BEFS Bulletin 350: Spring: refreshed SIP launches and HE research on wellbeing impacts released

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


The Skills Investment Plan (SIP) for Scotland’s Historic Environment has been reviewed and refreshed (originally released 2019) following consultation, to ensure it can support the delivery of Our Past, Our Future, the strategy for Scotland’s historic environment; whilst also growing the skills needed to deliver its priorities. The SIP is a collective framework for collaborations and will work towards three priorities over the next five years: growing provision and building capacity, attracting future talent and improving access, and fostering innovation.

In the spirit of reviewing and refreshing, BEFS website has recently been updated with the latest historic environment statistics, including updates from Our Past Our Future (2023) and the Scottish Household Condition Survey (2021).

UK Heritage Pulse have published the results of their survey concerning sector health and local authority funding cuts. This was conducted in March 2024, highlighting a decrease in organisational confidence and increased challenges for the heritage sector. Core running costs and community activities are most likely to be impacted by these cuts, affecting vulnerable groups such as older people and families with young children.

Living near a high concentration of historic and cultural sites could boost your wellbeing, according to ground-breaking research from Historic England. The study found a positive relationship between the density of heritage assets, such as listed buildings and monuments, within 1km of a person’s home and their self-reported life satisfaction.

Given the interest in the Sustainable Investment Tool we were fascinated to see the work on Why Heritage being done in Victoria, Australia. There’s plenty of reading within this, so worth getting a cuppa for this one.

And finally, BEFS Bulletin is moving days. From the 1st of May BEFS Bulletin will be released on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.



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

A Biodiversity Metric for Scotland’s Planning System – Key Issues consultation
Nature Scot have published a Key Issues paper to inform work developing a biodiversity metric for Scotland’s planning system. Commissioned by the Scottish Government, in support of National Planning Framework 4 policy 3(b), the paper alerts stakeholders and anyone interested in the development of a biodiversity metric for planning to the scope of the work that is to be undertaken. The paper can be viewed on the NatureScot website.
*NEW* Closes 10 May 2024

Enabling powers for Scotland’s Environmental Impact Assessment regimes & Habitats Regulations
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government are seeking views on proposed enabling powers that would better allow for future amendments to Scotland’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regimes and Habitats Regulations. These are key legislative frameworks which underpin environmental protection and assessment processes. The proposed enabling powers would help replace powers lost because of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) and would help ensure the relevant legislation can remain fit for purpose in future.
Closes 13 May 2024

Call for Views on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill
Scottish Parliament
The Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee is seeking your views on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. The Bill was introduced by the Scottish Government on 13 March and covers land reform, lease for environmental purposes, and small landholdings and agricultural tenancies. The Bill introduces various provisions such as requirements on estate owners, publishing of a model lease for environmental purposes, and modernising the law. Find out more about the Bill and read its accompanying documents.
*NEW* Closes 21 May 2024

Masterplan Consent Area Regulations
Scottish Government
The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced MCAs – which will enable planning authorities to take a place leadership role, by proactively consenting the type and quality of development they wish to see in their areas. The Masterplan consent area regulations consultation covers the type of development which can be authorised, potential locations for MCAs and the procedures for making a scheme. It includes two sets of regulations: covering the main process for making MCA schemes and relating to EIA of MCA schemes. The separate consultation on ‘Investing in Planning’ also includes proposals for recouping costs of preparing MCA schemes.
Closes 22 May 2024

Development plan amendment regulations
Scottish Government
With the move to National Planning Framework (NPF) and Local Development Plans (LDPs) having a review period of 10 years, the 2019 Act introduced the provision for them to be amended between full review cycles. This enables the planning system to respond where newly emerging matters arise.
The development plan amendment regulations consultation covers proposals for the regulations. The aim is for procedures to amend both NPF and LDP to be proportionate and to provide a process that is more responsive and streamlined, whilst balancing the need for robust justification, engagement, and scrutiny. This will ultimately give decision makers some flexibility of process, based on the scale and significance of the amendments.
Closes 22 May 2024

Investing in Planning
Scottish Government
This consultation on resourcing Scotland’s planning system is in response to current resourcing challenges. It builds on ideas generated in a stakeholder workshop held in November 2023 and sets out a series of proposals which aim to improve capacity and build resilience particularly within planning authorities.  In addition to inviting stakeholder views on the proposals outlined, the consultation encourages stakeholders to suggest further ideas on alternative ways to support delivery and build resilience.
Closes 31 May 2024

Compulsory Purchase Reform
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government have committed to reform and modernise compulsory purchase legislation. As a first step, they have established an advisory group to help support the reform programme. The group, to be co-chaired by the Chief Planner and Roseanna Cunningham, brings together several expert practitioners with first-hand experience of the compulsory purchase process. They recognise, however, that a range of organisations have an interest in this area and are consulting broadly and are keen to hear from a wide range of voices as the work moves forward.
Please get in touch at

Strategic Plan Survey
Scottish Civic Trust
The Scottish Civic Trust are refreshing their Strategic Plan. To inform their future activities they are surveying people across Scotland about key themes related to their work. All input will help them better empower Scotland’s communities to act for shared spaces and places. All survey results are anonymous and will be stored on a Google Drive to which only Scottish Civic Trust has access. Analysed and summarised survey results will be shared in reports to Scottish Civic Trust’s funders and may appear in their annual reports.



Planning system – mandatory training for elected members: consultation analysis & published responses (Scot Gov 04/04/2024)

Proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill: Consultation Response (Under One Roof 11/04/2024)



Creating a future space to explore the past (Scotland’s Heritage Hub Project April 2024)

European citizens support religious heritage (Future for Religious Heritage 03/04/2024)

Charity creates new roles to help drive decarbonisation of Scotland’s homes (Changeworks 09/04/2024)

Europa Nostra and EIB Institute announce Europe’s 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites 2024 (Europa Nostra 17/04/2024)



Partnerships for People and Place Programme – Evaluation Report for DLUHC (Grant Thornton/IPSOS March 2024)

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Guidance on Listed Buildings (Purcell March 2024)

Valuing Victoria’s Heritage (Heritage Council Victoria April 2024)
3 reports considering the economic, social and environmental value of heritage in Australia.

Cultural Heritage Capital and Wellbeing: Examining the relationship between heritage density and life satisfaction (Historic England 14/03/2024)

Sector health check and local authority funding cuts (UK Heritage Pulse April 2024)

Skills Investment Plan (SIP) for Scotland’s Historic Environment (HES 01/04/2024)

Beyond the comfort zone: How can planning reform boost housing supply and affordability? (Social Market Foundation 16/04/2024)

Regional Retrofit Skills Taskforce Checklist (National Retrofit Hub 17/04/2024)



Correspondence between the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee and the Climate Emergency Response Group about the committee’s scrutiny of local government’s role in delivery a net zero Scotland (Scot Parl 26/03/2024)

Scottish Parliament People’s Panel reviewing the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (Scot Parl April 2024)

Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill – revised explanatory notes (Scot Parl April 2024)

Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill stage 2 amendments repository (Scot Parl April 2024)

Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill stage 2 amendments repository (Scot Parl April 2024)

Community right to buy – Company Limited by Guarantee: model template and guidance (Scot Gov 03/04/2024)

Spring Budget Revision 2023-2024 guide: finance update for the FPAC (Scot Gov 08/04/2024)

Development plan examinations: list (Scot Gov 09/04/2024)

Climate Engagement Fund Reopens (Scot Gov 09/04/2024)

Planning permission appeals: housing development statistics (Scot Gov 09/04/2024)

Correspondence between Paul McLennan and the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee regarding building safety and maintenance and housing to 2040 (Scot Gov 09/04/2024)

Correspondence from a group of 17 non-governmental organisations to the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee regarding a carbon footprint reduction target to be included in the Circular Economy Bill (Scot Parl 11/04/2024)

Council tax frozen across Scotland (Scot Gov 15/04/2024)

COP28: outcomes, achievements, and costs (Scot Gov 16/04/2024)

Council Tax Reduction: local authority tables and charts – April 2013 to February 2024 (Scot Gov 16/04/2024)

High streets in towns and small cities – oral evidence (UK Parl 16/04/2024)



How to buy one of England’s one million abandoned homes (The Times 17/09/2023)

Cultural strategies: Layers of place and policy (Arts Professional 21/03/2024)

Robbie Calvert: The importance of Chief Planning Officers in Local Authorities (RTPI 10/04/2024)

Paul Sweeney: ‘It is demoralising and infuriating to witness decline of Glasgow’s built heritage’ (Glasgow Times 11/04/2024)

We have a housing disaster. Here’s how to fix it (The Times 14/04/2024)



Link to Parliamentary Questions and Answers



Submitted by: Annie Wells, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 15 April 2024
That the Parliament congratulates Glasgow Life on receiving £350,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for planning and development work for the cultural revitalisation of Sauchiehall Street; understands that this work will support and inform further significant future investment by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Sauchiehall Street and its communities; further understands that the initial award is the outcome of collaborative working between Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund during 2023 to explore how what it sees as the internationally important heritage and culture of Sauchiehall Street can be protected and celebrated, and how local communities and stakeholders can be empowered through this work; notes that the £350,000 award will fund 18 months of work to ensure that local communities and stakeholders can play an active part in exploring their heritage and planning for the future of Sauchiehall Street, and acknowledges that the funding will help to provide a culture and heritage community grants scheme to empower local people and businesses, and that it will support research and planning to inform the next phase of work to revitalise Sauchiehall Street, including the creation of a geo-spatial map of the culture and heritage of the area.

Submitted by: Angus Robertson, Edinburgh Central, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 15 April 2024
That the Parliament welcomes the publication on 28 March 2024 of Inspiring Connections: Scotland’s International Culture Strategy; recognises the central importance of international engagement, collaboration and exchange to Scotland’s culture and creative sector, cultural innovation and financial health; further recognises that the impacts of Brexit and inflation pressures driven by UK Government decisions have had a detrimental impact on the sector’s international activity; acknowledges that COVID-19 has also exacerbated these impacts; notes the strong starting position for this strategy, with Scotland’s culture and creative sector’s global reputation and existing connections; further notes that this strategy recognises the challenges posed by the importance of international cultural activity and the need to achieve net zero by 2045; recognises the role that the culture and creative sector can play in addressing Scotland’s role in colonialism and slavery, and agrees that this strategic approach to supporting international connections can play an important role in the sector’s long-term development.

Submitted by: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: 16 April 2024
That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee be designated as the lead committee, and that the Social Justice and Social Security Committee be designated as a secondary committee, in consideration of the Housing (Scotland) Bill at stage 1.



RTPI – Scottish Young Planners Conference
Date & Time: Thursday 25 April 2024; 9am-5pm
Location: Technology & Innovation Building, 99 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RD
Planning in Scotland is during exciting changes. Young planners are crucial for delivering on future aspirations for the planning system and the profession. This year’s conference seeks to reflect on the importance of young planning professionals and highlight the opportunities available to them to shape the future of the profession. This is a fantastic opportunity to build important networks with other young professionals and develop the critical skills needed to support young planners in their career.

Under One Roof – Private Rented Sector Webinar
Date & Time: Wednesday 1 May 2024; 2-4pm
Location: Online
In partnership with Renfrewshire Council and Landlord Accreditation Scotland, Under One Roof is hosting a free webinar for private landlords to bring them up to date with what is happening in the private rented sector both locally and nationally. Topics to be covered at the event will include the new Repairing Standard obligations, managing common repairs, energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector and Renfrewshire Council will present on future investment programmes involving private landlords.

Mill of Benholm Working Party 
Date & Time: Saturday 4 May 2024; 10-4pm
Location: Benholm, Montrose, DD10 0HT
The Mill of Benholm has been dormant for over a decade. Join SPAB Scotland on Saturday 4 May to help change that! They’ll be clearing vegetation from the lade and returning the much-needed water supply to the mill. They will also be joined by 2022 SPAB Millwright Fellow Owen Bushell who will give an introduction to the mill machinery and how it works.

Archaeology Scotland – Archaeological Research in Progress Conference 2024
Date & Time: Saturday 25 May 2024; 9am-5.30pm
Location: Soutar Theatre, AK Bell Library, 2-8 York Place, Perth PH2 8EP
The annual ARP Conference is Scotland’s premier event in archaeological research. This year’s conference, hosted by Archaeology Scotland in collaboration with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, will provide insights into ongoing archaeological projects from various periods across Scotland. Participate either in person or online. The conference will be recorded and later available on our YouTube channel for those unable to attend.

Historic Environment Scotland – Documenting Scotland’s Historic Environment
Date & Time: Wednesday 29 May 2024; 9.30am-4pm & 10am-12.30pm
Location: The Engine Shed, Stirling
Three morning talks at the Engine Shed will review a wide range of site recording techniques, from traditional survey methods to the latest innovations in digital documentation such as laser scanning, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and photogrammetry. Explore how certain methods should be selected to obtain particular data from a site or meet the specific needs of a conservation project. A networking lunch will provide you with the opportunity to continue discussions and explore the Engine Shed. In the afternoon, the speakers will lead a hands-on demonstration of some of the innovative digital documentation in the Engine Shed’s main hall.

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

IHBC Annual School 2024 – #IHBC Reading 2024
Date & Time:  Wednesday 12 – Saturday 15 June 2024
Location: Online and in-person: Reading Town Hall
The IHBC is delighted to welcome Gerard Lemos, Chair of English Heritage as the opening speaker for the IHBC Annual School 2024, Reading – Place & Building Care: Finance, policy & people in conservation practice. Join in person or online for an enriching experience diving into the world of heritage conservation. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn, network, and explore heritage conservation and planning challenges in managing buildings, property and places together. Insights, learning and engagement for all disciplines and interests. Flexible, low-cost online delegate engagement options and bursaries available.
Booking open now



SPAB – An Introduction to Plain Lime Plastering
Date & Time: Friday 26 & Saturday 27 April 2024
Location: Heritage & Rural Skills Centre, Buscot and Coleshill Estate, Swindon SN6 7PT
Join SPAB for a practical course covering the mixing and application of lime plaster to lath, masonry, and modern substrates, including pricking up and base coats, float coats and setting coats. You will also get a brief introduction to running a cornice in-situ. This course is suitable for people with practical plastering skills. Experienced plasterers used to work in gypsum will particularly benefit from the course.

Scottish Lime Centre Trust – Masterclass on Conservative Repair of Modern Reinforced Concrete
Date & Time: Friday 26 April 2024; 9.30am-4pm
Location: Charlestown Workshops, Fife KY11 3EN
This master class delves into the principles and methodologies of conservation repairs for modern reinforced concrete structures, providing in-depth knowledge essential for engineers, architects, and construction professionals involved in the maintenance and preservation of concrete infrastructure. As modern concrete structures age, they often face deterioration due to various factors such as environmental exposure, chemical attacks, and structural loading. Conservative repair techniques aim to address these challenges while preserving the integrity and original design intent of the structure.

C&BS –  Introduction to being a Board Member
Date & Time: Tuesday 28 May & Tuesday 4 June 2024; 4-7pm
Location: Online
Do you have new trustees on your Board, or have you taken on a trustee role yourself? If so, this is an essential course for launching or refreshing your Board career. C&BS Head of Board Development, Catriona Reynolds, takes new trustees and Board members through their paces in two information-packed, hands-on sessions.

C&BS – Fundraising Matters: Getting Data Protection Right
Date & Time: Wednesday 29 May 2024; 9.30am-12.30pm
Location: Online
Obtaining personal data is highly valuable for marketing goods and services. However, the question of what you can and cannot legally do with this data remains complex. As more of us are keeping in touch with our audiences, supporters, and followers online than ever before, it’s essential to ensure your practices are lawful, as well as to provide privacy, security and transparency to maintain the trust of your audiences. Expert Laura Irvine, Partner at Davidson Chalmers Stewart LLP, dives deep into the subject and gives practical tips and advice.

SPAB – Photographing Old Buildings Online Workshop
Date & Time: dates from Wednesday 8 May to Wednesday 19 June
Location: Online
Whether you photograph old buildings for work or as a hobby, join SPAB on this always-popular four-step workshop with experienced professional photographer Ralph Hodgson. You’ll receive guidance on techniques and composition to develop your appreciation of the space and light of old buildings and to boost your confidence in photographing their textures, details, and features. Spaces on this workshop are limited to allow for small group discussion. You’ll need some familiarity with DSLRs or mirrorless cameras and a few photography basics.

SPAB – Repair of Old Buildings Course
Date & Time: Monday 20 to Friday 24 May 2024; 9am-5pm
Location: Museum of the Home, Kingsland Road London E2 8EA
This popular short course has been presented by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings since the 1950s. Run over five days, this course delivers an intensive programme of lectures and visits to building repair projects. Presented by leading building conservation professionals, the Repair Course considers British and international approaches to the conservation of old buildings.



The Heritage Trust Network – Heritage Trainee (Scotland)
Salary:  Pro rata of £23,400 p.a. (Real Living Wage)
Status: Full-time (37.5 hours p/w); 12 months fixed term
Location: Working from home or from an agreed shared workspace anywhere in Scotland.
The Heritage Trust Network is recruiting for the post of Heritage Trainee (Scotland). This exciting opportunity continues the Network’s focus on welcoming new people to the sector, already evident through the Network’s Youth Forum and involvement with the Make Your Mark campaign. The post has been designed to help the successful applicant develop on-the-job skills, knowledge, and networks to help them gain early-career access to the heritage sector. The role is funded by Historic Environment Scotland and National Trust for Scotland. More information and application details here.
Closing date: 10pm on Monday 6 May 2024

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