first? (Guardian 31/08/19)

Breaking From Tradition – Why We Must Embrace The National Performance Framework (Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations 29/09/19)

A responsible approach to land reuse – Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce (Hamish Trench, Chief Executive of Scottish Land Commission 28/08/19)

Place attachment – Connecting emotionally to your heritage (Yang Wang for EWH 23/08/19)

Must good, affordable housing depend on altruistic landowners? (RTPI 19/08/19)

We Need More Wheelchair Users to Become Architects (Arch Daily 16/08/19)

Parliamentary Question

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-24947: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with the development of its culture strategy.

Question S5W-24943: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to consider holding an inquiry into the 2018 fire at the Glasgow School of Art.

Question S5W-24858: Finlay Carson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how much it has spent since September 2016 to make public sector buildings more energy efficient.

Question S5W-24859: Finlay Carson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how much funding it has made available to local authorities to carry out SEEP (Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme) pilots since September 2016.

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-24612: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 02/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how it will work with tenancy deposit schemes to ensure that all tenants receive their deposits back on time, in light of the finding in the paper, Review of Tenancy Deposit Schemes in Scotland, that one-third did not.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (21/08/2019)

Question S5W-24610: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 02/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to address the findings in the paper, Review of Tenancy Deposit Schemes in Scotland, that nearly half of landlords did not know about letting agent registration or the letting agent code of practices, and that over 60% did not know about the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (21/08/2019)

Question S5W-24611: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 02/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to ensure that (a) tenants and (b) landlords are better informed about the rights of private-rented sector tenants.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (21/08/2019)


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

Dunkeld Cathedral
Date: Thursday 3 October 2019
Cost: £18 Historic Scotland member. £20 Non-members.
Hear about the Cathedral’s past and current conservation works at Dunkeld Cathedral from a Historic Environment Scotland (HES) architect. Climb the scaffolding to see the masonry replacement works up close and learn more about how we have been adapting to climate change at Dunkeld Cathedral. The Engine Shed is part of HES.

Calton Hill and the Plans for Edinburgh’s Third New Town – Kirsten Carter Mckee
Date & time: Monday 7th October 2019 at 6.30pm.
Venue: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.
Dr Kirsten Carter McKee, author of a recent book on Calton Hill, will show how the architectural expression of Calton Hill has been perceived, accepted and rejected as ideas surrounding cultural identity, governance and nationalism have changed over the last two hundred years.

Church of Scotland Annual Marion Fraser Lecture
Date & time: October 10th at 7pm.
Venue: Palmerston Place Church, Edinburgh.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is to deliver the annual Marion Fraser Lecture in Edinburgh in October. The Rt Rev Colin Sinclair will deliver the lecture in his own church at Edinburgh: Palmerston Place. The lecture, named after Lady Marion Fraser, a former Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly and a committed member of the Church of Scotland was launched by Scotland’s Churches Trust in her memory following her death in December 2016.

Climate Change, Conservation and Conservative Repairs
Date: 29th October 2019, 1pm to 5pm.
Venue: The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling, FK8 1QZ
Cost: £24 Conservation Accredited / Practice Services Member/ £30 RIAS or Historic Scotland / HES Member / £42 non-members.
Bookings are now open for the RIAS Autumn Conservation seminar. Topics will include: climate change and the historic environment, fungal decay of historic timber, stained glass (what to look for in a quinquennial inspection & protective glazing) and building maintenance in a changing climate.
For programme, speakers’ details and to book please visit

Sublime Experience in the Hermitage Wilderness Garden, Dunkeld
Date & time: Monday 4th November 2019 at 6.30pm.
Venue: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.
Shannon Fraser, a professional archaeologist, formerly of the National Trust for Scotland and now the National Trust’s Curator for Northern Ireland, directed a 15-year research programme at the Hermitage. Driven partly by a substantial building conservation project at Ossian’s Hall, an 18th-century garden pavilion, and partly by remedial works at the Hermitage following damage from a major flood in 2004, the results of this research have considerably expanded our understanding of the design philosophies of the Dukes of Atholl. This is our annual joint lecture with Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage.

Sourcing a Digital Norm for Learning and Training: Tools and Technologies
Dates & times: 6-7 November, 9:30-16:00
Venue: To be held jointly with HES at the Engine Shed, Stirling.
COTAC will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a unique review of the future of heritage conservation. This two-day conference will take place in Historic Environment Scotland’s internationally renowned conservation centre, the Engine Shed in Stirling. The conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved digitally, to share in the emerging experiences, perspectives and responses to current challenges whilst at the same time give thought to the direction that is being set for the future. The programme will address what this could mean for the conservation industry sector clients, its practitioners and its education and training providers- all of whom will benefit from attendance.

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders Archaeology Conference
Date & time: Saturday November 16, 2019; 9:00 – 16:45.
Venue: Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh
This annual conference is organised by City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council and Scottish Borders Council. It provides an important opportunity to hear and discuss first-hand accounts of the archaeological fieldwork and research being undertaken in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, and the Scottish Borders.

Building Surveying Conference, Scotland
Date & time: 7 November – 08:45AM – 16:30PM
Venue: Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4HQ
Join us in Edinburgh on 07 November 2019 for RICS Building Surveying Conference, Scotland, providing you with the latest policy updates, market opportunities and future trends impacting the sector.

Heritage Transforming Neighbourhoods
Dates: 17th-19th November
Venue: The Guildhall, Derry, Londonderry
Join the Heritage Trust Network for our annual conference 2019, this year taking place in Northern Ireland! Our fantastic line up of speakers will focus on how to revive your High Street or Main Street, in both rural and urban areas across the UK, using a sustainable business model. There will be inspiring case studies, key guidance and interactive workshops to help your group succeed Early Bird Offer until 15th September – buy your tickets now!

22nd Annual Plenderleith Memorial Lecture: ‘After the dust has settled – rediscovering the spirit of the Mackintosh’ by Liz Davidson OBE
Date & time: 28th of November
Venue: The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow
So much of the fabric of the iconic Glasgow School of Art building was destroyed in the devastating fire of June 2018 – the building currently exists largely in the virtual world of recordings, drawings, scholarly essays and memories. Over a year later, the Mackintosh Building is slowly beginning to piece together its future again, a journey of making the intangible tangible. The philosophy behind achieving this is still being developed and challenged by the team responsible and by the wider community of interest. Icon Scotland Group is delighted to welcome Project Manager Liz Davidson who will explore the task of the reconstruction project for this year’s Harold Plenderleith Memorial Lecture.

Ernest Gimson: Arts & Crafts Designer and Architect
Date & time: Monday 2nd December 2019 at 6.30pm.
Venue: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.
Ernest Gimson (1864 – 1919) was described by Pevsner as ‘the greatest of the artist-craftsmen’ and was a central figure in the British Arts & Crafts Movement. A new book on Gimson’s life and work by Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe will be published by Yale University Press in October 2019.  Some of the discoveries made during their recent research will be outlined in this talk.

Adapt Northern Heritage Conference 2020 – Call for Papers
Dates: Tuesday 5- 7 May 2020
Location: Edinburgh
Adapt Northern Heritage is a project supporting communities and local authorities to adapt northern cultural heritage to the environmental impacts of climate change and associated natural hazards through community engagement and informed conservation planning. Running from June 2017 to May 2020, the project involves four Project Partners and eleven Associated Partners from Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Scotland and Sweden and is supported by Iceland, Norway and the European Union through the Interreg programme for the Northern Periphery and Arctic. The Project Partners will develop a risk and vulnerability assessment method for historic places and associated guidance for their adaptation, trial and demonstrate this method in eleven case studies and initiate a community network for interdisciplinary learning, knowledge exchange and stakeholder networking. Abstracts to be submitted by 27th September 2019.


Achieve your CPD goals with CPD Seminars
Date & time: All year round
Venue: Various locations
RICS have 100’s of topical 1 hour seminars available covering land, property and built environment. They take place in Edinburgh and Glasgow every month, held at convenient times to minimise the impact on your working day. Don’t worry if you can’t make it, you can also access the recordings on-demand online. View CPD Seminars in Scotland.

Be recognised for your skills in community engagement 
Date & time: Thursday 26 September 2018; 5.30pm-9.00pm.
Location: Glasgow.
Our community engagement skills training is for anyone who would like to enhance their skills and become recognised as a community engagement practitioner. It is a two-part process which verifies that participants are competent in using SP=EED® (our guide to effective community engagement). Part 1 is an interactive training workshop and Part 2 a written reflective-learning assessment based on a real engagement process. Previous participants have come from local authority planning departments, community planning partnerships, planning consultancies and more. The cost of the programme is £250 per person. Please email for more information.


Publications Officer
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland are looking for an excellent candidate to fill this exciting role as Publications Officer. As a charity (charity no SC010440) and an independent publisher of high-quality peer-reviewed books and journals about Scotland’s past we are offering a highly varied role that will provide experience in all aspects of academic publishing.
Closing date: midnight Sunday 15 September 

Traditional Skills Officer
Glasgow City Heritage Trust is seeking a Traditional Skills Officer to support the implementation of the Trust’s traditional skills and material programmes for the benefit of all people living and working in and visiting Glasgow.
The deadline for applications is 20 September 2019 at 12:00 noon.

Volunteer vacancy for CIfA Scottish Group
The Scottish group represents the interests of Scotland, and those working in Scotland to CIfA council and informs the CIfA’s work in this area.