BEFS Bulletin – Position Statement

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Consultations, Publications And Vacancies.


BEFS has responded to the latest Position Statement published by Scottish Government on the planning review. BEFS has expressed disappointment that the scope of the review has shifted from major reform to a series of procedural changes. BEFS has flagged up the inherent tension in seeking to balance greater community participation with the planning system while speeding up and simplifying decision-making processes. For a review of BEFS Members’ submissions and links to some of BEFS members’ submissions, read our news release.

Following BEFS event on barriers to community engagement in planning, we have two blogs that follow the planning theme this week.

Nick Wright, of Nick Wright Planning, reflects on the findings of his report on barriers to community engagement in planning, commissioned by the Scottish Government.

Leah Lockhart, The Democratic Society, outlines some of the key themes that came out of the discussion at BEFS event and how digital engagement can overcome barriers to community engagement.

In our third blog this week, Harry Woodward, Tenant Participation Officer, Dunedin Canmore, writes in a personal capacity about Paul Sng’s documentary ‘Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle’ and reflects on BEFS event with Tower Block UK.

I am sure you are all looking forward to Doors Open Days in September. Also, don’t miss the Festival of Architecture 2017 next month.


European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (SP 08/17)
The Scottish Parliament Finance and Constitution Committee intends to undertake scrutiny of the Bill including consideration of the expected legislative consent memorandum following the Parliament’s summer recess.  In order to inform the Committee’s evidence taking, the Committee is seeking views on the impact of the Bill upon the devolution settlement and the expected legislative consent memorandum.
The closing date for responses is Friday 29 September 2017. 

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has launched a consultation on its Gaelic Language Plan for 2018 to 2023.
The consultation runs from 15 August to 31 October.

House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement Call for Evidence:
The committee is keen to hear from a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations in order to understand the nature of the citizenship challenge for different parts of society; the aim being to identify new ways of building bridges within and between communities, and to support civic engagement.
Deadline: 8 September 2017.


Rural heritage under threat: looking after our landscapes post Brexit (The Heritage Alliance)

HLF funding for community asset transfer (HLF)


Brexit threatens environmental ambition (SG 17/08/17)
The Scottish and Welsh environment ministers will today pledge to work together to resist the UK Government’s attempt to take control of devolved powers.

Taking action on climate change (SG 16/08/17)
Organisations across Scotland are being encouraged to host events and raise awareness of the impact of climate change as part of Climate Week 2017. Running from 18 – 22 September, Scotland’s Climate Week will highlight the actions people and organisations can take together to reduce emissions and adapt to a changing climate.

£4.4 million announced for energy efficiency projects across Scotland (SG 10/08/17)
Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) phase 2 pilots. Councils will share £4.4 million to improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, public buildings and community projects. 15 local authorities will use the funding to deliver innovative ways to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty.

Brexit Bill talks (SG 09/0/17)
Speaking after today’s meeting with UK First Secretary of State Damian Green on the issue of the repatriation of powers following Brexit – which was also attended by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scottish Secretary David Mundell – Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell said: “Today was a useful opportunity for an exchange of views between ourselves and the UK Government on Brexit and the repatriation of powers it will involve.”

‘Schools Out’ for the Queensferry Crossing (SG 09/08/17)
Following confirmation that the official opening by The Queen will take place on 4 September, and in response to local feedback, an additional 10,000 people from local schools and community groups on both sides of the Forth will have the chance to walk onto the bridge the next day (5 September).  Then, from 6 September onwards, the bridge will re-open to traffic, with no pedestrian access.

Queensferry Crossing official opening (SG 04/08/17)
Date set for new Forth bridge to be opened by The Queen. The Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 4 September 2017.

Funding our maritime heritage (SG 04/08/17)
£500,000 for the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s iconic flagship, Reaper, has been announced during the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop. The funding will allow for a full refit of the historic herring drifter, which for the last thirty years has acted as an outreach ambassador for the museum, for Fife and for Scotland. This will be its most comprehensive refit since 1903.

Scotland’s coastline at risk (SG 04/08/17)
New mapping tool highlights threat to coastline. Nearly a fifth of Scotland’s coastline is at risk of erosion, threatening some of the country’s most prized land and infrastructure within the next 30 years.


First Ever Heritage Awareness Day Launched (HES 17/08/17)
HES is urging people across Scotland to come face to face with history as details of the inaugural Heritage Awareness Day were revealed at the iconic Leith Theatre today (Wednesday 16 August). Heritage Awareness Day – Scotland’s first-ever day dedicated to celebrating heritage – will take place on Friday 6th October, as the country continues to celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Voting is now open for the Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street (STP 15/08/17)
After receiving fantastic entries, a judging panel of representatives from Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Keep Scotland Beautiful have drawn up a shortlist of 10 finalists. The winner will be decided by an online public vote, which will be open until 1 October 2017. The winner will be announced at Scotland’s Towns Conference in Paisley on 21st November 2017.

Historic Environment Scotland Launch Gaelic Language Consultation (HES 15/08/17)
HES has launched a consultation on its Gaelic Language Plan for 2018 to 2023. The plan seeks to build upon the organisation’s success with Gaelic development, which includes the incorporation of Gaelic interpretation into 29 of its historical sites, a learning program that has benefitted over 4,000 pupils and teachers and a strong portfolio of Gaelic media content for adult learners.

Could superfast broadband aid planning in Scotland? (RICS 14/08/17)
The Scottish Government has pledged to ensure that 100 per cent of Scotland has access to superfast broadband by 2021. But is there a way to maximise this pledge in conjunction with the planning system?

Homelessness in Scotland predicted to rise by over 50% by 2041 (SHN 10/08/17)
There are currently 11,800 people across Scotland either sleeping rough, staying in hostels, living in unsuitable temporary accommodation, sofa surfing or experiencing other forms of the worst types of homelessness such as squats, refuges or sleeping in cars. Now new expert analysis conducted for Crisis by Heriot-Watt University has revealed that this figure is expected to rise to 12,200 by 2021 before accelerating to 18,100 – a rise of 53% on current levels – in 2041.

Search is on for Scotland’s next generation of social innovators (Firstport 09/08/17)
The Social Innovation Competition – which opens for applications today (9 August) – celebrates and supports individuals and start up companies in Scotland that are using their creativity and imagination to solve pressing social issues, focusing on culture, heritage and tourism. This is particularly relevant as Scotland celebrates the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Housing crisis ‘hitting young Scots and PRS tenants more than most’ (SHN 08/08/17)
Young people and private renters are disproportionately affected by a “terrible shortage” of affordable homes in Scotland, according to a new report. Figures from Shelter Scotland’s ‘Impact Report’ have highlighted that a shortage of affordable homes, welfare reform and stagnant wages have seen tenants struggling to afford housing costs.

Seminars will help congregations with building maintenance (CoS 04/08/17)
Caring for church buildings is one of the most challenging tasks facing any congregation or presbytery. Whether you are undertaking a major refurbishment of your church or halls, or you simply need to make a roof repair, building repairs raise questions about everything from funding sources to planning regulations.

£15 million Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund to boost region’s tech, creative and cultural industries (DDCMS 04/08/17)
Towns and cities across Northern England will be able to bid for a share of a new £15 million fund to help build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced today.

A survey is *still* not the answer to everything – return of the alternative evaluation techniques (SCVO 08/17)
After what we’re sure was a long and trying wait, we’re delighted to present the eagerly awaited follow-up to A Survey is not the Answer to Everything! Determined to avoid falling into the all too common ‘disappointing second album’ trap, we’ve been biding our time, doing our research, and are pretty confident that these evaluation techniques will blow your socks off.

Home Secretary commissions major study on EU workers (HO 27/07/17)
The Home Secretary has today (27 July) commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to examine the role EU nationals play in the UK economy and society.

HLF funding for community asset transfer (HLF 24/07/17)
Research, undertaken by Locality, examining the extent of the funding HLF has provided for asset transfer projects. The transfer of ownership and management was encouraged in the in the 2011 Localism Act. According to research by the New Local Government Network, over 70% of local authorities have carried out at least one asset transfers and 95% of local authorities expect asset transfer to play an increasingly important role in the next 5 years.


Digital Towns Pilot Programme: Call for Applications (STP 08/17)
Scotland’s Towns Partnership is seeking applications from Towns, City Neighbourhoods, Business Improvement Districts and other town stakeholder organisations to participate in the national Digital Towns Pilot Programme, which is being supported by Scottish Government.
Applications are due by 5pm, Thursday 31st August 2017.

IHBC’s new Note on ‘Townscape’: Addressing knowledge gaps in heritage policy development (IHBC 04/08/17)
The IHBC has launched a new Guidance Note (GN2017/4) on ‘Townscape as an important concept in conservation area management’, to explain the importance the Institute places on townscape as a specific concept in the proper management of conservation areas, and address current gaps in national policy development in England.

PAS takes part in TEDx event at Queen Margaret University (PAS 05/17)
PAS Chief Executive Petra Biberbach was invited to speak at this year’s TEDx QMU event a few weeks ago. The theme was ‘Our Transgenerational World’.
Petra spoke about ‘Bridging the Gaps’ between our different generations, placemaking from an intergenerational perspective – and why all ages must be more involved in shaping their communities. The video is now online.

SCT Annual Conference 2017: 50 Years of Conservation Areas (SCT)
SAVE THE DATE! 27 November 2017
As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations and recognising that the Civic Amenities Act was passed in 1967, the Scottish Civic Trust’s next annual conference, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and The Institute of Historic Building Conservation, will tackle the theme of “Fifty years of conservation areas” – what has been learned, what has been lost, and what are the threats and opportunities in the future.

50 Favourite Scottish Doors for Doors Open Days 2017 (SCT)
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration the Scottish Civic Trust is inviting everyone from celebrities to members of the public to nominate their favourite Scottish door.  For fifty consecutive days this summer, we will celebrate a favourite door to a Scottish building.  Find out what happened behind each door to make it so special in people’s lives – Granny’s house? First holiday? Best gig? School? Favourite castle? Even a pub?

Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours for a New Planning System (RTPI 31/07/17)
Craig McLaren, Director of RTPI Scotland, discusses research led by RTPI on future skills needs for planners. Earlier in the year RTPI Scotland was commissioned by Scottish Government undertake research into the skills needs for planners. This was undertaken in the context of the Review of the Planning System.


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

Playing the Past Kicking off
When: Monday 21st August.
Where: Cathkin Park in Glasgow.
Archaeology Scotland’s ‘Playing the Past’ project will be kicking off on Monday 21stAugust to uncover Cathkin Park’s rich sporting heritage as part of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Originally known as Hampden Park, Cathkin Park’s football stadium had played host to games since 1884 with games that attracted thousands of supporters. The stadium fell into disrepair after the home team, Third Lanark, folded 50 years ago in 1967. The park still holds the remains of the pitch and the terracing.
Archaeology Scotland will be excavating and surveying Cathkin Park in Glasgow ahead of the Open Day on Saturday 26 August. ‘Playing the Past’ is the park’s first archaeological excavation and members of the public are invited to view the progress throughout the week.
There are still spots available to take part in the excavation and an Open Day will also run from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 26 August with the opportunity to explore a mobile museum and excavate. Visitors are encouraged to bring along any images and memories from the park to be recorded. This event will also act as the launch for the annual Scottish Archaeology Month.
If you would like to take part in the excavation, please get in touch with the team at to book your place.

Join us for an exclusive and fascinating trip to the Isle of May
When: Sunday 3rd September 2017.
Where: Isle of May.
We will visit the harbour, lighthouse, beacon, wartime remains, the bathhouse and St Adrian’s Priory. As an extra we will also gain entry to the ‘low lights’ and the engine room. Your host, Peter Yeoman, excavated some of the archaeology on the island and will give his insight and experience to much of the island 4000+ year history. On top of all that, the wonderful birdlife and seals will be all around. Our bus will pick up from west Edinburgh at 8.30am (location tbc) and take us to Anstruther where we will board the May Princess to sail out to the island. However you can opt to meet the group at Anstruther for the reduced price below. The sailing trip will be last around 4 ½ hours. There are toilet facilities at Anstruther and within the visitor centre on the island. Most of the island is accessible with care. The bus will return to Edinburgh around 5pm.
Tickets cost (includes ferry): Archaeology Scotland members £50. Non-members £55. Ticket cost (meeting at Anstruther): Archaeology Scotland members £33. Non-members £36
To book call 0300 012 9878 or register and pay at our website

Scottish Shared Transport Conference 
When: Thursday 21 September 2017.
Where: The Golden Lion Hotel, 8 – 10 King Street, Stirling FK8 1BD.
In partnership with the RTPI, Carplus Bikeplus is excited to announce the launch of the Scottish Shared Transport Conference 2017. Shared transport initiatives are helping to create engaged communities, and a sustainable future for us all. This free to attend conference will discuss the importance of planning for a low-carbon lifestyle, demonstrate viable car ownership alternatives, highlight successful projects, and provide access to those at the forefront of establishing new approaches to sustainable living in towns and cities. Hear from expert speakers including Daisy Narayanan from Scotland’s Towns Partnership, and Colin Black from Arcadis, plus learn from interactive break-out sessions. More details here:

RTPI Scotland Annual Conference – The New Agenda: Planners as Visionaries, Facilitators and Enablers
When: Tuesday 3 October 2017.
Where: COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh.
The conference will look at the key issues we face in Scotland to develop an agenda for change. It will hear about opportunities, challenges faced and the new thinking and doing required from inspirational and forward thinking people.  Conference delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these with others and help develop and agree the way forward.

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders Archaeology Conference
When: Saturday November 18, 2017 from 9:00am – 4:45pm.
Where: 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.


One day course: The Use of Drone Aircraft in Surveying Buildings, Landscapes and the Wider Historic Environment
The Scottish Traditional Skills Training Centre is presenting a Course in the Use of Drone Aircraft in Surveying the Condition and Assessing the Conservation, Repair and Maintenance requirements of difficult to access areas of historic buildings, bridges and other important elements of our Built and Landscape Heritage.

Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage is delivering a series of training courses and events across Scotland.
Our training is best suited to registered charities and constituted community groups. Take a walk through our simple question and answer page to determine which course is right for you. We have two main training courses and a series of ‘In Focus’ events. If you are interested in any particular event or fundraising topic, please do get in touch – we may be able to bring an event to your area

Traditional Building Skills Training
Scottish Lime Centre Trust offer a wide range of vocational and professional courses combining theory and practical working sessions designed to ensure that there are courses to suit everyone.


Application for International Project Officer (EWHT)
We are looking to appoint an International Project Officer to assist with the delivery of the Heritage Skills Build Peace and Capacity in Mardin and Diyarbak?r project. EWH and the Istanbul-based Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (KMKD) have formed a partnership to deliver a joint training programme for two historic cities in Turkey.
Closing date for applications: 5pm on Wednesday 23rd August 2017.

RIAS Consultancy – Manager (RIAS)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is looking for an experienced professional to join our RIAS Consultancy team on a flexible part-time basis.  The post offers the opportunity for someone with flare and drive, to join the Secretary and Treasurer’s office and help to develop the existing RIAS Consultancy business.  RIAS Consultancy has over 20 years of unrivalled experience in developing the full range of competitive processes for selecting design teams and contractors. The appointee must be able to promote and communicate client aspirations in a manner that engages the design and construction community.
Closing date is Friday 1st September 2017 Interviews will take place on Friday 8th September 2017.

Transformation and Business Services Director (SNH)
SNH are looking for someone with experience and a track record in the following areas:
–    A strategic approach to acquiring, managing and using information and expert knowledge to meet corporate objectives.
–    An ability to analyse and prioritise information and communicate it authoritatively to a range of customers including senior politicians and the SNH Board.
–    Effective management of people and finances to ensure high performance, collaborative working and efficiency.
–    Working in a senior management team to provide leadership to the organisation, helping to set and deliver corporate goals and adjusting to the requirements of change in a leadership team context.
–    Effective working with a wide range of stakeholders.
Closing date: Midnight on 3 September 2017

Information in the Bulletin is extracted from a number of websites including the Scottish Government (SG); the Scottish Parliament (SP); Architecture and Design Scotland(A+DS); Historic Environment Scotland (HES); Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); English Heritage (EH); Design Council (DC); Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG); Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); National Assembly for Wales (NAW); Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS); Scottish Government Building Standards  (SGBS); Europa Nostra (EN); Historic England (HE).

If you have any questions or comments on the above, or would like to submit information to be included, please get in touch with Saskia Smellie or tel: BEFS Office on 0131 220 6241.