BEFS Bulletin – A Good Death for Scotland’s Heritage?

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


BEFS congratulates Neil Gray on his appointment as Minister for Culture, Europe & International Development, and looks forward to working together. Warm wishes to Willie Coffey who is the new deputy convenor of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee, succeeding Elena Whitham who now convenes the Social Justice & Social Security Committee.

On 25 January BEFS gave evidence on the draft NPF4 to the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee, along with BEFS Members RIAS, RTPI Scotland, Planning Democracy, and Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS). BEFS evidence reflected our ongoing engagement with Members on NPF4, with further opportunities to input planned for early March.

Scotland’s heritage was front page news last Sunday, as Dr David Mitchell of Historic Environment Scotland (HES) suggested that some sites could be left to fall into managed decay rather than being conserved. BEFS supports the public nature of this debate, and in line with our previous work on prioritisation, champions a holistic approach to all of our existing built environment. On the blog, BEFS vice-Chair Ian Baxter, Professor of Historic Environment Management at Heriot-Watt University, continues the conversation by asking whether we are heading for a good death for Scotland’s heritage.

HES has also this week unveiled its refreshed grant programmes following a review of the existing schemes and a wider public consultation. The new programmes will be rolling out through 2022. You can keep up to date with developments at HES via their new e-newsletter, Lintel.

The partnership behind the Place Standard tool have launched a new website – Our Place  – devoted to promoting the benefits of place and place-based working. The site will help to support communities, public, third and private sectors to take forward place-based approaches, helping to make positive differences across communities in Scotland.

Entries are now open for the RTPI Scotland Awards for Planning Excellence. Submissions are open until 11 March.

Museums Galleries Scotland have shared details of the new Museums Recovery Fund from Scottish Government. Applicants should contact MGS regarding their proposed applications by 25 February.

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Building Regulations – Compliance And Enforcement: Consultation
Closes 4 February 2022

Heat in buildings – National Public Energy Agency: consultation – call for evidence 2021/2022
Closes 8 February 2022

NatureScot Consultation: Developing with Nature guidance
Closes 4 March 2022

New realities of retail and ecommerce in Scotland – Call for Views
The Scottish Parliament’s Economy and Fair Work Committee is seeking written views to inform its inquiry on town centres and retail.
*NEW* Closes 16 March 2022

Local Development Planning – regulations and guidance: consultation
Closes 31 March 2022

Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments: consultation
Closes 31 March 2022

Draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) – Public Consultation
Closes 31 March 2022

Consultation Responses

BEFS Response to the Role of Local Government and its cross sectoral partners in financing and delivering a net-zero Scotland – consultation (21/01/2022)

Culture Counts: Consultation on Energy Efficiency of Non-Domestic Buildings (20/01/22)

Edinburgh World Heritage: Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review consultation response (21/01/22)


Historic Environment Scotland Grants Framework 2021 Onwards (31/01/22)

Historic Environment Scotland COVID-19 Sector Survey Reports (24/01/22)

Future of Arts & Culture: Drivers and Impacts for the Next Decade
An international study based on 300 participants, leaders in museums, galleries, performing arts, music, funding organizations, curators and producers.

Land Reform and Taxation: Advice to Scottish Ministers (Scottish Land Commission, 01/2022)
This report sets out the Scottish Land Commission’s advice on the role of taxation in supporting current land reform objectives.

NPF4: Mainstreaming Climate Change? (SPICe Spotlight, 21/01/22)

NPF4 and the nature emergency (SPICe Spotlight, 21/01/22)

Architecture & Design Scotland Annual Review 2021

Scottish Civic Trust Doors Open Day 2021 Report

DASH report 2021: from pandemic to future planning (25/01/22)
The second Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) survey report offers a unique insight into how the UK heritage sector’s use of digital has evolved during the pandemic.

Scottish Government Publications

Planning circular 1/2022: Local Place Plans (21/01/22)

Short-term lets legislation approved (19/01/22)

Short term lets – licensing scheme part 1: guidance for hosts and operators (25/01/22)

Scottish Household Survey 2020 – telephone survey: key findings (28/01/22)
Includes findings on Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities, Culture and Heritage.

News Releases

New measures to manage impact of climate change on Scotland’s national heritage sites (SCN, 21/01/22)
The HES programme of tactile condition surveys on over 200 properties will assess the extent of deterioration of high-level masonry.

Pandemic has cost some places nearly a years’ worth of high street sales (Centre for Cities, 24/01/22)
Edinburgh lost nearly a years’ worth of sales during the pandemic, while Aberdeen saw a 5.6% increase in unit vacancy.

Charity to build first broch in Scotland for more than 2000 years (STV News, 25/01/22)
Archaeological charity Caithness Broch Project has released a digital image of what the attraction is expected to look like.

In pictures: Scotland’s climate story in art and images (BBC, 26/01/22)
The winners of the Historic Environment Scotland Visions of Climate Heritage competition have been unveiled.

Investigation into Glasgow School of Art fire fails to find “definitive cause” (Dezzen, 26/01/22)

Local place plans circular published (The Planner, 28/01/22)

Braemar Castle secures funding to begin restoration (SBI, 31/01/22)
After three years of community fundraising, capital works at Scotland’s first community-run castle are getting under way.

Opinion & Comment

LGiU Blog: Seven Scottish towns take action against climate change (24/01/22)
Anja Ekelof, Communications Manager at Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) discusses the company’s role in the ‘Climate Action Towns project’.

Agenda: Scotland’s Covid recovery will grow successfully from nation’s grassroots (The Herald, 25/01/22)
Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, argues that the only truly sustainable way to rebuild our national economy is by starting locally.

Edinburgh World Heritage: On-street communal bins – Updated Statement (28/01/22)
EWH has raised concerns that proposed mitigation measures do not go far enough to prevent harm to the World Heritage Site.

Leigh Sparks: Stirling – all at C (28/01/22)
Comments on Stirling’s plans for an out-of-town retail and mixed-use development, from Leigh Sparks, the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling.

Gabriella Bennett: Why we still need a ‘crap towns’ list (The Sunday Times, 30/01/22)
A side effect of highlighting inequalities is that those in local government who control the purse strings take notice after a public shaming.

What price heritage? Scotland’s ancient buildings to be left to the elements (The Herald on Sunday, 30/01/22)
Dr David Mitchell, HES Director of Conservation, examines the challenges of protecting the nation’s historic structures.

Rosemary Goring: Should Scotland’s most historic buildings be allowed to fall into ruins? (The Herald, 2/02/22)
Sadly, preserving everything as it currently stands will soon not be possible.

Calls to allow people to return to Edinburgh’s Radical Road (BBC, 2/02/22)
The route has been closed for more than three years after 50 tonnes of rock fell from cliffs onto the path.

The Construction Material Pyramid (CINARK – Centre for Industrialised Architecture)
A visual interactive tool comparing the carbon footprints of different construction materials.

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”.

S6W-05962: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/01/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made on implementing the recommendations of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance in relation to owners (a) in tenements forming owners’ associations, (b) and building reserve funds and (c) and five-yearly building condition reports, which it committed to support through voluntary and incremental change until legislation is in place.

S6W-05963: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/01/2022 R
To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had with the Scottish Law Commission in relation to carrying out a law reform project to provide a draft Bill that would implement the recommendations of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance.

S6W-06013: Stephen Kerr, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date lodged: 28 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what resources it plans to invest in order to enable regional and local institutions to apply deliberative approaches to engage civic society in planning for the net zero future of their communities and places.

S6W-05784: Stephen Kerr, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date lodged: 25 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to enforce the incorporation of whole life carbon into the costing of all public sector investment and spending decisions.

Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour 
Date lodged: 25 January 2022
Passivhaus standards for newbuild housing:
S6W-05871 recommendations by Climate Assembly
S6W-05872 impact on bills and emissions
S6W-05873 climate targets

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

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”.

Mark Griffin (Central Scotland) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Government:
S6W-05774 what steps it takes to audit the quality of past energy efficiency and retrofit works, and what its plans are to review works where it is found that PAS 2035 standards have not been met.
S6W-05775 when it will require compliance with PAS 2035 standards for its energy efficiency and retrofit delivery programmes.
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 27 January 2022

S6W-05796: Alasdair Allan, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party, Date lodged: 20 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will reconsider the extent to which PAS 2030 and PAS 2035 ventilation standards need to be applied in its Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS: ABS) and Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Warmer Homes Scotland (HEEPS: WHS) programme for homes in rural areas with high average windspeeds.
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 27 January 2022

S6W-05673: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date lodged: 17 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government when in 2022 it expects the consultation on detailed proposals for introducing regulations on minimum standards of energy efficiency for all private housing to begin; what the duration of the consultation period will be, and when it expects to publish the results of the consultation.
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 24 January 2022


For the full list of BEFS Members’ upcoming events see our events calendar.

Falkland Society: Rory Young: His Life and Work
Date & Time: 9 February, 19:00
Rory is a stone sculptor and ‘artificer’, one who makes things, always well-considered and beautiful. He has been called the ‘Prince Charming of the ‘Lime Revival in Britain’. He carried out the lime-based works to the Sea Captain’s House in Kirkcaldy. The West Doorway of York Minster is probably his most famous work.

Glasgow City Heritage Trust: Where are the Women?
Date & Time: 9 February, 19:30
Can you imagine a different Glasgow, a city where women are commemorated in statues and streets and buildings? Join author Sara Sheridan as she talks about her guidebook to that alternative city. Her 2019 book Where are the Women? remaps Scotland as if women’s achievements were memorialised in our built and rural landscape in the same way as men’s are.

Aberdeen City Heritage Trust: Retrofit the North – Calum Maclean Architect
Date & Time: 9 February, 19:00 – 20:00
In this first Aberdeen Heritage Lecture of 2022 and following COP26 in Glasgow last year , Calum will provide insights into how to go about retrofitting traditionally constructed and historic buildings.

Date & Time: 9th February 1800-1930
RSA Fellows’ Media, Creative Industries Culture & Heritage Network extends an invitation to all to register for “International Cultural Relations: Evaluation and Evidence” with speakers Ian Thomas (British Council) and Professor J P Singh (George Mason University USA, and formerly of University of Edinburgh).

Draft National Planning Framework 4: Information & Discussion events
Date & Time: Series of events from 10 February to 10 March
The Scottish Government has opened registration for online events during February and March, facilitated by Kevin Murray Associates (KMA) and PAS (Planning Aid Scotland) to raise awareness and share views about the Draft NPF4, in order to inform and support the preparation of responses to the consultation, which closes on 31 March 2022. Each session will focus on a specific action area, or policy theme from Draft NPF4. Upcoming events are:
Thurs 10 Feb, 12.30 – 2pm – Northeast Transition
Tues 15 Feb, 12.30 – 2pm – Northern Revitalisation
Thurs 17 Feb, 4.30 – 6pm – Liveable Places

AHSS: Not Dead Space – Edinburgh’s Five World Heritage Site Graveyards
Date & Time: 14 February, 18:30
Dr Susan Buckham describes the history, development and significance of the five WHS burial grounds over their long lifetimes and explores how best to breathe new life into them in a sustainable way, in order to support their heritage values and their role as urban greenspaces.


Jedburgh CARS: Repairing Traditional Windows and Doors
14 February, 18:00 – Evening Talk & Demonstration 
15 February, 09:30 – Full Day Workshop
Location: Jedburgh Town Hall
Free, advance booking required
Jedburgh Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) are working with Frew Conservation to deliver a series of individual day and evening sessions tailored for tradespeople and homeowners, respectively. Upcoming is Repairing Traditional Windows and Doors, with an evening event aimed at homeowners on Monday 14 February at 6pm, and a full-day workshop for tradespeople on Tuesday 15 February, beginning at 9:30am.

Living Streets Scotland: Walkable Communities Two-Part Webinar
Date & Time: 8 & 22 February, 10:00 – 11:45
Living Streets Scotland invite you to their two-part webinar series which offers a fresh perspective on walking infrastructure: what it is and how to get it. They encourage local authorities, active travel advocates, and equalities groups to join them in their mission to find a route to walkable neighbourhoods that everyone can travel. Register separately for Part One and Part Two.


Edinburgh World Heritage: Head of Engagement
Edinburgh World Heritage is looking to appoint a Head of Engagement to communicate the work and value of our organisation, and of Edinburgh as a World Heritage Site, maximising the impact of our reputation, income, profile and engagement. The Head of Engagement leads, and provides strategic direction for, the communications, interpretation, advocacy and learning and engagement programmes, as well as developing and implementing our fundraising strategy.
Closing date: 7 February, 10am

The Cockburn Association: Assistant Director (Fundraising and Outreach)
Hours: Full time with possibility of flexible working and hours
Location: Old Town, Edinburgh with flexibility for hybrid, home-working arrangements
Salary: £27,000
For further information and job specification, please email or call 0131 557 8686.
Closing date: 18 February

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