BEFS Bulletin – Scottish Planning Review

Get the latest built environment news, consultations, publications and vacancies.


The Scottish Government has today published an analysis of responses to the consultation on Place, People and Planning, the review of the Scottish planning system, accompanied by a position statement on proposals it plans on taking forward. BEFS Planning Taskforce will be responding to the latter.

As part of the review the Scottish Government commissioned research into barriers to community engagement in the planning system. BEFS has invited two members of the team, John Lord of Yellow Book and Nick Wright to share their findings and recommendations. Book your free place at Barriers to Community Engagement in Planning on 1st August now.

BEFS responded to the recent consultation on Engaging Communities in Decisions Relating to Land, suggesting that the guidance could go further in setting out the types of engagement considered appropriate in different scenarios; querying the meaning of ‘significant land holdings’; and also seeking clarification on how the guidance is to be used in urban areas. Read the full response here.

If you contributed to the ‘What’s Your Heritage’ consultation, the analysis of responses and workshops is now out. This piece of research will contribute to a revision of the designation criteria and advice and consents policy in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement in 2018. BEFS will be working on this with its members in 2017.

The Scottish Thistle Awards 2017/18 have a new category – Historic Environment Scotland – Best Heritage Tourism Experience. To mark the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, this award is designed to celebrate Scotland’s rich and vibrant heritage and those who bring it to life.

It might only be half way through the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology, but it’s time to start planning for 2018 the Year of Young People. The aim of the year is to inspire Scotland through its young people.

The ArchiFringe kicks of this weekend and you might have to move fast to book tickets for some of the events which are taking place across Scotland in July. But it’s also an opportunity for a heads-up for the Festival of Architecture taking place in September.

Finally, we’ve picked out some built environment related events from the Edinburgh International Book Festival that might be of interest.

The next bulletin will be at the beginning of August. The team at BEFS wish you a good summer break!



Places, People and Planning – Position Statement (SG 29/06/17)
Taking into account the wide range of views expressed to the proposals set out in the Places, People and Planning consultation, Scottish Ministers have published a Position Statement which sets out changes they are considering taking forward.
Consultation closes 11 August 2017.

Energy efficiency and condition standards in private rented housing: A Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme Consultation
Closes 30 Jun 2017.


Planning Review: analysis of consultation responses (SG 29/06/17)

Improving Transparency in Land Ownership in Scotland – Consultation Analysis (SG 28/06/17)

What’s Your Heritage? Consultation Report (HES 20/06/17)


Planning Review: Young Scot survey results (SG 29/06/17)
Results from the survey commissioned by Young Scot to support our Places, People and Planning consultation.

Questions relating to a possible Land Value Tax: FOI release (SG 29/06/17)
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Managing Change in the Historic Environment: Castles and Towerhouses (HES 13/06/17)
The document provides guidance for anyone considering a castle consolidation or restoration project, such as owners, local authorities or other interested parties.

Managing Change in the Historic Environment: Guidance notes (HES)
Download Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance on making changes in line with Scottish Historic Environment Policy and Scottish Planning Policy.

Transforming planning (SG 29/06/17)
Proposals to transform the approach to planning for homes and infrastructure projects have been put forward by the Scottish Government. The ‘Places, People and Planning’ position statement sets out aspirations for a more effective system, which supports business while working with communities to ensure development happens in the right places.

Ministerial Working Group on building and fire safety (SG 28/06/17)
The second meeting of a Ministerial Working Group, convened to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, has taken place today.

Homelessness and Housing Options Statistics Published (SG 27/06/17)
Homelessness applications and the number assessed as homeless or likely to become homeless within two months both reduced during 2016/17. However, the number of households in temporary accommodation continues to increase.

Rural Parliament support (SG 25/06/17)
Rural communities will have a stronger voice thanks to funding for the Rural Parliament announced by Environment and Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham. The £200,000 funding for Scottish Rural Action (SRA) will support delivery of their 2017–19 Action Plan, which contains five policy areas debated and chosen by rural communities at the 2016 Rural Parliament in Brechin.

Comment on cladding and high rise buildings (23/06/17)
Communities Secretary provides further update. Communities Secretary Angela Constance said: “This week, we asked local authorities to give us further information about their high rise domestic buildings. They have reported that they have over 500 high rise domestic buildings in their areas…”

£10 million for affordable housing (SG 23/06/17)
Investment for homes in the Highlands. A £10 million fund to build affordable homes across the Highlands has been announced by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart today (23rd June). The Highland Infrastructure Fund is a partnership with The Highland Council and will support and accelerate the delivery of affordable housing across the region.

Comment on cladding and high rise buildings (SG 22/06/17)
Communities Secretary provides update. Communities Secretary, Angela Constance, said: “Scottish building regulations state that cladding on high rise domestic buildings built since 2005, and cladding added to existing high rise domestic buildings since 2005, should be made of non-combustible materials or a cladding system that has met stringent fire tests.

Protecting the marine environment (SG 21/06/17)
Monitoring of Marine Protected Areas. Fishermen can support the monitoring and surveying of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable marine habitats as part of a new strategy.

Review of building and fire safety regulations (SG 20/06/17)
The first meeting of a Ministerial Working Group, convened to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, has taken place today.


HES leads climate change initiative (HES 28/06/17)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is leading an international initiative to support communities across Northern Europe in assessing the impact of climate change on historic buildings, archaeological sites and other heritage locations.

Engine Shed Officially Opens (HES 26/06/17)
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs encourages the public to explore Scotland’s built heritage. An exciting new chapter for Scotland’s heritage sector begins today as Historic Environment Scotland unveils The Engine Shed, its pioneering £11m national building conservation centre.

Public will have say in Scotland’s new National Cultural Strategy, says culture secretary (Herald Scotland 26/06/17)
Fiona Hyslop said that the conversation about the plan would be broadened after a meeting of nearly 100 writers, performers, directors, arts company executives, poets and film writers at the Glasgow Women’s Library to discuss the SNP vow to establish the strategy.

Safety of Scotland’s high rise homes to be examined (SP 26/06/17)
The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee will scrutinise accommodation in Scotland’s high rise communities, by expanding an on-going inquiry into housing and building regulations in Scotland.

Scottish government launches tower block safety review (Urban Realm 26/06/17)
The Scottish Government has launched a tower block safety review in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze in London as part of a wider review of building standards in the wake of the tragedy.

Results of Public Campaign, ‘What’s Your Heritage?’ Announced (HES 20/16/17)
A report on what heritage means to Scots has been published today (Tuesday 20 June) by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and reveals which of Scotland’s places, buildings and monuments should be recognised and celebrated.

How Good is Our Place? Place Standard wins top planning award (A&DS 16/06/17)
The Place Standard developed by Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland has won in the Excellence in Planning for Wellbeing category in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. The Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry.

Heritage Alliance and British Council webinar on cultural heritage post Brexit (HA 15/06/17)
Lizzie Glithero-West FSA, Chief Executive of the Heritage Alliance, and Silke Pillnger, Director of EU Arts from the British Council, chaired a webinar ‘What role can Heritage play in the future of the cultural sector post-Brexit’. The discussion started with an in-depth interview with our expert panel – Ben Cowell, Director General of the Historic Houses Association, Henry Owen-John, Head of International Advice at Historic England and Peter Hinton, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. This was followed by an open Q&A session.

Mapping the creative value chains (HA 15/06/17)
The EU has published A study on the economy of culture in the digital age. This maps the different value chains for visual arts, performing arts, cultural heritage, artistic crafts, book publishing, music, film, TV and broadcasting as well as multimedia. The study examines how the competitive position of the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) is affected by digitisation.

Co-producing quality places: Learning for the Place Standard (A&DS)
Community empowerment sits at the heart of the Scottish approach to making places work. Changing places with people is about sharing a sense of the issues and ambitions, supported by examples of the art of the possible.

Digging Deeper: What communities think about regeneration projects (A&DS)
As part of the process of informing and engaging communities in the regeneration of Pennywell, Community Action North [CAN] organised a study trip to Mannheim and Vauban in Germany to learn about the way different communities co-produced places for people. The trip was facilitated by Governance International, who bring a wealth of experience in co-producing better outcomes with citizens.


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”.

S5W-09693 Daniel Johnson: To ask the Scottish Government how many schools have
aluminium composite cladding panels installed, and what information it has on other buildings that have had these panels installed. (SP 19/06/17)

S5T-00595 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Government what checks have been undertaken on residential tower blocks and new public buildings, including schools, in light of the recent tragic event at Grenfell Tower. (SP 20/06/17)

S5W-09759 Gordon MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Government when the Queensferry
Crossing will open to traffic. (SP 20/06/17)

S5W-09723 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Government what guidance (a) has been and (b) will be delivered to (i) housing developers and (ii) local authorities to ensure that social housing developments announced as part of its £1.75 billion investment in affordable housing take account of the needs of ethnic minority families, including the provision of housing that is appropriate for (A) larger families and (B) families that often have to rent housing in the private sector but which are on lower incomes. (SP 20/06/17)

S5W-09767 Daniel Johnson: To ask the Scottish Government how many building control officers there have been in each local authority in each of the last 10 years, also broken down by the number of each type of building that have responsibility for. (SP 20/06/17)

S5O-01165 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government whether the ministerial working group on fire safety will review building standards regulations regarding the provision of automatic fire suppression systems. (SP 21/06/17)

S5O-01170 Dean Lockhart: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase the availability of social housing in rural communities. (SP 21/06/17)

S5O-01171 Bruce Crawford: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that local authorities and the housebuilding sector can be confident that the goal of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021 is reached. (SP 21/06/17)


The Parliament has agreed the following parliamentary recess dates in 2017:

  • 1 July to 3 September 2017 (inclusive)
  • 7 to 22 October 2017 (inclusive)


Members’ Business Debate on the subject: The Scottish Civic Trust, 50 Years of Protecting Scotland’s Built Heritage

Motion debated:

S5M-05856 Linda Fabiani: The Scottish Civic Trust, 50 Years of Protecting Scotland’s Built Heritage—That the Parliament congratulates the Scottish Civic Trust on its 50th anniversary; notes that the trust began in 1967 to respond to the destruction of buildings and townscapes around Scotland; acknowledges that it helped to save New Lanark from dereliction and assisted in developing a network of local civic trusts around Scotland; welcomes initiatives that it has established, including Doors Open Day and the My Place Awards; recognises that the trust has an ongoing commitment to save buildings and townscapes, keeping communities at the heart of its movement, and thanks all volunteers, past and present, for their sterling work. (SP 20/06/17)

Read the full transcript of the debate here.


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

Global Challenges in Cultural Heritage Conference 
When: 1st – 3rd September 2017.
Where: University of Stirling.
The Global Challenges in Cultural Heritage conference programme has been released with over 20 sessions presented by international speakers from United Kingdom, Europe, China and Australia. The programme offers the opportunity to hear from leading academics and heritage professionals who will discuss the significance and value of cultural heritage using local and international examples. Workshops run by Historic Environment Scotland will offer practical based learning opportunities in digital documentation, building pathology and craft skills. This is a fantastic opportunity for academics and practitioners to collaborate in finding solutions to global cultural heritage challenges.

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.


Banff CARS vacancy – Aberdeenshire Council
You will concentrate on a wide range of issues primarily in relation to building conservation, regeneration, listed buildings and conservation areas. Working in a team, you will be responsible for both statutory work and project implementation. The range of work involves progressing the Banff Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, giving advice on listed building applications and undertaking conservation area reviews