BEFS Bulletin – Scottish Traditional Building Forum

Get historic environment events, jobs, news and publications in the latest BEFS Bulletin.


BEFS welcomes a grant from Historic Environment Scotland to fund the running and coordination of the Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF). STBF is made up of a network of local traditional building forums with local representation who work together to highlight specific issues relating to traditional buildings and building practices. Read more about STBF and BEFS here.

BEFS aims to raise the profile of STBF and provide guidance and support for the regional forums. This will be achieved with the help of John McKinney, who has been appointed STBF’s Coordinator. John introduces us to the invaluable work of STBF in BEFS latest blog.

BEFS has submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Europe and External Relations Committee on Scotland’s relationship with the EU. Evidence gave a flavour of members’ involvement with the EU in terms of the relevant EU Directives, funding relationships, networks and projects, training and movement of people with specialist skills. You can read the submission here.


Have Your Say: Your Invitation to Contribute to A&DS Corporate Strategy 2017-2020 (A&DS 15/09/16)
A&DS is currently preparing its new corporate plan for 2017-2020, and we are opening up our ideas to our wider stakeholders.  As part of this we would like to hear from you.
The closing deadline for contributions is 31st October 2016.

Improving transparency in land ownership in Scotland: a consultation on controlling interests in land (SG 11/09/16)
A consultation on proposals for regulations to require the disclosure of persons with controlling interest in landowners and tenants in a register to be held by the Registers of Scotland.
Consultation runs from 11 Sep 2016 to 5 Dec 2016.


Consultation on secondary legislation proposals relating to Part 3A of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 – the community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land as introduced by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (SG 15/19/16)
Analysis of the recent consultation on the Community Right to Buy Abandoned, Neglected or Detrimental Land (also known as Part 3A).

Implementation of planning changes: technical consultation (DCLG 02/09/16)
Summary of responses and the government response to the neighbourhood planning chapter of the technical consultation on planning.

Consultation on proposals relating to secondary legislation for Part 3 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 – the crofting community right to buy as amended by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 – Analysis of consultation responses


Housing Statistics for Scotland 2016 – Key Trends Summary (SG 13/09/16)
This annual publication presents statistics on housing supply and public sector housing in Scotland up to 31st March 2016, based on information collected from local authorities, housing associations and the Scottish Government affordable housing supply programme.

A Plan For Scotland: The Scottish Government’s Programme For Scotland 2016-17 (SG 06/09/16)
The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2016-17 sets out the actions the Government will take in the forthcoming year and beyond.


Scotland’s future in Europe (SG 14/09/16)
Scotland must remain in the EU single market. The importance of Scotland remaining part of the European Union’s single market was a key theme during the first in a series of parliamentary debates on the implications of Brexit.

Council ward boundaries agreed (SG 14/09/16)
Ministers decide on council ward boundaries. Council ward boundaries across Scotland have been agreed, following Ministers’ decisions on recommendations from the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland. The Commission published recommendations for changes to councillor numbers and ward boundaries in May, following completion of its fifth periodic review of local government electoral arrangements.

More affordable housing approved (SG 13/09/16)
Continued commitment to delivering more homes. The number of affordable homes approved over the year to the end of June 2016 has increased by 26% on the previous year, bringing the total number of approvals over the year to 8,067.

Stability in new housing supply (SG 13/19/16)
Two sets of housing statistics have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The Annual Housing Statistics update includes information on total housing supply, local authority house sales, lettings and evictions, stock and vacancy rates, supported housing, housing lists, scheme of assistance and houses in multiple occupation. The Quarterly Housing Statistics update includes information on new house building, affordable housing supply and right to buy applications and sales.

Community right to buy (SG 08/09/16)
More communities across Scotland are benefitting from the ownership of land. Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham has announced that more than 500,000 acres in Scotland are now in community ownership – breaking the half way mark on the million acres target set in 2013.

eBuildingStandards service launches (SG 01/09/16)
eBuildingStandards follows the launch of the improved ePlanning service in January, and signals the latest development in streamlining public services in the digital age. This new service makes it quicker and easier to apply for building work both on individual home improvement projects and for larger commercial developments.


Views Sought on Local Government and Housing Budgets (SP 19/09/16)
The impact of budget reductions on council services is to be scrutinised by the Local Government and Communities Committee as it starts its annual budget examination.

‘Future of LG Archaeology Services’ report out: HER funding, training support; archives development, and much more (IHBC 16/09/16)
The long-awaited 2014 report on ‘The Future of Local Government ((LG) Archaeology Services Report’, to which IHBC contributed, has been published by the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (APPAG), and includes recommendations to ‘develop a voluntary developer contribution which would establish a ring-fenced national fund which will help financially secure local authority HER services’.

Scotland’s heritage volunteers named in nationwide shortlist (HES 15/09/16)
Shortlist for second annual Scottish Heritage Angel Awards announced. ‘Angels’ behind the restoration of a memorial tower on Orkney, the safeguarding of a Victorian-built community hall in Glasgow and a Borders-based project that has recorded Scotland’s industrial brick makers are amongst those to have been chosen to go through to the finals of the 2016 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards.

Parliament says: Health should be a ‘material consideration’ in planning (IHBC 14/09/16)
MPs have urged ministers to stipulate that health should be a material consideration in both planning and licensing law, as the Commons Health Committee has recommended in its report on public health, warning of widening health inequalities now councils have taken over more responsibility in this area at a time of cuts to budgets and front-line services.

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage – Call for Entries (EN 13/09/16)
Europa Nostra Awards is Europe’s highest honour in the heritage field. It recognises the best restoration projects; the most impressive research; the most dedicated heritage professionals and volunteers; and the finest awareness raising, training and educational programmes. Architects, craftsmen, cultural heritage experts, professionals and volunteers, public and private institutions, and local communities: this is your chance to win the top heritage award in Europe!

Historic Environment Scotland welcomes new CEO (HES 12/09/16)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is pleased to announce that Alex Paterson has taken up his new role of Chief Executive Officer as of Monday 12 September 2016.

Landscape Research Group 50th Anniversary Research Fund (LRG 08/19/16)
In 2017, the LRG celebrates its 50th Anniversary and we have created a 50th Anniversary Research Fund.  This fund will be used to support a small number of high-quality projects which align strongly with our Research Strategy. More specifically, the LRG 50th Anniversary Research Fund will be targeted to support projects dealing with the theme of landscape justice.

New Bill will boost growth and housebuilding (DCLG 07/09/16)
The Bill will speed up and strengthen the popular neighbourhood planning process. Measures in the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill will support more housebuilding and provide more local say over developments the Housing and Planning Minister announced today.

Making Space 2016: Design spaces where children can be spontaneous and independent (A&DS 01/09/16) 
Architects and planners must do more to ensure public and private spaces are designed in a way that respect children’s rights to play, according to award-winning Japanese architect Professor Takaharu Tezuka. Professor Tezuka will visit Glasgow in November as keynote speaker at Making Space 2016 – an international award and conference focusing on architecture and design for children.

Call for papers – Heritage and Well-being Conference 2017 (CCT 09/16)
We are seeking papers and proposals for practical workshops for our biennial international heritage conference from 22-24 March 2017. The conference will explore the powerful relationship between conserving the built environment and healthy productive communities and mental well-bring. The deadline for proposals is 3rd October.


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-02438 Oliver Mundell: To ask the Scottish Government what the average cost per unit was for new social housing built by local authorities for (a) one-, (b) two- and (c) three-bedroom properties in each year since 2007. (SP 09/09/16)

S5W-02262 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government how it is using its powers under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 to improve the standard of private sector housing. (SP 05/09/16)

S5W-02263 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government how many homes have received support from the Rural Poverty Task Force. (SP 05/09/16)

S5W-02267 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the condition of the current housing stock. (SP 05/09/16)

S5W-02268 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the suggestion in the Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2014 that the main cause of failing to meet the standard in all tenures relates to poor energy efficiency, what measures it plans or has introduced to improve energy efficiency in (a) social housing and (b) the private sector. (SP 05/09/16)

S5W-02270 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the provision of maintenance and repairs for social housing. (SP 05/09/16)

S5W-02271 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the call on 30 August 2016 from the Existing Homes Alliance for the forthcoming budget to significantly increase public investment in home energy efficiency measures. (SP 05/09/16)

S5W-02272 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the call on 30 August 2016 from the Existing Homes Alliance for the forthcoming programme for government to set an objective for a national infrastructure programme that supports every home to reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2025. (SP 05/09/16)


Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Question S5W-01891: Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what action it takes to encourage businesses to adapt older properties to make them fully accessible for disabled people.
Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (06/09/2016)

Question S5W-02066: Adam Tomkins, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2016
To ask the Scottish Government when it will respond to the recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland, which were submitted in May 2016.
Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (08/09/2016)

Question S5W-02130: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/08/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what consultation it (a) has had and (b) plans with local authorities regarding the Land Scotland organisation that was referred to on page 18 of the 2016 SNP manifesto.
Answered by Fergus Ewing (09/09/2016)

Question S5W-02129: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/08/2016
To ask the Scottish Government by what date it will introduce the mandatory public register of land and how the register will be implemented.
Answered by Keith Brown (08/09/2016)

Question S5W-02090: Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2016
To ask the Scottish Government when the descriptors for each of the 42 wild land areas identified in Scottish Natural Heritage’s map of wild land areas from June 2014 will be published and for what reason they have not been published.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (09/09/2016)

Question S5W-02048: Claudia Beamish, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/08/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what (a) discussions it has had with the UK Government and (b) action it can take to match the funding provide by the EU for rural and environmental initiatives through the (i) LEADER, (ii) LIFE and (iii) other programmes if the UK leaves the EU.
Answered by Derek Mackay (08/09/2016)


Motion S5M-01297: Alison Johnstone, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2016
Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival
That the Parliament welcomes the fifth Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival events, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, hosted by Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Architecture & Design Scotland, Scottish Historic Buildings Trust and Historic Environment Scotland, and sponsored by the Construction Industry Training Board and Stone Federation GB; notes that the festival featured demonstrations of traditional building skills, including masonry, slate roofing, lead roofing, lime mortars, plastering and painting and decorating, sash and case windows and architectural cast iron, as well as a series of talks and tours; recognises that the event was a collaboration organised through the Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum; further notes that the event was open to members of the public to offer advice, with the aim of highlighting the importance of the appropriate building skills in the repair and maintenance of traditional buildings, and believes that practical demonstrations of traditional building skills provide a platform to promote these key skills.
Supported by: Colin Beattie, Liam McArthur, Ross Greer, Alexander Burnett, Richard Lyle, Miles Briggs, Monica Lennon, David Torrance, Andy Wightman, Clare Adamson, Stuart McMillan, Jackie Baillie, John Finnie

Motion S5M-01298: Alison Johnstone, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2016
Edinburgh Traditional Building Mini-golf Course
That the Parliament welcomes the traditional building mini-golf course, which was part of a wide range of events coordinated by Essential Edinburgh throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; understands that the mini-golf, which was on George Street, showcased a range of traditional building skills and materials in an innovative and interactive way; notes that it was a collaboration that was organised through the Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum and was open to the public for enjoyment and advice; understands that it aimed to highlight the importance of having skills in the repair and maintenance of traditional buildings, and believes that the course encouraged interaction with such skills that promoted them to a younger audience.
Supported by: Tavish Scott, Alexander Burnett, Neil Findlay, Richard Lyle, Miles Briggs, Ben Macpherson, Ivan McKee, David Torrance, Finlay Carson, Bill Kidd, Clare Adamson, Stuart McMillan, Jackie Baillie, Ross Greer, John Finnie


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

PR and Communications: Connecting with your local audience
When: September 28, 2016 at 2pm – 4:30pm.
Where: WG13, Kilmarnock.
Looking for some practical advice and inspiration for your PR and Communications strategy? An exciting new event, running for the second time, from STP in partnership with East Ayrshire Council that will leave you feeling inspired to find your towns’ USP, grab the headlines and to make a cutting edge film to deliver your messages.

Scotland’s Thatched Buildings – Current Condition and Future Protection 
When: Thursday 29th September, 10.00am – 4.00pm.
Where: Culloden Baptist Church.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (Scotland) and Historic Environment Scotland, in collaboration with the National Trust for Scotland, and the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group welcomes you to join us for a day of celebrating Thatched Buildings in Scotland.

The 7th Annual Place-Making Symposium: Streets Beyond: Beyond Streets – The Changing Role and Purpose of Public Space
When: 11th November 2016.
Where: Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee.
A landmark collaborative event that marks the 10th birthdays of The Academy of Urbanism and Architecture & Design Scotland, set within the Scottish Government’s Year of Innovation. Streets and other urban spaces need to respond to the demands of modern life, including vehicle access and human walkability, safety and well-being, local business needs and shifts in arts and culture. There has been a progressive shift from utilitarian corridors to ‘positive’ streets where people want to be where they feel comfortable, safe and even inspired by their surroundings.

SCT Conference 2016: Celebrating Civic Pride
When: 15 November 2016
Where: Linlithgow Burgh Halls
The next Scottish Civic Trust annual conference will showcase and celebrate the work of local civic trusts, amenity societies and heritage volunteers. The people that make up these groups work tirelessly to promote and protect local heritage, places and spaces. The conference will provide them with a platform to show what they have achieved, explain why they do it and set out the challenges and difficulties they face.

Scottish Empty Homes Conference 2016
When: 15th November 2016
Where: Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh
Join us for the sixth annual Scottish Empty Homes Conference, chaired by Tony Cain, Policy Manger, ALACHO.  With featured speakers including; Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, and John Maher, Photographer & Brian Whitington, Project Manager, Tighean Innse Gall. This conference is invaluable for Empty Home Practicioners, Elected Members, Housing Development Staff, Community Groups and others with an interest in private sector empty homes work.


Expand your skills, gain CPD and try something new?
The Volunteer Welcome is a chance to hear about PAS as an organisation, the volunteering opportunities we offer and how we operate – as well as meeting other volunteers.  One of our existing volunteers will attend at each event as well and will speak about their involvement in PAS.
• 6pm – 8pm, Wednesday 5 October, Edinburgh
• 6pm – 8pm, Thursday 6 October, Glasgow
Contact Robert Pickles ( for more details. Book your place at

Conservation Challenges – RIAS Autumn Seminar
This seminar will constitute excellent CPD and we anticipate that places will sell out fast. Members are advised that a Conservation Autumn seminar has been organised for the afternoon of Tuesday 11th October 2016. It is aimed at all RIAS accredited architects as well as members who wish to apply for accreditation. The topics covered will include funding and fund-raising (including for small projects), project business plans and listing. The technical component will examine stonework and will range from selecting the quarry and Supplier, specification writing for architects and advice on key points for site inspections.


Call for nominations for CIfA Advisory Council and the Board of Directors (CIfA 02/09/16)

The formal call for nominations for CIfA Advisory Council and the Board of Directors has now been issued. Candidate forms must arrive at the CIfA office by Friday 9 September 2016. Accredited members will be invited to vote for candidates in a postal ballot if the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies. Ballot papers, accompanied by information and an election statement of the candidates, will be distributed to members and the ballot will run from 19 September to 4 October 2016 inclusive.

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.