BEFS Bulletin – Working Group on Tenement Maintenance

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


The most recent Scottish House Condition Survey reported that 68% of all dwellings exhibited some degree of disrepair. There remain significant challenges facing the repair and maintenance of residential buildings under shared ownership.

Within this context, BEFS is delighted to announce that the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance is now firmly established. The working group was first convened by Ben Macpherson MSP in March 2018. The first two meetings saw cross party attendance with representatives from property management, property law, chartered surveying and architecture, with BEFS and the RICS providing the secretariat function. The aims are long term, provisionally making recommendations at the end of this parliament.

The new National Performance Framework has now been launched. The indicator for the historic environment remains the condition of pre1919 dwellings

In our blog this week, BEFS Policy and Advocacy Officer, Ailsa Macfarlane, reflects on how to improve and use existing building stock following a recent Transition Edinburgh event, Carbon Neutral Edinburgh 2050.

In what is hopefully a final mention of the General Data Protection Regulation, you can now find BEFS Privacy Notice and new and improve Data Protection Policy on our website here.

Built Environment Forum Scotland celebrated its 15th birthday on 11th June! We would like to thank you for your continued engagement, support and interest in the work of the forum.


Heritage Lottery Fund Policy Directions consultation (DDCMS 15/06/18)
This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 29 July 2018.

Delivering improved transparency in land ownership in Scotland: Consultation on draft regulations
Opened 20 Jun 2018 and closes 8 Nov 2018.

Consultation Responses

Analysis of Responses on Consultation on the Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Premises with Sleeping Accommodation (SG 13/06/18)


Building More, Building Beautiful (Policy Exchange 20/06/18) 

Places for People (PfP) – Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) Results (SG 19/06/18)

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Premises with Sleeping Accommodation (SG 13/06/18)

The potential impact of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the digital single market: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of Session 2017—19 (DCMSC 06/18)

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and Heritage Properties: Mitigating risks through the procurement and interpretation of Energy Performance Certificates (Better Buildings Partnership 04/06/18)

Scottish Government News Releases

Land ownership (SG 20/06/18)
New register will improve transparency. The first steps are being taken to create a public register of people who ultimately make decisions about how land is used and managed.

Scottish Crown Estate (SG 19/06/18)
The Scottish Parliament has approved in principle a bill that will give local authorities and communities the opportunity to directly manage Scottish Crown Estate assets.

Homelessness and Housing Options Statistics Published (SG 19/06/18)
Scottish local authorities received 34,972 applications for homelessness assistance between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, 1% higher than the same period during 2016/17.  Comparing the same time periods, 43,900 Housing Options approaches were recorded, a reduction of 16%.

More affordable homes (SG 19/06/18)
Multi-million-pound investment in mid-market rent scheme. One thousand new homes will be delivered across Scotland through the latest affordable housing investment fund.

Energy efficiency funding (SG 17/06/18)
Households and businesses are to benefit from more than £2 million of funding to help use energy more efficiently. The Scottish Government has given the money to 15 councils to fund projects that will support homeowners and businesses installing energy efficiency measures as part of the new Energy Efficient Scotland programme.

Fire at Glasgow School of Art (SG 16/06/18)
Response to major fire in Glasgow.

Building and fire safety (SG 13/06/18)
Consultation on expert group recommendations. Increasing the use of sprinkler systems and mandatory inspections are to be considered to improve building safety following the advice of two expert panels.

Affordable housing approvals up 14% to 11,680 in latest year (SG 12/06/18)
A National Statistics Publication for Scotland. There were 11,677 affordable homes approved in 2017/18, 14% more than the previous year, and the third consecutive annual increase since 2014/15.

A vision for national wellbeing (SG 11/06/18)
New National Performance Framework launched. A new framework for building a more successful and inclusive Scotland, and the way in which progress towards it can be measured, has been launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

News Releases

RIAS Announces 12 Winners in RIAS Awards 2018 (RIAS 21/06/18)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) announced 12 winners for its 2018 Awards, representing the very best of current Scottish architecture. Stewart Henderson, President of the RIAS, commented that when shortlisting this year’s entries for awards the panel were struck by the continuing high standard of submissions.

CARS funding to drive investment in more Scottish communities (HES 15/06/18)
Scottish communities are set to benefit from a £10 million investment under Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) flagship conservation and regeneration funding programme. Applications are now open for local authorities, national park authorities, voluntary sector organisations and community groups to apply for grants under the eighth round of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS),

Resource For Heritage Projects Relaunched (HLF 15/06/18)
Many heritage projects struggle to ‘pass go’. This is often as a result of a lack of experience, understanding or support in key project areas.  For those community groups seeking guidance to rescue historic buildings and bring them into sustainable use, look no further! created by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust’s BRICK Programme has been updated and relaunched.

Democracy Matters Community Engagement Fund (VAF 06/18)
The Scottish Government Democracy Matters Community Engagement Fund provides grants of up to £300 (in exceptional circumstances up to £500) to small voluntary organisations and community groups in Scotland to help them run an event with a group of five or more people to discuss what matters to them in relation to democracy.

MSP Connector Programme 2018: Connecting MSPs with Scotland’s Towns (STP 06/18)
Now in its fourth year, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres are encouraging MSPs to take a day during Parliamentary Recess to visit towns in their constituency or region as part of the MSP Connector Programme.

20th Anniversary SURF Awards Open for Applications (12/06/18)
The prestigious 2018 ‘20th Anniversary’ SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were launched today. The SURF Awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious in the field of Scottish community regeneration. If you are involved in a project or know of projects who are worthy of recognition, then please do make an entry this year.

IHBC & partners on Design & the NPPF –update on government ‘getting serious on design’ (IHBC 12/06/18)
The IHBC and partners including Civic Voice, Place Alliance and the Urban Design Group, have written to the Secretary of State at England’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) asking government ‘to use the opportunity provided by the revision of the National Planning Policy Framework [NPPF] to more forcefully demonstrate the desire of the Government to see better design everywhere’.

UK World Heritage Sites Review Announced (World Heritage UK 06/18)
It’s all smiles at the Ministry this morning as World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, and Chair, Tony Crouch, meet with Michael Ellis, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. World Heritage UK publicly announces that it will undertake the first review of all 31 of the UK’s World Heritage Sites.

DCMS calls for more research on diversity and place-making (Art Professionals 06/18)
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is calling on academics to conduct more research on key topics that it considers important for “good policy and decision making”, including place-making, diversity and digital preparedness.

£20m fund to empowering communities to tackle poverty and inequalities (SHN 07/06/18)
Since 2015 the Empowering Communities Fund (ECF) has supported hundreds of projects, giving communities more control over planning and decisions that affect them locally as well as driving forward regeneration and making changes through training, employment, arts and volunteering opportunities.

Opinion & Comment

A good plan? (Kate Shannon, Holyrood Magazine 12/06/18)

Housing crisis: What went wrong? (RICS 11/06/18) 

Bannockburn House Through Time (Simon Green 08/06/18)

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”.

Alexander Burnett  S5W-17390
To ask the Scottish Government what financial assessment has been made of the cost of converting all buildings in Scotland to net zero emissions by 2050 as set out in the Energy Efficient Scotland: Route Map. (SP 20/06/18)

Graham Simpson S5W-17367
To ask the Scottish Government on what dates the Building Standards (Compliance and Enforcement) Review Panel has met; when it will next meet, and by what date it will issue its recommendations. (SP 20/06/18)

Ben Macpherson S5W-17320
To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support the delivery of more affordable housing. (SP 16/06/18)

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-17210: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/06/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many affordable homes have been built in each year since 2016, broken down by local authority.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/06/2018)

Question S5W-17016: Iain Gray, East Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/06/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to facilitate wider opportunities for self-build housing.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/06/2018)

Question S5W-17029: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 04/06/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the figures released under Freedom of Information in January 2018 regarding vacant private sector homes across 23 local authorities, which record (a) 20,027 as being empty for more than six months and (b) 927 being empty for more than 10 years.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/06/2018)

Question S5W-16963: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/05/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to ensure that burial grounds are maintained and with the full consent and knowledge of anyone who may be affected by any actions such as the removal of headstones.
Answered by Aileen Campbell (12/06/2018)

Question S5W-16906: Ben Macpherson, Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/05/2018
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-04448 by Kevin Stewart on 15 November 2016, whether it will outline the average Housing Association Grant (HAG) subsidy levels approved for housing association new development tender approval activity in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the last three years, broken down by type of tenure.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (06/06/2018)

Question S5W-16796: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/05/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many affordable homes it has built during the current parliamentary session.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (05/06/2018)

Other Parliamentary Activity

The Scottish Parliament is in recess from 30 June to 2 September 2018 (inclusive).


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

Paisley’s Industrial and Cultural Heritage
Date: Wednesday 27 June.
Venue: Paisley Town Hall from 9.30am-4.30pm.
A day conference examining Paisley’s industrial and cultural heritage, jointly presented by The Paisley Centre for Business and Industrial History (UWS), the Business Archives Council of Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

“Hidden Gardens of the Old Town”
Date: Thursday 5 July 2018, 6pm.
Meeting Point: Netherbow Wellhead, outside John Knox’s House, Royal Mile, Edinburgh.
The dense streets and wynds of Edinburgh’s Old Town may seem an unlikely place to find gardens and greenery. Yet here you can find a wealth of private and community gardens set back from the main thoroughfare, each with its own unique history and design. Let us guide you through the secluded green treasures of the Old Town and share their stories and secrets with you.This tour finishes with a drinks reception in Edinburgh World Heritage’s own hidden garden at Bakehouse Close. Tickets: Tickets are £10.


Communications and Events Assistant (RIAS)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is looking for a highly motivated individual who is keen to develop their career in events. The position involves supporting the Secretary & Treasurer’s office in the delivery of a wide portfolio of events to RIAS members and the public. This is a multi-tasking role. Flexibility and attention to detail are essential.
Closing date 29 June 2018.

PAS Board now recruiting new volunteer Board members (PAS)
The PAS Board creates a strategic and policy framework for PAS and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the organisation fulfils its statutory requirements. The Board focuses on strategic direction and vision rather than organisational management and service delivery. In achieving this, the Board’s key consideration is how to implement the organisation’s charitable aims and objectives and its Strategy. The PAS Board is now looking to recruit new volunteer Board members with expertise in any of the following areas: Fundraising; Law; Financial Planning.
Closing date 6 July 2018. 

Skills Training Officer
Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust is a charity established in 1988 with the aim of conserving and promoting archaeology and architectural heritage in Perth and Kinross for the benefit of residents, visitors and future generations. Our Strategic Plan 2017-22 identifies ‘supporting the sectoral skills base through delivering skills training’ as a key priority. We wish to appoint a conservation professional on a one-year fixed-term basis to help us deliver our existing skills training projects, including boat building, traditional building skills training and an archaeology field school, and to lead on the development of a project plan and funding package for a 3-year training programme to run from 2020-22.
Closing date for applications: 5pm on Friday 13 July 2018.