BEFS Bulletin – Planning & Recovery

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


The Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee has published its report on the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s cultural infrastructure, institutions and workforce. The report highlights how small departmental budgets and staff numbers have hampered the sector’s ability to tackle the challenges created by the pandemic.

The £4 million Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund has been announced by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop. The fund will provide vital support to the independent museums sector following the severe financial and organisational impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will be administered by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS).

The Scottish Government have published a consultation on proposals to clarify certain parts of the Scottish Planning Policy that relate to planning for housing. The proposals aim to provide greater clarity for all those involved in the planning system, addressing the presumption in favour of development that contributes to sustainable development and the five-year effective housing land supply. You can access and complete the consultation via the Scottish Government’s consultation page.

Section 40 of the new Planning Act requires the Scottish Ministers to issue guidance, by July 2021, on the promotion and use of mediation in planning. In advance of a Scottish Government consultation, Scottish Mediation and PAS have been progressing work on some outline proposals. They have published an interactive survey outlining some ideas and would be keen to hear the views of stakeholders. Completion of the survey is welcomed by Friday 21st August 2020, and you can access the survey here.

The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland has launched its Phase Two report into infrastructure development. It makes recommendations including creating an independent body to offer long-term strategic advice to the Scottish Government; enshrining the Place Principle in law to support sustainable development and ensure a “one public sector” approach to planning; and strengthening the relationship between the public sector and construction industry by creating a Construction Accord, which would include measures to support a diverse and capable workforce in the sector. It also recommends an increased focus on digital technology through the creation of a digital data co-ordination, standards and facilitation role.

Scotland’s Strategic Archaeology Committee are currently pulling material together for Celebrating Archaeology in Scotland 2020. It seeks to showcase the value Archaeology brings to Scotland and report on our progress delivering Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy. Send your submissions by 17th of August.

The 8th Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival will be running from 24-28 August. Normally a part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this year Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum are taking the festival online for all to enjoy. They are excited by the opportunity to open their ‘doors’ to many more to attend in this virtual capacity and “Celebrate Edinburgh’s Traditional Buildings”.


A consultation on the future of the Land Court and the Lands Tribunal
Opened 27 Jul 2020 and closes 19 Oct 2020.

Town Centre Action Plan Expert Review Group – call for evidence
The deadline for written evidence is Friday 21st August 2020 at 17:00.

Scottish Planning Policy and Housing: Technical Consultation on Proposed Policy Amendments
Opened 17 Jul 2020 and closes 9 Oct 2020.

Call for Evidence on impact of COVID-19 on the rural economy and connectivity in Scotland

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has launched a call for views on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland’s culture and tourism sectors.
There is currently no deadline for responding.

COVID-19: Economic recovery
Closes 31 Jul 2020.

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLRC) call for views on UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill.
The call for views will close on Friday 31 July 2020.

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLRC) call for views on Green Recovery.
The call for views will be open until Friday 7 August 2020.


Just Transition Commission: Advice on a Green Recovery (SG 30/07/20)

Asset Transfer Requests: Evaluation of Part 5 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (SG 30/07/20

Warmer Homes Scotland Programme Annual Review 2018/19 (SG 30/07/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): events sector guidance (SG 27/07/20)

Managing Scotland’s parks and greenspaces during covid-19 (greenspace Scotland 27/07/20)

Phase 2: Delivery Findings Report A blueprint for Scotland (ICS 27/07/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): European Structural and Investment Funds (SG 24/07/20)

Building Back for the Better – a perspective from Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT 23/07/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for homeworking (SG 23/07/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance (SG 23/07/20)

Impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors: First Report (UKP 23/07/20)

Getting the best from our land – a land use strategy 2016 to 2021: first annual progress report (SG 16/07/20)

Scottish Government News Releases

Further funding for tourism (SG 29/07/20)
Two new funding packages worth £15 million will support the tourism sector as it continues to feel the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Supporting events (SG 26/07/20)
A funding package of £10 million has been established to help the events sector recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vital support for museums and galleries (SG 25/07/20)
A new funding stream for the independent museums sector to help bolster resilience following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

£50 million for islands (SG 22/07/20)
The Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland will benefit from investment of up to £50 million by the Scottish Government as part of the Islands Growth Deal.

£50 million for Falkirk (SG 20/07/20)
Investment of up to £50 million by the Scottish Government in the Falkirk area will drive inclusive and sustainable economic recovery and growth across the region as part of the Falkirk Growth Deal.

£100 million for employment support and training (SG 16/07/20)
People looking for work or those at risk of redundancy will benefit from additional assistance to move into work or retrain.

News Releases

RICS calls for offices to be converted to housing as commercial sector demand falls (SHN 29/07/20)
As the global pandemic continues to take its toll, RICS has said the Scottish Government should enable more offices to be converted to housing as commetcial sector demand falls.

Rise in illegal activity at historic sites during lockdown (SLN 29/07/20)
Illegal activity at historic sites in Scotland has increased during the lockdown, it has been reported. Instances of breaking into castles, illegal metal detecting and digging were among the alleged offences.

Open Call: A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture 2020 (RIAS 27/07/20)
The student awards are an annual highlight – marking the vigour of Scotland’s architectural schools and the tremendous talent of our student members. They are a mark of the continuing high standards of Scottish architectural education and ensure that both construction professionals and the public can enjoy the creativity and vision of Scotland’s future architects. The submission deadline is Monday 24th August 2020.

RE-imagining a NEW Outdoors – A Showcase of Design Ideas (LIS 24/07/20)
The Landscape Institute Scotland are proud to present this digital showcase from its members that focus on reclaiming the outdoors as we emerge from the effects of the Covid19  global pandemic. The followed on from the Reflections Series discussion between Senior Practitioners on the Impact of Covid 19 on the landscape profession in Scotland

Black Live Matter charter calls on heritage sector to turn words into action (MA 24/07/20)
A charter from the arts and education charity Culture& is calling on cutlure institutions to do more to “decolonise their relationship with the UK black community”. The charity, which promotes diversity in the workplace, has published a charter of recommendations to spur the sector to follow up on its pledges.

Edinburgh Tram archaeology excavation vlogs (CoEC 21/07/20)
City of Edinburgh Council are currently excavating part of South Leith Parish Church’s graveyard dating to c1300-1650 as part of the Edinburgh Tram Extension works. As part of the public engagement process are creating weekly vlogs on youtube and the Tram website each Thursday. Although principally of this graveyard excavation, it will include others from the rest of the site including the recording of a large public WWII air-raid shelter.

Scotland Loves Local Launches (STP 20/07/20)
Today (20th July) a new campaign launches calling on the public to support their local shops and businesses, while continuing to take care and follow public health guidelines.

Scotland’s churches forced to ‘go digital’ after huge financial losses due to Covid-19 (Herald 19/07/20)
A FORMER head of the Kirk has warned the coronavirus pandemic has shown that it has too many churches and needs to embrace a more digital future.

Showcasing Community Resilience (SURF 17/07/20)
Over a collectively challenging 15 week period SURF is delivering a series of special SURF e-bulletins showcasing positive examples written by organisations delivering services or providing support to communities across Scotland, whilst we navigate through the Covid crisis.

Opinion & Comment

Thoughts on Covid-19 Recovery (Ann Allen, Chair A&DS Board 07/20)

Just say no to demolition (RIBA 23/07/20)

A Response to ‘Putting land back into the economic model’ (SLC 22/07/20)

Cutting VAT on home improvement would create jobs and save the planet (Times 19/07/20)

Round table discussion: Covid, Community Engagement and the Planning System (PAS 16/07/20)

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-30307: Monica Lennon, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/06/2020
To ask the Scottish Government how it will engage the renewable energy industry in developing a green economic recovery to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and what discussions it has had with the sector during the pandemic.
Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (27/07/2020)

Question S5W-30306: Monica Lennon, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/06/2020 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether the climate emergency and the achievement of Scotland’s net-zero targets will be potential material considerations in any planning applications made prior to the National Planning Framework 4 coming into effect.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/07/2020)


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

Land Ownership by Private Trusts  Charities
Date & time: Aug 18, 2020 02:00 PM.
Come and join us to learn more about our new Land Rights and Responsibilities protocols. The way land is owned and used affects the quality of life for everyone in Scotland. People and organisations that make decisions relating to land, in urban and rural Scotland, should recognise and act in line with their responsibilities, as well as their rights. The series of protocols set out how landowners, land managers land communities can work together to make better – and fairer – decisions about land use. This webinar will look at the Land Ownership by Private Trusts and Charities protocols. These protocols will help improve understanding and transparency about the way trusts and charities operate as land owners.

Unexpected Delights of North Glasgow
Date & time: Wednesday 19th August 2020, 6pm.
Online platform details: Zoom.
The city’s north has been revitalised in recent years to become an urban playground, a haven of wildlife, green space and a creative hub with strong community spirit and an important industrial heritage. We’ll continue to our tour of the city in lockdown with Paul Sweeney and Lisa Snedden, who’ll help us explore this often overlooked area of Glasgow.

Acknowledging the Past, Sharing the Future
Date & time: 21st August 2020, 10am-12pm.
Online platform details: GoToWebinar
Join us to explore ways that our projects can address racial inequality and injustice, and attract new audiences. We want to include people from minority ethnic backgrounds with our heritage projects, do it effectively, inclusively and without getting it wrong. This HTN event will help you understand how to approach different communities within your area and make them feel welcome and included in your project.

Diversification in Ownership and Negotiating Transfer of Land to Communities
Date & time: Aug 25, 2020 02:00 PM.6t
This webinar will look at the Diversification in Ownership and Tenure and Negotiating Transfer of Land to Communities protocols. This webinar sets out how landowners can help achieve a more diverse pattern of land ownership and tenure across Scotland. It explains the expectations we have for landowners in assessing the use and ownership of their current landholdings and in taking measures to maximise the opportunities for acquisition and use of land by a broad range of interested parties. It applies to all types of owners of both land and buildings in Scotland, including private estates, public bodies and community organisations.

SURF Annual Conference Session 1: A Sustainable Climate and Economy
Date & time: 27th August, 10am-11.30am
Online platform details: Zoom
A 90 minute session on the overarching challenge of climate change and necessary shifts in economic priorities and processes. Featuring input from Katherine Trebeck of WEALL.

Good Stewardship of Land Protocol
Date & time: Sep 1, 2020 02:00 PM.
This webinar will look at the Good Stewardship of Land Protocol which sets out how landowners can take account of their responsibilities to meet high standards of land ownership, management and use of both urban and rural land. This webinar promotes good stewardship and high standards of land management across Scotland. Decisions made about land can contribute to better and more productive economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes. Decisions made with a focus on good stewardship are made with consideration for the needs of local communities and the delivery of public good in support of wider national outcomes.

SURF Annual Conference Session 2: Land and Transport in a Climate Emergency
Date & time: 3rd September, 10am-11.30am
Online platform details: Zoom
A 90 minute session on land use and ownership and transport investment and planning in relation to climate change and post-Covid economic and social wellbeing recovery. Featuring input from the Scottish Land Commission, Transport Scotland and Stantec.

SURF Annual Conference Session 3: Post Covid lessons for building back better
Date & time: 10th September, 10am-11.30am
Online platform details: Zoom
A 90 minute session on SURF’s Covid response key learning points and Scottish Government policy and investment plans post-Covid. Featuring input from Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell MSP.


CPD: Glass in Traditional Buildings
Date & time: Wednesday 12th August 2020, 12.30-1.30pm.
Online platform details: Zoom.
Original, historic glass lends character to many buildings and can also influence the appearance of entire streetscapes. Join Conservation Consultant Darren McLean for this online technical CPD to discuss these questions and debunk some common myths about traditional and historic glass.