BEFS Bulletin – Strategy & Consultations

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


Policy Spotlight: BEFS Policy and Strategy Manager takes a look at the new bill, part of A Vision for Scottish Agriculture – and highlights the role of the historic environment as part of this. Views are being sought on a new Agriculture Bill which will underpin Scottish agricultural policy for years to come. Give your views by 21st of November to raise the profile of the historic environment at this early stage of the legislative process.

Following a survey of Scotland’s local civic trusts and heritage groups, the Scottish Civic Trust has developed a suite of resources, which includes a new local heritage resources hub and updated planning toolkit. They have also restarted the Scottish Civic Trust Forum on Facebook, providing a welcome space for groups to chat about all things heritage and communities in Scotland.

Huge congratulations go to BEFS Board Member, Fernanda Acosta Ballesteros, who has been shortlisted in the category of Early Career Archaeologist, as part of the Archaeological Achievement Awards. We wish her all the best for the final later this month.

BEFS, along with Members Under One Roof was pleased to attend and provide secretariat for the re-formed Working Group on Tenement Maintenance last week, hosted by Graham Simpson MSP. It was great to see a large turnout for the meeting, which provided an opportunity to take stock of progress over the past few years and discuss strategic action around maintaining Scotland’s tenements for the future.

BEFS does not have a Communications Manager in post at this time. BEFS will continue to get readers all the information that matters, particularly ensuring parliamentary activity is covered. And we’ll endeavour to include Events, Training and related Vacancies. These will be presented in the Bulletin as links (we will not be updating the website Events diary or Vacancy pages) until the team is back at full complement. Next Bulletin dates are 17 November and 1 December – BEFS Members should submit information for inclusion by the Monday prior to publication.


Delivering our Vision for Scottish Agriculture. Proposals for a new Agriculture Bill
Scottish Government
Closes 21 November 2022

The Future of National Parks in Scotland
Scottish Government
Closes 30 November 2022

HES Responsible Tourism Framework
Historic Environment Scotland
Closes 30 November 2022

Developing a Scottish Tax to replace the UK Aggregates Levy
Scottish Government
Closes 4 December 2022

Scottish Civic Trust

Consultation Responses

New Build Heat Standards Part 2 (20/10/2022)

Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation (30/10/2022)


Scottish Government funding of voluntary organisations: A case study of voluntary sector intermediaries with insights from senior leaders (SCVO September 2022)

Guidance on Installing Heat Pumps in Historic Buildings (Historic England September 2022)

Strengthening Cultural Heritage Resilience for Climate Change (European Commission September 2022)

The Horizon Papers: Work Programme 2023-2024. Culture Creativity and Inclusive Society (European Commission October 2022)

Thinking about… Charity Reserves: Research Report into Charity Reserves Management in Scotland (IVAR October 2022)

The Place Commission for Glasgow: recommendations on how design can make a better Glasgow (Glasgow City Council October 2022)

Scottish & UK Government Publications

Joint Ministerial response to Scottish Affairs Committee regarding promoting Scotland internationally (UK Gov 6/10/2022)

Planning circular 3/2022: development management procedures (SG 21/10/2022)

Information about the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland (SG 24/10/2022)

Short-term lets: letter to housing conveners on commencement of short-term lets licensing scheme and letter to local authorities on updated licensing guidance (SG 24/10/2022)

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee Meeting: Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill (ScotParl 25/10/2022)

Report tracking the work of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee 2021-22 (ScotParl 26/10/2022)

Announcement of the establishment of a national public energy agency – Heat & Energy Efficiency Scotland (SG 26/10/2022)

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, confirms establishment of national public energy agency to Net Zero Energy and Transport Committee (SG 26/10/2022)

Heat in Buildings Strategy: 2022 update (SG 31/10/2022)

Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee. Pre-Budget Scrutiny 2023-24: Funding for Culture Report (ScotParl 31/10/2022)

DCMS Committee: Reimagining where we live: cultural placemaking and the levelling up agenda (UK Gov 2/11/2022)

News Releases

Andrew Knight speaks with Daniel Mohamed as they discuss the application of data and technology by local authority planning departments (5/10/2022)

Applications are now invited for Europa Nostra’s 2023 European Heritage Awards – deadline for submissions is 25 November 2022 (12/10/2022)

The BES Scottish Policy Group co-hosted a ‘Pie and a Pint’ policy debate on National Parkswith CIEEM to discuss the Scottish Government’s agreement to establish at least one new National Park in Scotland (20/10/22)

The European Commission has published reports confirming that EU emissions remain 4% below pre-pandemic levels despite rebound after COVID recovery (26/10/022)

Charity chief is named as Moderator of the Church of Scotland 2023-24 General Assembly (28/10/2022)

Historic Religious Buildings Alliance release Summary of Survey Responses regarding rising energy costs for religious buildings in 2022 (27/10/2022)

Key findings from The BE-ST Fest 2022 Summit on zero carbon solutions for the built environment  (28/10/2022)

The National Churches Trust judges worked through almost 200 entries from churches across the whole of the UK for their inaugural awards and selected St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney, as Scottish winner of their ‘Open for Visitors’ Award (31/10/2022)

Opinion & Comment

HES confirms no rockfalls have been recorded from Edinburgh Castle for four years (Edinburgh Evening News 18/10/2022)

Scotland’s cultural and natural heritage at risk from perfect storm that could see prized assets lost forever (The Scotsman 23/10/2022)

Lachlan Goudie calls for the reconstruction of the Glasgow School of Art to be treated with the same urgency as work on Notre Dame (The Times 24/10/2022)

Better funding deal for Scottish culture long overdue (The Scotsman 25/10/2022)

Marks & Spencer can still be true to its brand and change course on Oxford Street’; the retailer should retrofit it, not raze it (Architects Journal 26/10/2022)

Scotland’s arts and culture on the edge amid a perfect storm of threats and risks (Sunday Post 30/10/2022)

Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary (BBC News 31/10/2022)

Data is an asset, not a burden, and is key to improving services says Audit Scotland (Future Scot 1/11/2022)

John Swinney confirms further cuts to spending plans (The Guardian 2/11/2022)

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Scottish Government 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-11289 Sharon Dowey, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-07194 by Neil Gray on 16 March 2022, whether it will provide an update on the progress of protecting the properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland that are reportedly being left to “gracefully die”.
Current status: Answered by Neil Gray 19/10/2022

S6W-11455 Alexander Burnett, Aberdeenshire West, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party R
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government for what reason planning permission is required for obtaining a short-term lets licence for flats, but not houses.
Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison 20/10/2022

S6W-11301 Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answers to questions S6W-10436 and S6W-10437 by Shona Robison on 21 September 2022, how many local authorities have indicated that they were not in a position to establish their short-term lets licensing scheme by 1 October 2022.
Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison 21/10/2022

S6W-11494 Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of how much funding it has invested in the sustainable development of Scotland’s historic estate in (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23, in line with the Scottish National Party 2021 manifesto commitment.
Current status: Answered by Neil Gray 24/10/2022
S6W-11486 Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has introduced three-year funding settlements for Scottish Government core funded cultural organisations, in line with the Scottish National Party 2021 manifesto commitment.
Current Status: Answered by Neil Gray 25/10/2022
S6W-11323 Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government how many times the Green Heat Finance Taskforce has met since its creation, and whether a summary of the discussions and action points from these meetings has been published by the Scottish Government.
Current Status: Answered by Patrick Harvie 25/10/2022

S6W-11324 Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government when the final report of the Green Heat Finance Taskforce will be published.
Current Status: Answered by Patrick Harvie 25/10/2022

S6W-11502 Emma Roddick, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party
Date lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government whether environmental protections would be reduced in any Scottish investment zones.
Current status: Answered by John Swinney 28/10/2022

S6O-01448 Claire Baker, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour
Date Lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government what steps are being taken to support the museum and gallery sector during the cost of living crisis.
Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 26/10/2022

S6T-00915 Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour
Date Lodged:
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to address the reported “perfect storm” that the arts and culture sector is facing, in light of reports that organisations such as the Falkirk Town Hall, the Filmhouse in Edinburgh, the Belmont in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh International Film Festival recently entered into administration and the Modern Two art gallery in Edinburgh was forced to close for winter.
Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 25/10/2022

Question from Matt Rodda Shadow Minister, Work and Pensions (UK Parl 24/10/2022)
To ask what steps the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, is taking to ensure local communities have the ability to preserve buildings and landmarks of local historical significance.
Current Status: Answered by Dehenna Davison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 24/10/2022

Parliamentary Motions

S6M-06302 Emma Harper, South Scotland, Scottish National Party
Motion Transforming Scotland’s Vacant and Derelict Sites
That the Parliament notes with concern reports that Scotland has almost 9,500 hectares of vacant and derelict urban land, and that just over one quarter of Scotland’s 5.4 million population is estimated to live within 500 metres of a derelict site, with this percentage increasing in communities on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD); believes that Scotland’s stock of vacant and derelict land is a legacy of the nation’s industrial past, with many of these sites, including across the South Scotland Region, such as the George Hotel in Stranraer, former Interfloor Factory in Dumfries, Central Hotel in Annan and N Peal Building in Hawick, being in their derelict condition for many years; notes research, including from the Scottish Land Commission, University of Glasgow and Green Space Scotland, which shows that vacant and derelict sites can harm the wellbeing of communities, with findings reportedly showing that these sites can contribute to poor mental health, feelings of a lack of safety, anxiety and a persistent low mood; further notes reported concerns from communities around the traceability of the ownership of vacant and derelict sites, which, it understands, are often owned by absentee landlords and corporations as part of property and financial portfolios; considers that Scotland has a huge potential to lead the UK in transforming these sites into useful community assets; notes the view that focussing on these sites as a vehicle for delivery could help to enhance policy coordination across civic Scotland by concentrating effort and resources where they are most needed to benefit communities; welcomes the Scottish Land Commissions report, Transforming Scotland’s Approach to Vacant and Derelict Land, Recommendations from the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce; notes calls on the Scottish Government to set out its progress towards implementing these recommendations, and to outline its engagement with the Scottish Land Commission’s joint Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce; further notes what it sees as the role of communities, as, it understands, has been seen in Heathhall, Dumfries and Galloway, in calling on Dumfries and Galloway Council to address the former Interfloor Factory, and notes the view that communities across Scotland should become involved in taking transformative action to ensure these sites dealt with as a priority.


RTPI James Attwood Lecture – November 2022. The challenges of decommissioning the Dounreay site and readying it for future use
Date & Time: Thursday 10 November 2022; 7-8:30pm
Location: Inverness Town House, Castle Wynd, Inverness
This event is part of a series of annual lectures presented by the Continuing Professional Development in Construction (Highland and Islands) group, in memory of one of its founding members, the late Professor James Attwood, OBE, FCIOB who gave the first lecture in 1988. The member institutions of the group take it in turn to organise the event and in 2022 it is RTPI’s turn. Adreain Gill – Head, Interim Endstate Delivery at Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, will provide background to the Dounreay Nuclear Research Establishment, before focussing on the challenges of decommissioning the site and readying it for future use. Following this there will be opportunity for delegates to ask questions.

RTPI Planning Law Update – Edinburgh
Date & Time: Thursday 10 November 2022; 6-8:30pm, followed by networking
Location: Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, 1 Exchange Crescent Conference Square, Edinburgh
The annual planning update is back. Please join us for the latest legal update with networking afterwards.

Heritage Trust Network Conference 2022
Date & Time: Friday 11 November 10:30am-4:30pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Join the Heritage Trust’s online conference to hear presentations from community heritage practitioners and leading experts in the field, with opportunities for discussion and networking. This event is for anyone considering taking on a heritage building, or those already managing one, who wish to connect with others across the country. The 2022 event will have a particular focus on heritage activity in Wales.
Tickets: £15 (members) / £30 (non-members)

AHSS & SGLH Judy Riley – Ornaments and Obelisks: Changes at Tyninghame in the Early 19th Century
Date & Time: Monday 14 November 2022, 6:30pm
Location: Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL (wheelchair accessible)
Note: Lectures will also be streamed online via Zoom
With the help of previously unpublished archival material, Judy Riley explores the development of Tyninghame House and gardens, in East Lothian, around the first half of the nineteenth century, including William Burn’s work for the 9th Earl of Haddington.

Scotland’s Towns Conference
Date & Time: Wednesday 16 November 2022; 9am-5pm
Location: Kilmarnock
Scotland’s Towns Conference is our annual, flagship gathering of stakeholders from across sectors involved in supporting Scotland’s towns and improvement districts.
Please follow link to book tickets for Members and Non-Members

New National Park Commission – National Scotland Event
Date & Time: Thursday 17 November, 2022; 3-5pm
Location: Online via Teams
Scottish Ministers are committed to establishing at least one new National Park by the end of this Parliament in early 2026.  As part of this process, NatureScot has been commissioned by Scottish Government to provide advice on the role and approach to National Parks and how areas for new National Parks could be selected. As part of the consultation process, they have organised an online event for organisations and groups to come together to learn more about the consultation and discuss the issues and opportunities it raises.

AHSS Geoff Bailey – The Architecture of  Matthew Steele
Date & Time: Thursday 17 November 2022; 7:30pm
Location: Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow
Note: Lectures will also be streamed online via Zoom
Geoff Bailey of the Falkirk Local History Society [Heritage Engagement Officer Falkirk Community Trust] will talk about the unique style of the provincial architect Matthew Steele who gave the town of Bo’ness near Falkirk much of its present character.  Working in the period 1910-1940 he adopted and adapted the latest designs and materials adding a Nordic twist to provide his own flavour.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Lecture: “Hunter-Gatherer Ireland”
Date and time: Thursday 17 November 2022; 6–7pm
Location: Hybrid format; in-person at Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh and livestreamed online via Zoom
This lecture from Professor Graeme Warren provides an overview of the hunter-gatherer settlement of Ireland – mainly, the archaeology of the Mesolithic period drawing on his recent book Hunter-Gatherer Ireland: making connections in an island world (Oxbow, 2022). It will show the dynamism and complexity of the Mesolithic period in Ireland and its connections to the Mesolithic in Britain and Europe.

RTPI Investing in Place
Date & Time: Thursday 17 November 2022; 4–5pm
Location: Online via Big Marker webinar platform (more details on registration)
Scottish Enterprise commissioned consultants (Iglu Consulting, Steven Tolson and Nick Wright) to look at how to apply the Place Principle to investing in place. Their report will not be finalised until after NPF4 is published but they have kindly agreed to discuss their findings. They explore how to best deliver mixed use development and focus on where there is a need for public sector intervention. They lay out a case for change built on evidence and outline a framework for delivering and designing mixed-use development that will contribute to a greener, fairer and healthier Scotland. The event will be of interest to anyone concerned with how to deliver better places.

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders Archaeology Conference
Date & Time: Saturday 19 November 2022; 9am-4:45pm
Location: Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh
This annual conference is organised by the City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council and Scottish Borders Council.  For the 20th anniversary there will be an exciting programme of talks about recent discoveries and archaeological research in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.
Conference tickets are £30, with an optional buffet lunch priced at £10  (NB lunch must be pre-booked by 16 November). Conference tickets only will be available on the day. Book tickets here

RICS World Built Environment Forum – Natural solutions to human-induced problems: Is green infrastructure the answer?
Date & Time: Wednesday 23 November 2022; 4-5pm
Location: Online
Join the conversation as we explore what new and revised financing and governance frameworks are required to successfully up-scale nature-based solutions. How broadly could these solutions be implemented, and are policymakers rising to this legislative challenge?

ICON Scotland 25th Annual Plenderleith Memorial Lecture: Even on a Mountain, there is still a road: Reflections on Conservation in post-Conflict Afghanistan
Date & Time: Thursday 24 November 2022; 7-8:15pm
Location: City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh
Join Icon Scotland for their 25th annual lecture in memory of Dr Harold Plenderleith, one of the founders of modern conservation. This year’s speaker is Dr Richard Mulholland, Senior Lecturer on the Conservation of Fine Art MA programme at Northumbria University. A Paper Conservator and Technical Art Historian, Richard has been engaged in research on the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage collections at risk in conflict zones, particularly focused on Afghanistan. His lecture will consider what is being done to equip collections staff to respond to these crises and reflect on the future of culture in an increasingly polarised world.

A&BS The (Income) Generation Game: In-person
Date & Time: Tuesday 29 November 2022; 4pm-6:15pm
Location: Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Link to register
A&BS The (Income) Generation Game: Online
Date & Time: Wednesday 30 November 2022; 4-6pm
Location: Online
Link to register
Chairs of heritage or mixed arts/heritage organisations are invited to network and learn from experts and peers in a mini-series called ‘The Heritage Chairs Network Exchange’.
The sessions focus on challenges chairs might be facing having come out of lockdown, and the wider context organisations need to respond to. The sessions will bring together chairs to allow participants to expand their peer networks and share experience. With unprecedented pressure on public funding, what are some of the ways organisations can respond to remain financially sustainable?
These in person and online sessions will look at the role of the board and chair in fundraising, and other income generation options available to heritage organisations and mixed heritage/arts organisations.

Richard Rodger – Happy Homes: Cooperation, Community and the Edinburgh Colonies
Date & Time: Monday 12 December 2022; 6:30pm
Location: Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL (wheelchair accessible)
Note: Lectures will also be streamed online via Zoom
Edinburgh and Leith colony housing represents a very distinctive, immediately recognisable built form. Or so you might think. In fact there is considerable divergence in design, in prices (rents) and in the occupants. In this talk, Richard Rodger dissects the background to the housing, their owners, occupants, and other characteristics to reveal a new perspective on this housing type.


GCHT CPD: The Risk of Fire in Historic Buildings
Date & Time: Monday 14 November 2022; 12:30-1:30pm
Location: GCHT Office, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow; Online via Zoom
Every year, historic properties are lost to fire across the UK: in the last five years Belfast, Glasgow, and Liverpool have all suffered the loss of irreplaceable buildings. In this CPD Conservation Architect Peter Drummond will provide an overview of the special risks which are found on historic buildings, how designers can assess these risks, and the development of a holistic approach which protects buildings and their occupants.

A&BS Business Briefing: Introduction to being a Board Member Course
Date & Time: Tuesday 15 – Wednesday 16 November; 10:00am-1:00pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Do you have new trustees who have joined you in recent months, or perhaps you have taken on a trustee role for the first time yourself? Covering everything you need to get you launched on your board career – and still useful if you would like a refresher – over the two sessions the course will include:
–    Duties of charitable trustees/board members
–    The different roles and responsibilities of board members and staff
–    Meeting management and decision making
–    Advocacy and fundraising
–    Your role in strategic planning
–    Understanding the finances

CIfA – Practising Ethical Competence in Archaeology
Date & Time: Wednesday 16 November 2022; 2-5pm
Location: Online
This CPD workshop is for accredited professionals and those that need to demonstrate ethical abilities as part of their application for accreditation.

A&BS Business Briefing: Data Protection and Marketing Update
Date & Time: Tuesday 22 November; 12-1pm
Location: Online via Zoom
The use of data has never been so valuable but the question of what you can and cannot do legally with contact data to market your goods and services is complex. In this session we will look at how data protection laws apply to the arts, heritage and culture sector and how it can use contact data to keep in touch with audiences and supporters. We will cover:
–    Marketing and data protection laws – the basics
–    Cookies, consent and the risks
–    The Data Reform Bill and changes which could assist the third sector

Scottish Lime Centre Trust – Climate Change – How to protect our buildings
Date & Time: Friday 2 December 2022; 9:30am-4:30pm
Location: Charlestown Workshops, Fife
Cost: £200 +VAT
What on earth we can do to protect our buildings? From more robust roof design, retro-fitting for pre and post 1919 buildings, bigger and better rain water goods, all about insulating plasters and render and we think mortar skew fillets have their days numbered.


SURF – Facilitator, Alliance for Action Programme
Salary: £33,000 pro rata
Status: Part-time, 17.5h per week
Location: Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
SURF is seeking a part-time Facilitator to support its new Alliance for Action programme site in Peterhead. The successful applicant will be responsible for helping to build on local progress towards the regeneration of Peterhead town centre, supporting collaboration and project delivery in response to community demand.
Closing date: Monday 14 November 2022