BEFS Bulletin – Planning (Scotland) Bill passed!

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Events, Vacancies, Consultations And Publications In Our News Bulletin.


The final vote on the Planning (Scotland) Bill took place on 20th June 2019 after 3 days of vigorous debate. The Bill passed 78:26, supported by the SNP and Conservative MSPs, with Labour, Liberal and Green Party members voting against. All Amendments, with the decisions made in each case, can be found in the document, here. One week on, BEFS Director Euan Leitch, reflects on responses to the Bill.

Prior to the debates, BEFS issued a Stage 3 briefing for MSPs, based on previous work by the Planning Taskforce and comments in relation to refreshed and new topics of interest to BEFS Membership.

The Scottish Parliament debated a motion on the recommendations of the Working Group on Tenement Maintenance yesterday. MSPs recognised that the issue needs addressed and Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Planning and Housing, has committed to a substantive response from the Scottish Government to the recommendations in the autumn. The consensual, non-partisan nature of the working group was recognised by all side in the Chamber and appreciation of the hard work of the stakeholders acknowledged. Watch the full debate here or read the transcript.

BEFS responded to the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland consultation. The response highlights the importance of accurate EPC ratings for all buildings, the necessary time needed for the skills-supply chain to be in place, and the necessity for education around behaviour change. It also highlights the need for mandatory adaptations to truly enable holistic, substantial and significant change. BEFS sits on the Short Life Working Group in relation to this area.

BEFS also responded to Historic Environment Scotland’s Climate Change & Environmental Action Plan Consultation. BEFS response was in the form of a workshop report compiled after a recent Historic Environment Working Group (HEWG) meeting, which explored the questions raised with BEFS Members. The ‘actions’ in the current plan were thought to tend more towards achievable than ambitious goals. Respondents raised whether this was enough given the declared climate crisis.

Have you submitted your project as a best practice case study for our data base and the next Our Place in Time (OPiT) performance report? Deadline for submissions is 26th July.

RTPI President Ian Tant shares his impressions of his recent visit to Scotland in this week’s blog: Awards, beliefs & communities in Scottish planning.

Save the date! The Climate Heritage Network Global Launch is taking place in Edinburgh in October. Find out more about the aims of the network and the launch event here.

Finally, don’t miss Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum (ETBF) and partners at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The 11 events in August range from traditional building skills demonstrations to maintenance and energy efficiency seminars.


Consultation on the Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development
Opened 26 Jun 2019 and closes 19 Sep 2019.

Consultation on the Enhanced Heating Regimes within the new definition of Fuel Poverty
Opened 24 Jun 2019 and closes 16 Aug 2019.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019
Opened 17 Jun 2019 and closes 13 Sep 2019.

Forestry and Land Scotland Corporate Plan – Consultation
Closes 5 Jul 2019.

Consultation on adding new categories to the definition of a House in Multiple Occupation
Closes 8 Jul 2019.

Strengthening Fire Safety for High Rise Domestic Buildings
Closes 17 Jul 2019.

Short-Term Lets: Consultation
Closes 19 Jul 2019.

Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system
Closes 31 July 2019.

Proposed Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill
Consultation closes on 6 August 2019.

Consultation Responses

Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee Arts funding inquiry – Summary of written evidence


TThe Practice of Kindness: Learning from the Kindness Innovation Network and North Ayrshire (Carnegie UK Trust 25/06/19)

Quantifying kindness, public engagement and place: Experiences of people in Scotland (Carnegie UK Trust 25/06/19)

Planning (Scotland) Bill [AS PASSED] (SP 20/16/19)

Backing the Bedrock – Five Heritage Fiscal & Funding Priorities 2019 (THA 20/06/19)

Referendums (Scotland) Bill – SPICe Briefing (SPICe 19/06/19)

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019: guidance (SG 17/06/19)

Rent affordability in the affordable housing sector: literature review (SG 17/06/19)

Game of Homes: The rise of multiple property ownership in Great Britain (RF 15/06/19)

Update on current workstreams: Chief Planner letter (SG 14/06/19)

Marshalled List of Amendments selected for Stage 3 – Planning (Scotland) Bill (SP 13/06/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

Tackling climate change (SG 24/06/19)
The Scottish Government has committed significant funding to help repair and restore Scotland’s peatland areas, which store around 1600 million tonnes of carbon.

Culture to strengthen Scotland’s global links (SG 23/06/19)
The unifying power of culture will be used to emphasise Scotland’s global connections in the face of Brexit.

Communities given more say in planning (SG 20/06/19)
Communities will have more say in shaping the future development of their areas in a radical shake-up of planning laws.

The Big Climate Conversation (SG 19/06/19)
A nationwide conversation to discuss action to tackle the global climate emergency will take place in Scotland this summer, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Household numbers continue to rise (SG 18/06/19)
The number of households in Scotland has continued to increase to 2.48 million in 2018, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Young people and families helped to buy their own homes (SG 18/06/19)
More than 30,000 households have been helped to buy their home through Scottish Government support schemes since 2007.

International Creative Ambition Programme (SG 14/06/19)
Scotland’s cultural links around the world will be strengthened thanks to Scottish Government investment of £150,000.

News Releases

Public asked which significant Scots should be recognised (HES 25/06/19)
Nominations have opened for this year’s national Commemorative Plaque scheme, it was announced today (25 June 2019).

Edinburgh’s tourism industry urged to act to avoid ‘backlash’ (Scotsman 25/06/19)
An official report on the future of tourism in Edinburgh has urged industry leaders to encourage visitors to leave the city to help ease the impact of its “growing pains” amid warnings it is running the risk of a “backlash” from residents

Toads, Romans, Railways and Inverkeithing (Herald 25/06/19)
Toads, railways and a museum dedicated to Roman history in Scotland have received more than £3m from the National Lottery.

Thousands of long-term empty homes brought back to life under Scottish scheme (Herald, 24/06/19)
Hundreds of empty homes are now being brought back into use in an effort to breathe fresh life into fragile and rural communities.

Scotland set for ‘more inclusive and collaborative’ planning system as MSPs back ‘radical’ reforms (SHN 21/06/19)
Planning minister Kevin Stewart said communities will have more say in shaping the future development of their areas after MSPs agreed to a “radical shake-up” of planning laws.

British Council & Heritage Alliance Travel Grant Scheme (THA 20/06/19)
The Heritage Alliance, in partnership with the British Council, is offering a second round of travel grants for heritage professionals to develop mutually beneficial international projects and partnerships for their organisations.

Public Choice Award (EN 20/06/19)
Vote for the 2019 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

Launch of £100 million Heritage Horizon Awards (NLHF 19/06/19)
The Heritage Horizon Awards will invest £100million over the next three years in ambitious, innovative and transformational projects that will revolutionise UK heritage.

Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks (CityLab 19/06/19)
The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

7 Most Endangered programme 2020 (EN 19/06/19)
If you know of an important heritage site in Europe that is endangered – such as a historic monument or archaeological site, a place of worship, an industrial complex, a historic park, a museum or a movable heritage asset, nominate it for the 7 Most Endangered programme 2020.

FutureTown Design 2019: Open for Applications! (STP 19/06/19)
What changes would you like to see in your town or city neighbourhood? Share your vision in this innovative national competition!

National Trust and National Lottery team up for Future Parks initiative (NLHF 17/06/19)
Eight towns and cities have been selected to take part in Future Parks, an £11million initiative that aims to secure the future of our urban parks and green spaces.

Europa Nostra and the Global Heritage Fund join forces through a transformational partnership (EN 14/06/19)
Europa Nostra and the Global Heritage Fund (based in San Francisco) are joining forces to support the communities protecting endangered cultural heritage, initially in Europe, and eventually around the world.

Scottish Government appoints Indigo House to research short-term lets (SHN 13/06/19)
The Scottish Government has commissioned consultancy firm Indigo House to undertake research into the positive and negative impacts of short-term lets.

National Trust awarded Independent Research Organisation status (NT 06/06/19)
The National Trust has been awarded Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status enabling it to collaborate further with researchers across culture, history and the natural environment.

Opinion & Comment

Scotland’s Planning Bill – who will “frontloading” work for? (Cliff Hague, 21/06/19)

Democracy Versus the Climate? (RSA 21/06/19)

Introduction of statutory Chief Planning Officers welcomed by RTPI Scotland (RTPI Scotland 20/06/19)

What’s Wrong With Modern Buildings? Everything, Starting With How They’re Made (Bloomberg 19/06/19)

Planning (Scotland) Bill Stage 3 (Tammy Swift-Adams, Homes for Scotland 18/06/19)

‘Historic’ opportunity for planning reform but more funding needed (RTPI Scotland 18/06/19)

Architects Declare is a remarkable call-to-arms on climate change (Hattie Hartman, AJ 30/05/19)

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-23989: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 24/06/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with its commitment to deliver 50,000 affordable homes in the current parliamentary session.

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-23544: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 30/05/2019
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of it declaring a climate emergency and committing to review all its policies, how long it expects this assessment to take and for action to be taken to ensure that coastal communities in the Western Isles are adequately protected.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (07/06/2019)


Motion S5M-17892: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/06/2019
Working Group on Tenement Maintenance 
That the Parliament appreciates the work of the Working Group on Maintenance of Tenement Scheme Property and the publication of its Final Recommendations Report; acknowledges that the group had cross-party representation and has gathered views from across the Parliament and that of the housing sector; notes that the report acknowledges the important action that has already been taken to improve the condition of Scottish tenements; recognises the challenges that must be met to ensure that Scotland’s housing stock can continue to provide safe and sustainable homes for the future, and believes that the group’s recommendations merit serious and careful consideration.

Supported by: Andy Wightman, Aileen Campbell, Graham Simpson, John Mason.

Read the full debate in Chamber on 26/06/2019.


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

Scotland 2030: A Sustainable Future for Urban Scotland
Date & time: Wednesday 26 June, 6pm to 8pm.
Venue: The Scottish Parliament.
Life in Scotland’s towns and cities is forecast to change significantly in the coming decades. Cities are set to continue to grow, facing the challenge of providing housing and services for new populations, while the role and place of towns in Scotland remains uncertain as traditional high streets disappear and services are increasingly centralised. Join an expert panel to consider how we can build a sustainable future for urban Scotland, putting communities at the heart of regeneration.

Meet the Makers – Traditional Craftsmanship in the Modern World
Date& time: 2nd July 6pm.
Venue: 54 Bell Street.
Think masters, journeymen, and travelling apprentices in ancient crafts are a thing of the past? Welcome to the world of the French Compagnons, an ancient traditional still very much alive… And we’ve brought them to Glasgow! Traditional travelling apprenticeships are still very much alive, with thousands of craftspeople travelling around Europe every year honing and sharing their skills. In France they are called compagnons, an ancient tradition that still produces master craftspeople who make art, furniture, and buildings we use and cherish. Glasgow City Heritage Trust is pleased to welcome three traditional craftspeople in the French compagnon tradition, who will speak to us about craft, tradition, and the unbelievable journey taken in the pursuit of craft mastery. This event, for enthusiasts as well as students and craftspeople, aims to inspire enthusiasm for studying and honing traditional building crafts.

End of the Line: Photographs of Glasgow by John R Hume
Date & time: Friday June 28th, 6pm-8pm.
Venue: GCHT, 54 Bell St, Glasgow, G1 1LQ.
John R Hume first started documenting Glasgow’s industrial buildings in 1964. Wandering the city by bicycle, he was determined to get images of as many of the city’s decaying industrial buildings as possible before they disappeared. He was just in time. The photographs in End of the Line represent the enormity of the loss of Glasgow’s industrial heritage since the 1960s and 1970s. They shed a light on Glasgow’s industrial decline as the buildings fell in to gradual disuse and were demolished.


Practical CPD: Stone Cleaning
Date & time: 24th July 12:30-1:30
Venue: CBC Stone 119 Whitefield Rd, Glasgow.
Cleaning stone buildings can be a double-edged sword: It can bring beauty and elegance to facades and streetscapes, but it also can have disastrous unintended consequences if the wrong materials or techniques are used. Graeme Frame, director of CBC Stone and member of the national Stone Federation, will cover the appropriate and inappropriate applications of different stone cleaning methods. At CBC Stone’s premises near Govan, participants will learn through a combination of lecture and hands-on activity, testing and trying different methods out in the stone yard. This session will be valuable to enthusiasts and homeowners, as well as to professionals. Please note: This practical CPD session will take place off-site, at 119 Whitehill Rd. Light lunch and all PPE will be provided. Please wear close-toed shoes. All GCHT CPD sessions are recognised by the IHBC, and attendees can obtain a CPD certificate upon completion. £20 per person /£15 for students, including light lunch and PPE

Claim that funding!
Date & time: Wednesday 28th August, 9.30am – 4pm
Venue: The Acorn Centre, Inverurie.
Full Cost Recovery and Measuring Impact – two of the most challenging areas of a built heritage project. Join us for training in both topics from Pamela Redpath and come armed with any queries that you would like answered! We will also hear from local heritage case studies, including the team at the Garioch Heritage Centre, whilst making sure that there is plenty of time for attendees to network, problem solve and share their news. This is a joint event run by the Heritage Trust Network and the Scottish Civic Trust.


Traditional Buildings Inspector
Stirling City Heritage Trust are looking for a new inspector to join our Traditional Buildings Health Check team.
The closing date is Monday 15 July 2019.

Post-Brexit environmental governance in Scotland
LINK is currently seeking an individual (or organisation) to undertake a research project, on post-Brexit environmental governance in Scotland.
Deadline for tenders: 29 June 2019.

Professional Development (PD) Officer
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is seeking a Professional Development (PD) Officer to operate across all their UK-based branches.
Closing Date: Monday 8 July 2019.

Scottish Land Commission Internship
Scottish Land Commission are looking for an intern to research and develop at least two innovative community funding models for the Scottish context.
Deadline for applications: 29 July 2019.