BEFS Bulletin 346: Latest moves, national strategies, and events

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Policy Developments, Publications & Consultations


Historic Environment Scotland have launched their search for a new CEO. They are seeking an ambitious, inspirational, and transformational leader who will embed a culture of innovation, enterprise, and teamwork. There have been reappointments of Terry Levinthal, Andrew Davis, and Emma Herd as members of the Historic Environment Scotland board.

Hosted by Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government on behalf of Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Historic Environment Forum (SHEF) took place in Stirling last week, bringing together over 100 representatives from across the sector to explore next steps for and delivery of Scotland’s Strategy for the Historic Environment, Our Past Our Future. BEFS director, Ailsa Macfarlane was invited to speak and presented an overview of how delivery of the strategy can be fully integrated within the wider policy landscape, and the opportunities that this presents for sector advocacy. Look out for BEFS producing a graphic of inter-related policies shortly!

First Minister, Humza Yousaf carried out a mini reshuffle in early February. BEFS welcome Kaukab Stewart as the new Minister for Culture, Europe, and International Development. Ms Stewart is the first woman of colour appointed to a ministerial role in the Scottish Government and takes the place of the most recent Culture Minister, Christina McKelvie, who has taken up the post of Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy.

It is of note that the Scottish government has merged two portfolios to create a single department responsible for net zero, energy and the economy, with the First Minister stating that: “The new, green economy is a massive economic opportunity for Scotland. If we grasp it, we can help the world tackle climate change while delivering well-paid jobs and sustainable growth in Scotland for generations to come. That is why we will now bring these two portfolios together.” This move may streamline some approaches but other aspects such as ‘Fair Work’ and ‘Just Transition’ seem to have lost their place amongst Cabinet and Ministerial titles – with the Wellbeing Economy moniker doing the heavy-lifting for all facets. Whilst Net Zero and the Economy are rightly linked, the tie to Energy may direct thinking (and funding) down ever narrower pathways which fail to fully consider our existing buildings and places.

BEFS is pleased to note that there is a little hope to be found in the recent Scottish Government publication Culture in an independent Scotland – where it was good to see the historic environment strongly represented with both the importance of heritage itself, as well as tourism, and the contribution towards Net Zero highlighted.

When considering complexity of issues, we would like to draw attention to this short article from Jocelyne Fleming at CIOB: Draft cladding legislation has uncovered an uncomfortable truth. Here we can see that Cladding legislation does indeed uncover both what we know (data), how we assess (single building assessments), and what options there might be for the future of building (and occupant) safety and health.

And finally, The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £10.7 million to help the Cairngorms National Park become the UK’s first net zero national park. Cairngorms 2030 is a programme that will bring together 20 long-term projects on nature restoration, active travel and sustainable transport, community development, health, and wellbeing.



Devolving powers for a Scottish Building Safety Levy
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government announced in its 2023-24 Programme for Government that it was seeking the transfer of powers from the UK Government to create an equivalent tax to the UK Government’s Building Safety Levy.
This consultation, launched jointly by the UK Government and Scottish Government, invites views and evidence in relation to the proposal to devolve the requisite powers to the Scottish Parliament.
Closes 19 February 2024

National Parks in Scotland
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government invites individuals, communities, and organisations to develop and submit formal nominations for their area to become Scotland’s next National Park.
Closes 29 February 2024

Managing Change Underwater Heritage
Historic Environment Scotland
Views are being sought on the draft Managing Change guidance on Underwater Heritage. The aim of this guidance is to be a practical guide on increasing the understanding of underwater heritage along with identifying and managing the impacts of change in underwater heritage, while protecting the cultural significance of these issues. The new Underwater Heritage guidance will be part of the Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance series. This guidance will be relevant to underwater marine planning, including work on the new National Marine Plan 2.
Closes 5 March 2024

Home Energy Model: replacement for the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)
UK Government
The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is the methodology currently used by the government to estimate the energy performance of homes across the United Kingdom. The Home Energy Model will replace the SAP for the energy rating of dwellings. This is a consultation on the Model while it is still at a formative stage, so that industry can participate in the development process.
Closes 6 March 2024

Social Housing Net Zero Standard in Scotland
Scottish Government
The social housing sector has led the way on energy efficiency in recent years and is well placed to build on this further while building in longer term ambition to transition to clean heating. This consultation seeks views on a new Social Housing Net Zero Standard (SHNZS) in Scotland. This new standard will replace the second Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2).
Closes 8 March 2024

Proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill
Scottish Government
There is no way to meet a legal obligation to reach ‘net zero’ without changing the heating systems in most buildings. The purpose of this consultation is to make everyone aware of the proposal to make new laws around the heating systems that can be used in homes and places of work, and to invite views on those proposals.
Closes 8 March 2024

Scotland’s draft Circular Economy and Waste Route Map to 2030
Scottish Government
This consultation invites views on the proposed priorities to accelerate more sustainable use of our resources, support delivery of a circular economy to 2030, and reduce emissions associated with resources and waste. It outlines what the Scottish Government intend to do, by when, and how they will work with others, to drive sustainable use and management of our resources, and delivery of Scotland’s circular economy up to 2030. The direction and actions set out in this Route Map are complemented by the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill and its provisions.
Closes 15 March 2024

Guidance on inclusive design for town centres and busy streets
Scottish Government
When the design of town centres and busy street environments does not fully consider the needs of all members of the community, people may become excluded from these areas and the essential functions that they provide. Potential barriers to access should be removed and not included in any scheme. This draft guidance was developed in response to research which identified that street design should consider the needs of everyone and should consider all Protected Characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
Closes 29 March 2024

Managing the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site
The City of Edinburgh Council
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were given World Heritage Status in 1995; recognising the striking contrast and quality in architecture between the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town. A Management Plan identifies issues and opportunities within the World Heritage Site and sets out priority areas for action to preserve and enhance the site. While the Management Plan covers a ten-year period, an action plan is developed alongside it focusing on a two-year period. The City of Edinburgh Council would like to hear your views on the new plan, specifically whether you feel they are doing enough to protect and enhance the Site, and any other ideas or suggestions which you may have.
*NEW* Closes 8 April

Scottish National Adaptation Plan (2024-2029)
Scottish Government
The effects of climate change are already being felt by people in Scotland. That is why, as well as taking action to reduce emissions, we must also take steps to adapt to climate change. This consultation seeks your views on the Scottish National Adaptation Plan 2024-29. The final Adaptation Plan will only be effective if it is informed by Scots’ local and lived experience of climate change. During the public consultation period on this draft Adaptation Plan a formal public consultation will be opened on the Scottish Government’s ‘Citizen Space.’ Alongside this the Scottish Government will run a series of events tailored to both delivery partners and the public, to gather a wide range of views on the policy proposals in this draft Adaptation Plan.
Closes 24 April 2024



Budget Scrutiny 2024-25: Funding for Culture Published responses (Scot Parl February 2024)

Planning Ambitions: Findings from the Call for Ideas on Planning Performance (Improvement Service February 2024)

Building warrant fees: consultation outcome report (Scot Gov 08/02/2024)
Report on the outcomes of the 2023 building warrant fees consultation.

Building warrant fees: consultation analysis (Scot Gov 08/02/2024)



Scottish Government submission on PE2075: Prioritise local participation in planning decisions (Scot Gov 31/01/2024)



Social values of National Trust for Scotland heritage places: Towards an organisational approach. Phase One Research Underway (University of Stirling & National Trust for Scotland 19/01/2024)

Climate Emergency ‘Deep Dive’ (National Heritage Science Forum 24/01/2024)

11 organisations call for embodied carbon regulation manifesto commitments (Planning, Building & Construction Today 01/02/2024)

FAI Economic Commentary 2023 Q4 (Fraser of Allander 07/02/2024)

Cairngorms National Park Awarded £10.7 Million to become UK’s First Net Zero Park through the delivery of Cairngorms 2030 (Cairngorms National Park Authority 05/02/2024)



Series 2 Issue 3: Report on Local Authority Historic Environment Staff Resources 2023 (Historic England 05/02/2024)

Industry calls for action on the just transition from Scottish Government (BE-ST & CLF 07/02/2024)
Report exploring the industry’s response to the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Discussion Paper for the Built Environment and Construction.

Enhancing our understanding of short-term rental activity (PLOS One 07/02/2024)
A daily scrape-based approach for Airbnb listings.

Rewiring Scotland (Our Scottish Future 13/02/2024)



Correspondence between the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee and the Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture regarding the Budget 2024-25 (Scot Parl 29/01/2024)

Scottish Budget 2024-25: pre-budget scrutiny undertaken by the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee (Scot Parl 30/01/2024)

Correspondence between the Minister for Housing and the Convenor of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee regarding Short-term let licence application levels across Scotland (Scot Parl 30/01/2024)

Correspondence between the Convenor of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee and Katie Hagmann, COSLA Resources Spokesperson regarding Budget scrutiny 2024-25 (Scot Parl 30/01/2024)

Correspondence between the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition and the Convenor of the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee regarding the consultation on a draft Scottish National Adaptation Plan (Scot Parl 30/01/2024)

The Repairing Standard Statutory Guidance (Scot Gov 31/01/2024)

Culture in an independent Scotland (Scot Gov 01/02/2024)

Chair and Land Commissioners appointed to the Scottish Land Commission (Scot Gov 01/02/2024)

Auditor General: Decarbonising Heat in Homes (Audit Scotland 01/02/2024)

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC):Cross Sector Working Group minutes December 2023 (Scot Gov 01/02/2024)

Scottish Budget 2023 to 2024: spring budget revision (Scot Gov 01/02/2024)

Business Insights and Conditions Survey weighted Scotland estimates: data to wave 100 (Scot Gov 02/02/2024)

Members reappointed to Historic Environment Scotland Board (Scot Gov 02/02/2024)

Long-Term Plan for Towns: toolkit for Town Boards in Scotland (UK Gov 05/02/2024)

Planning permission appeals: housing development statistics (Scot Gov 06/02/2024)

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee  5th Meeting, 2024 (Session 6), Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill Evidence session with the Minister for Housing (Scot Parl 06/02/2024)

Correspondence between the Director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing and the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee regarding the impact of The 2024-25 Housing Budget and Delivering Housing to 2040 (Scot Parl 06/02/2024)

Local government finance: Budget 2024-25 and provisional allocations to local authorities (Scot Parl 06/02/2024)

Green Heat Finance Taskforce minutes: 29 November 2023 (Scot Gov 06/02/2024)

Government confirms plans to permanently remove RAAC from all schools and colleges in England (UK Gov 08/02/2024)

Planning Applications Statistics 2023/24: Quarterly [April 2023 to September 2023] (Scot Gov 14. /02/2024)



Religious heritage: whose heritage? for whom? (Future for Religious Heritage 29/01/2024)

Draft cladding legislation has uncovered an uncomfortable truth (Scottish Construction News 31/01/2024)

Manifesto for Housing 2024 (CaCHE 31/01/2024)

Scottish Government urged to scrap council tax freeze by town halls after talks deadlock (Daily Record 01/02/2024)

The story of how Glasgow became the UK’s archetypal motorway city (BBC Sounds 03/02/2024)

Lorna Slater urged to tackle Scotland’s ‘huge climate blind spot’ (The Herald 04/02/2024)

New lottery operator unable to meet pledged targets (Arts Professional 05/02/2024)

A lost decade for home insulation (New Economics Foundation 06/02/2024)

What a new plan to save the UK’s churches says about their purpose in society (The Conversation 07/02/2024)

The stunning Church of Scotland properties currently up for sale (The Herald 07/02/2024)

Blog: Scrapping the Council Tax is Straightforward (Andy Wightman 08/02/2024)

Is this the end of the finest art nouveau building in Britain? (The Times 08/02/2024)

Call for UK utility firms to face higher fines for ‘street scars’ on pavements (The Guardian 09/02/2024)

‘Vital’ cash boost for landmark Glasgow church sees HUGE plans in the pipeline (Glasgow Times 13/02/2024)

Town centres are in decline – why is this happening? (The Herald 14/02/2024)



Link to Parliamentary Questions and Answers



Submitted by: Evelyn Tweed, Stirling, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: 12/02/2024
That the Parliament congratulates Historic Environment Scotland on becoming the first heritage organisation in Scotland to be accredited for its commitment to LGBT+ inclusivity by being awarded the LGBT Charter Foundation Award by LGBT Youth Scotland; understands that Historic Environment Scotland achieved the charter mark through an extensive analysis of its policy and practices by LGBT Youth Scotland to ensure that the organisation works with an inclusive framework and that this included delivering training and live workshops to staff across the organisation at more than 300 sites that they care for, including Stirling Castle and Doune Castle in the Stirling constituency, and further understands that Historic Environment Scotland has committed to building on the lessons learned during the process to further develop an inclusive organisation for all staff and visitors.

Submitted by: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: 07/02/2024
That the Parliament agrees that Jamie Greene be appointed to replace Sharon Dowey as a member of the Public Audit Committee.
Status: Taken in the Chamber on 8 February 2024

Submitted by: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: 07/02/2024
That the Parliament agrees that Brian Whittle be appointed to replace Graham Simpson as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee; and
Graham Simpson be appointed to replace Brian Whittle as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee.
Status: Taken in the Chamber on 8 February 2024



For further listings, please see our events calendar

Keep Scotland Beautiful – Heat in Buildings consultation events
Date & Time: Various – from Monday 29 January to Tuesday 5 March 2024
Location: Sites across Scotland and online
Keep Scotland Beautiful are holding several public events across Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill, these are vital for people to learn what is being proposed in this consultation and share opinions through facilitated discussion.

Under One Roof – Tenement Repair and Retrofit Webinar: South Ayrshire
Date & Time: Wednesday 21 February 2024; 12-1:30pm
Location: Online
Join Under One Roof for a free and informative event, in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, aimed at owner-occupiers and landlords who want to learn more about maintaining and managing their tenement building. Topics covered will include tenement maintenance and common repair management. There will be presentations from Under One Roof’s tenement experts, as well as a Q&A session.

SHBT – New Towns: an ambiguous Scottish and global heritage
Date & Time: Wednesday 21 February 2024; 6-7:30pm
Location: Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG
Come along and hear ongoing findings from the ‘Building a Modern Scotland’ research team, in this presentation by Dr Diane Watters, Dr Valerie Wright and Prof Miles Glendinning. The session sets the Scottish postwar New Towns programme in its wider international context, first by focusing on the original concept and later vicissitudes of Cumbernauld, the most internationally renowned of the series, and then by more briefly glancing at one fragment of its wider global impact.

RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) BookshopLATES: Pevsner Buildings of Scotland-Lothian
Date & Time: Wednesday 21 February 2024; 6-7pm
Location: RIAS, 15 Rutland Square, Edinburgh EH1 2BE
Join authors Jane Geddes, Aonghus Mackechnie and Ian Gow and photographer Steve Wallace for a discussion of their recent work revising the Pevsner Buildings of Scotland Guide to Lothian. Hear about the wonderfully diverse architecture of the region and discover how much has changed since Colin McWilliam’s pioneering volume was originally published in 1978.

UCL – Energy retrofits and traditional buildings: Let’s keep things in proportion
Date & Time: Thursday 22 February 2024; 5:30-6:30pm
Location: Online
What should we do to reduce the energy use and carbon footprint of traditional buildings, particularly heritage ones? Some people want to do nothing; others to apply draconian standards. Join University College London for a virtual guest lecture with Bill Bordass, Research, and policy adviser at the Usable Buildings Trust.

AHSS Lecture – Hill House, Helensburgh
Date & Time: Thursday 22 February 2024; 7:30-9pm
Location: St Andrews West Church & Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4JP. Also streamed online via Zoom.
Liz Davidson, Project Director for the house, talks about the ongoing consolidation and conservation undertaken by the National Trust for Scotland. Tickets available from Eventbrite or on the door: £5 / students £2 /

RSA Scotland – Fellows Festival
Date & Time: Thursday 29 February 2024; 2-6pm
Location: French Institute of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1RN
All are welcome to join the RSA Fellowship for the 2024 Fellows Festival event in Scotland.
The theme of inspiring inclusion is going to take centre stage in this packed programme of speakers and topics to engage, motivate and excite. As the organisation embarks on their 270th anniversary year, they will demonstrate how our heritage has defined their commitment to courage, reflecting on how three centuries of social impact has shaped our behaviour and looking at how we can be even braver and bolder in our social change ambitions.

AHSS Lecture – Context and Re-Use: Two Projects in Edinburgh’s New Town
Date & Time: Monday 11 March 2024; 6:30-8pm
Location: Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL (wheelchair accessible). Also streamed online via Zoom.
Alasdair Graham, Partner at David Chipperfield Architects, London, presents two of the practice’s current projects in Edinburgh: the renovation and extension of Jenners department store and the new concert hall, the Dunard Centre, both located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lecture outlines David Chipperfield Architects’ approach to working in sensitive urban contexts and re-use projects. Tickets available from Eventbrite or on the door: £5 / students £2 /

SHBT – Panel discussion: Concrete Conversations: The Conservation of Scottish Modernism
Date & Time: Wednesday 13 March 2024; 6-7:30pm
Location: Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG
How do, and could, we preserve modern architecture? How can a conservation movement which originated two centuries ago with the preservation of ancient monuments engage with buildings and environments of a vastly different sort today? This panel event concludes a series on conserving Scottish Modernism by bringing together current leaders in architectural conservation in Scotland to discuss how the organisations and frameworks with which they work might address the evolving question of caring for the past, in the present.

SURF Awards – Shared Learning Workshops
Shared learning workshops with contributions from the winner and highly commended projects in the Removing Barriers to Employability, Housing and Regeneration, Improving Scotland’s Places and Community Led Regeneration, and Creative Regeneration categories in the 2023 SURF Awards.
Removing barriers to employability: SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop
Date & Time: Thursday 2 May 2024; 10am-1:30pm
Location: Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy St, Bridgeton, Glasgow G40 1BP
Effective approaches to housing led regeneration – SURF Award Shared Learning Event
Date & Time: Thursday 9 May 2024; 10am-1:30pm
Location: Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA
Delivering place-based regeneration initiatives: SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop
Date & Time: Thursday 16 May 2024; 10am-1:30pm
Location: Kinning Park Complex, 43 Cornwall St, Glasgow G41 1BA
Using creativity in regeneration: SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop
Date & Time: Thursday 23 May 2024; 10am-1:30pm
Location: Civic House, 26 Civic St, Glasgow G4 9RH



Stirling City Heritage Trust – Level 3 Award in Energy Efficiency for Older and Traditional Buildings – Retrofit Course
Date and Time: Wednesday 28 & Thursday 29 February 2024; 9am-4:30pm
Location: 2-day course at Enterprise House, Springkerse Business Park, Stirling FK7 7UF
The course will be delivered by Professor John Edwards, an expert in sustainable buildings, having helped develop British Standard (BS7913) for older and traditional buildings and was involved in producing BSI PAS 2030, PAS 2035 and PAS 2038. The course cost is being subsidised through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the SCHT Retrofit Project and Historic Environment Scotland. The subsidised course fee is £300 (normally £690) & includes: Course fee, course e-book and an examination fee.

C&BS – Introduction to being a Board Member (March course)
Date and Time: Thursday 7 & 14 March 2024; 10am-1pm
Location: Online
Do you have new trustees who have joined your Board recently or have you taken on a trustee role yourself? This course covers everything you need to know to launch your Board career, from trustee duties, roles, meeting management, advocacy and fundraising to strategic planning, finances and much more!



The Heritage Trust Network – Volunteering opportunities
Youth Forum
The Heritage Trust Network is seeking young people aged 18-30 who are interested in the rescue, restoration and management of historic buildings, structures and places who want their voice heard in the heritage sector. Volunteers will be involved in: shaping the new Youth Forum; creating recommendations and advice to help members involve young people in heritage in a democratic way; co-designing, leading and taking part in online and in-person events; and creating online content including social media posts, blogs or vlogs
If you are interested in joining, please fill out a short application form here
Digital Heroes Project Volunteer
Are you digitally skilled, interested in helping heritage organisations and available to volunteer? The Heritage Trust Network are seeking people based in Scotland to join their Digital Heroes project which matches up digitally skilled young people with one of their member organisations to help them undertake a digital project. Examples include doing social media posts, digitising an archive or creating a digital marketing plan. If you are interested in volunteering as a digital hero, please fill out a short application form here