BEFS Bulletin – CHERF Summary Report

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Policy Developments, Publications, Consultations And More.


BEFS is pleased to share a summary report of the five meetings of the COVID Historic Environment Resilience Forum (CHERF). We remain in the very early stages of understanding what the consequences of COVID will be for heritage but there were three clear messages arising from the discussions: relevance, exclusion and localism. Read more.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has been working closely with the historic environment sector to better understand the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and compile data on how all parts of the sector have been affected. HES conducted a sector survey in April, and now we have moved into phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of current lockdown, are looking to hear from businesses, organisations and community groups once again. Whether or not you responded to HES’ last survey, they welcome your views now. This survey should take you less than 10 minutes to complete and closes on 23 August 2020.

BEFS responded to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s two recent calls for views. In response to the call for evidence on the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, BEFS worked with NTS and HES to support the pertinent sections of their responses. These focus on how Scots law would actively keep pace with EU legislation, supporting the enshrining of the four environmental principles, and how the proposed definition of ‘environment’ should broaden and therefore align with current SEA definitions.

BEFS response to the Committee’s call for views on Green Recovery reiterates the place of the built environment as part of the sustainable circular economy; a resource containing significant embodied energy, but also requiring a policy of maintenance to provide these benefits in full. BEFS also emphasises that seeing leadership invest in policy implementation in a decisive manner is central to the success of any Green Recovery policies, and that a lack of local authority resource would be one of the greatest barriers to a Green Recovery taking place. Both submissions can be read in full on our consultations page.

The Scottish Government has published ‘Scotland and the SDGs: a national review to drive action’. The report details the progress Scotland was making on sustainable development before the pandemic. While good progress has been made, it highlights several gaps and suggests how we can move forward. Now in the context of Covid-19, the review sets the backdrop for the green and just recovery Scotland needs. An article on the publication can be found on Third Force News.

The Scottish Government has now published the National Planning Framework 4 independent analysis of responses to the call for ideas and an accompanying executive summary. The report and the individual responses will be used to inform the position statement published later in the autumn, and draft NPF4, which is scheduled for publication in autumn 2021.

Dr. Graeme Purves, BEFS former Chair, reflects on recent commentary on the planning system in our blog this week, Planning and Post-COVID Recovery.

A Scotland wide survey on the future of town centres has been launched by the Town Centre Review Group. Communities are urged to take part and help shape the future of Scotland’s towns.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that Historic Environment Scotland is seeking a consultant to undertake an evaluation of their Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) since its inception in 2007. More details can be found in the ‘Vacancies’ section.


External wall systems – advice note: background, consultation questions and response form

HES Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey Follow Up
Opened 13 Aug 2020 and closes 23 Aug 2020.

Proposed Changes to Pre-Application Consultation Requirements in Planning
Opened 13 Aug 2020 and closes 6 Nov 2020.

Planning for the future (England)
Opened 6 August 2020 and closes 29 October 2020.

Town Centre Action Plan Expert Review Group – call for evidence
The survey will run until Friday 21st August 2020 at 17:00.

Review of the Lobbying Act (Scotland) 2016 – Call for views
Closes 28 Aug 2020.

Town Centre Action Plan Expert Review Group – Online Survey
The survey will run until Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 17:00.

Scottish Planning Policy and Housing: Technical Consultation on Proposed Policy Amendments
Closes 9 Oct 2020.

A consultation on the future of the Land Court and the Lands Tribunal
Closes 19 Oct 2020.

Call for Evidence on impact of COVID-19 on the rural economy and connectivity in Scotland
This is an open call for views and there is currently no deadline for responding.

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has launched a call for views on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland’s culture and tourism sectors
There is currently no deadline for responding.

Consultation Responses

NPF4 Analysis of Reponses to the Call for Ideas

NPF4 Analysis of Reponses to the Call for Ideas: Executive Summary


Publication of Professional archaeology in Scotland: structure, funding, and delivery (CIfA 19/08/20)

Heritage and the Environment 2020 (HE 18/08/20)

Building stronger communities (JRF 17/08/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance (SG 14/08/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for retail, tourism and hospitality customers (SG 14/08/20)

Diversification of Ownership and Tenure & Negotiating Transfer of Land to Communities (SLC 12/08/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: guidance for the safe use of places of worship (SG 08/08/20)

Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey: guidance notes (SG 07/08/20)

UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill – Part 2 -Environmental Principles and Governance (SPICe 06/08/20)

Development-led Archaeology in Scotland and Covid-19 (ALGAO 05/08/20)

Impact of COVID-19 on delivering grant-funded affordable housing projects MHDGN 2020/01 (SG 05/08/20)

Can Local Authorities Deliver Housing for Sale or Market Rent in Scotland? (SFT 08/20)

Planning Performance Report 2019-20 (HES 31/07/20)

National Partnership for culture: terms of reference (SG 31/07/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): European Structural and Investment Funds (SG 31/07/20)

Scotland and the sustainable development goals: a national review to drive action (SG 30/07/20)

Impact on the Charity Sector During Coronavirus (IoF 18/06/20)

Scottish Government News Releases

Supporting National Trust for Scotland jobs (SG 16/08/20)
Funding to protect jobs and assist the re-opening of iconic heritage sites closed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced.

Rebuilding better (SG 05/08/20)
Targeted measures to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been announced.

News Releases

Christina Sinclair appointed new director of Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH 19/08/20)
Edinburgh World Heritage today announced the appointment of Christina Sinclair as the new director of Edinburgh World Heritage, replacing Adam Wilkinson.

Is history and heritage good for your health? (HES 18/08/20)
Between the coronavirus pandemic, enforced social distancing and a lockdown, we’re all looking for ways to boost our mental and physical fitness. Could spending time with Scotland’s history help?

National Trust for Scotland awarded funding boost to save jobs (BBC 16/08/20)
Almost 200 jobs have been saved at the National Trust for Scotland after it was awarded £3.8m by the Scottish government.

Museums Are Go (MGS 13/08/20)
Have you missed spending time in your favourite local museum and gallery, or are you itching to explore somewhere new? Museums and galleries across Scotland are reopening every week, so keep an eye on this map and share your visit with #MuseumsAreGo

New protocols launched on land ownership in Scotland (SLC 12/08/20)
Two new protocols published today by the Scottish Land Commission will help to give communities a greater stake in how land is owned and used in Scotland to help create inclusive and resilient local economies.

Scottish Design Awards nominations revealed (UR 11/08/20)
The Scottish Design Awards have announced a packed roster of nominated work for 2020 following two days of intense debate, dialogue and discussion by our panel of 11 judges.

Interactive BREEAM and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mapping (UNSDG 11/08/20)
Every organisation has a part to play in facilitating the achievement of the SDGs, and the construction industry has an essential role in the move towards a more sustainable world for all.

Most people living in Scotland want a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic (SEL 07/08/20)
A new poll shows people in Scotland believe the Government should prioritise economic recovery measures that tackle climate change and enhance nature.

Don’t demolish old buildings, urge architects (BBC 05/08/20)
Footage of buildings being flattened in a noisy demolition may be a popular feature of local TV news reports, but architects say such structures should be protected – to fight climate change.

Collaborative Doctoral Awards: Partner Organisations (SGSAH 08/20)
The Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities has introduced an exciting new range of research opportunities, which aim to align research more closely with practice. As part of the Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme, there is the option for ideas generated by industry partners to be the starting point for research by completing this short online form.

Are You Nearly There Yet? Reopening Scotland’s Historic Doors (HES 28/07/20)
Wondering what it takes to reopen over 200 Historic Scotland sites following the UK Lockdown? Get the 101 on reopening in this post.

Open Call: A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture 2020 (RIAS 27/07/20)
The student awards are an annual highlight – marking the vigour of Scotland’s architectural schools and the tremendous talent of our student members. They are a mark of the continuing high standards of Scottish architectural education and ensure that both construction professionals and the public can enjoy the creativity and vision of Scotland’s future architects. The submission deadline is Monday 24th August 2020.

Nominate your heritage ‘lockdown legends’ for a National Lottery Award (NLHF 08/07/20)
This year the annual search for the UK’s most popular National Lottery funded projects will, for the first time, honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community – especially those who have adapted during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Opinion & Comment

The Power of Community-led Regeneration (SLC 13/08/20)

The Blank Page Approach to Cultural Heritage (RSA 07/08/20)

Rethinking land use for future generations (SLC 06/08/20)

Land and collective wellbeing: fertile soil (SLC 04/08/20)

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-31012: Finlay Carson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/07/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to introduce a grant scheme to increase energy efficiency in the homes of employed people.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (11/08/2020)


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

Acknowledging the Past, Sharing the Future
Date & time: 21st August 2020, 10am-12pm.
Online platform details: GoToWebinar
Join us to explore ways that our projects can address racial inequality and injustice, and attract new audiences. We want to include people from minority ethnic backgrounds with our heritage projects, do it effectively, inclusively and without getting it wrong. This HTN event will help you understand how to approach different communities within your area and make them feel welcome and included in your project.

RIAS Convention 2020: WITH THE GRAIN
Date: Monday 28th September – Friday 2nd October
Cost: £20 per person (one ticket gives access to the full programme)
Venue: Online event
With the Grain will bring architects, built environment professionals and the wider public together online for discussion around how we can work with nature, natural materials and our climate to build resilient communities – reshaping spaces, repurposing the buildings we live and work in and exploring innovative solutions from architects. Our speakers include: Roz Barr (Roz Barr Architects) Andy Groarke (Carmody Groarke), Andrew Waugh (Waugh Thistleton), William Mann (Witherford Watson Mann Architects) and contributions from Architecture Fringe, SEDA, GIA, Zero Waste Scotland and more! The programme will also include the announcement of the A&DS and RIAS Student Awards at a virtual ceremony. View the programme and speakers here. Join us and be part of the conversation. #RIASWITHTHEGRAIN


Trustee Vacancies
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is currently seeking two new trustees to join its Board. This is a unique opportunity to join an ambitious, innovative and forward looking organisation.
Your application should reach us by 5pm on the 24th August.

Policy & Partnerships Manager (Scotland)
The Landscape Institute (LI)?is seeking a?Policy and Partnerships Manager to support?our?ambitions in Scotland and beyond. The post?will work with?the Head of Policy and LI membership?to develop policy?positions, undertake research, prepare?expert?briefings, build our network,?and ensure that the voice of landscape is heard by decision-makers.  You will act as the LI’s country manager for Scotland, being the key point of contact for the sector, and working flexibly on national priorities and opportunities.
The deadline for applications is midnight, Sunday 6th September 2020.

The Review and Refresh of Historic Environment Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS)
Historic Environment Scotland is seeking a consultant to undertake an evaluation of our Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) since its inception in 2007 to better understand its overall impact, successes and potential areas for improvement.  In addition to undertaking the review, the consultant will provide recommendations to inform the design of a refreshed, area-based funding scheme which contributes to the development of sustainable places in Scotland through community-led regeneration of the historic environment. Full information about this opportunity can be found on Public Contracts Scotland.
Deadline for submission of tenders is 11 September 2020 at noon.