BEFS Bulletin – Prioritisation Discussion and New Heritage & Place Programme

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


The conversation around future prioritisation of Scotland’s historic sites continued last week in the Sunday Post, with BEFS Board members Ian Baxter and Peter Drummond agreeing that hard choices lie ahead. In the Arctic Circle, the question of what to keep and what to let go is addressed on a grand scale in the Kiruna Masterplan: how do you move a city two miles to the east, while preserving its character and collective memory? To see how decisions are made here, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have released a new short film explaining their role in the planning system.

Following the unveiling of their refreshed Grants Framework, Historic Environment Scotland have announced that their new Heritage & Place Programme will launch on 30 March. This programme will replace and build on HES’ Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funding programme, with key changes including the introduction of a two-stage application process with a match-funded Development Phase and the removal of requirement for schemes to be solely in conservation areas. Full guidance will be published on 30 March, with those wishing to note their interest invited to email HES.

BEFS notes with interest the launch of a National Retrofitting Scheme in Ireland, which aims to make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to undertake home energy upgrades.

In measures aiming to improve the planning process, Scottish Government have announced the first increase to standard planning application fees in eight years. RTPI will be undertaking Scottish Government Funded research with Heads of Planning Scotland and the Improvement Service exploring options to support the growth of entrants into the planning profession. And, RICS have published new guidance on the Planned Preventative Maintenance of Commercial and Residential Property.

Two new Board members are sought for Architecture & Design Scotland. Scottish Ministers are particularly interested in people who understand how the built environment can help tackle the climate emergency through collaborative place-making and community engagement. Previous board experience is not required.

It’s the final opportunity to submit pictures to the Scottish Civic Trust’s My Place Photography competition, which is open to young people aged 4-18. Entries close on 20 February.

Finally, six weeks remain to enter the SPAB Heritage Awards 2022. New categories this year include the Best Loved Award and the Sustainable Heritage Award, while the John Betjeman Award returns to celebrate excellence in the repair of places of worship of all denominations and faiths. Entries close 28 March.

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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.
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


National Planning Framework (NPF4): Published Reponses to the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee Call for Views

Culture in Crisis: Impacts of Covid-19 on the UK cultural sector and where we go from here (Centre for Cultural Value)

Low Cost/No Cost Tips for Sustainability in Cultural Heritage (24/01/22)

Scotland’s top charity leaders: how diverse are they? (David Hume Institute, 02/2022)

Evaluating The Impacts of Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development (UK National Commission for UNESCO and PRAXIS, 10/02/22)

Connecting Practice: A Commentary on Nature-Culture Keywords (ICOMOS,10/01/22)
A resource for heritage practitioners and researchers who are working in the interdisciplinary field that links natural and cultural heritage conservation.

Scottish Government Publications

Building Standards verification performance framework – national customer satisfaction survey: survey findings 2021(03/02/22)

UK Parliament Publications

House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee: Decarbonising heat in homes (03/02/22)
The report calls on the UK Government to work with stakeholders to produce a roadmap for transition as it criticises a lack of detail in the Heat and Buildings Strategy published in October 2021.

News Releases

Progress at a Pace at Balmacara Community Trust (Heritage Trust Network)
An update on the project to restore The Old Mill Hall within the NTS Estate of Balmacara.

‘Destitute’ Galashiels flats to get a new lease of life (Southern Reporter, 05/02/22)
A planning application has been submitted to for the refurbishment of the category C Listed tenement block.

Confirmed: Five Aberdeen high-rise buildings to be given A-listed status as council drops appeal (Press and Journal, 07/02/22)
Gilcomstoun Land, Seamount Court and Porthill Court at Gallowgate, as well as Marischal Court and Virginia Court at Castlehill, now have the highest historic protections.

RIBA demands mass retrofit of 3.3m interwar homes to tackle fuel poverty (Architects’ Journal, 14/02/22)
RIBA’s Homes for Heroes report urges the government to focus a new National Retrofit Strategy on updating 3.3m homes in England that were built between 1919 and 1939.

Glasgow to be transformed into ‘thriving, climate resistant’ city in £10m project (Project Scotland, 15/02/22)
University of Glasgow researchers will work with Glasgow City Council supported by funding from the Natural Environment Research Council to create transformational projects across the city.

‘Every year it astounds us’: the Orkney dig uncovering Britain’s stone age culture (The Guardian, 15/02/22)
Many of the most intriguing finds from the Ness of Brodgar will be on show at the British Museum this month in a new exhibition, the World of Stonehenge.

Opinion & Comment

Louise Wilson: ‘A sense of joy’: Embracing community spaces in planning (Holyrood Magazine, 03/02/22)
The success of Cruyff Courts in Aberdeen demonstrates the many benefits of public spaces.

David Mitchell: Having a laugh in church? God forbid (The Guardian, 06/02/22)
A cathedral’s plan to host standup comedy has been criticised, but if it keeps places of worship relevant I’m a believer.

Lesley Riddoch: Rural Scotland needs a more inspiring plan for the future (The Herald, 07/02/22)
The draft NPF4 leaves Scotland’s rural communities at the margins.

Martin Jarvie: Retrofitting buildings is the greenest strategy (The Scotsman, 08/02/22)
Reuse and retrofit can not only slash emissions but give unloved buildings a repurpose, retaining their legacies.

Alison Bembenek: Material Considerations: Climate change, embodied carbon and the role of planners (Lichfields, 11/2/22)
This blog takes a closer look at the potential implications of emerging policies for embodied carbon in planning.

Stewart Dalgarno: Building new homes while meeting climate targets is possible (Project Scotland, 14/02/22)
The Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) project the housebuilding industry a way to continue to improve the sector’s environmental performance.

Johannes Novy: Urban makers: why the city of the future needs to be productive (The Conversation, 14/02/22)
The European Union’s key policy document for sustainable urban development aims to enable and promote new forms of mixed-use development, that go beyond adding a retail shop at the foot of a block of flats.

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”.

Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 02/02/2022
S6W-06099: monitoring and evaluation framework for the Heat in Buildings Strategy
S6W-06098: making public sector buildings net zero by 2030
S6W-06097: Passivhaus standards for new build housing
S6W-06096: Islands Energy Strategy (retrofitting)

S6W-06104: Paul Sweeney, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/02/2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will consider implementing the high quality shopfront design standards developed in Traditional Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme (TSIG) areas as a future planning requirement in Conservation Areas and in Listed Buildings, as part of the forthcoming update of the National Planning Framework.

S6W-06578Craig Hoy, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/02/2022
To ask the Scottish Government (a) how much funding did each project receive and (b) how many jobs were created by each project as a result of the 2020 round of the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

S6W-06606Craig Hoy, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date lodged: 15 February 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what additional support it has provided to Historic Environment Scotland to enable Tantallon Castle, Dirleton Castle, Seton Collegiate Church and Hailes Castle, in East Lothian, to reopen.

Parliamentary Questions and 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”.

S6W-05814: Stephen Kerr (Central Scotland) (Con), Date lodged: 20 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what work is underway with local authorities to develop the necessary capacity building and training to ensure a planning system fit for net zero is established by 2022.
Answered by Minister for Public Finance, Planning & Community Wealth, Tom Arthur

S6W-05813: Stephen Kerr (Central Scotland) (Con), Date lodged: 20 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has sent a letter to all local authorities to emphasise the importance of addressing the climate emergency in all planning decisions, including in major developments.
Answered by Tom Arthur on 1 February 2022

Liam Kerr (North East Scotland) (Con), Date lodged: 20 January 2022
Heat in Buildings Strategy:
S6W-05804financial implications for rural householders
S6W-05803: consultation process
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 1 February 2022

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. R
Answered by Shona Robison (07/02/2022)

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 MaintenanceR
Answered by Shona Robison (09/02/2022)

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.
Answered by Michael Matheson on 3 February 2022

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
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 2 February 2022


Motion S6M-03134
The Restoration of Govan’s Elder Park Gates and K13 Memorial
Paul Sweeney, Glasgow, Scottish Labour,
Date Lodged: 11/02/2022
Congratulations to Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) on the successful restoration of the memorial to the 1917 K13 submarine disaster, and historic main gate to Elder Park in Govan.


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

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. A full list of upcoming sessions and booking information is available here.
Wed 23 Feb, 4.30 – 6pm – Southern Sustainability
Thurs 24 Feb, 12.30 – 2pm – Productive Places
Tues 1 March, 12.30 – 2pm – Central Urban Transformation

Aberdeen City Heritage Trust: Surveying 800 Years of Fyvie Castle
Date & Time: 16 February, 19:00
From palisades to palace to party pad: Annie Robertson Surveyor, National Trust for Scotland, will provide an overview of the architectural development of the castle from its early occupation in the 13thC right through to the 20thC, along with some of the key challenges in looking after it today.

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust: Introducing Traditional Ironwork
Date & Time: 22 February, 18:00
Wrought and cast iron were popular and widely-used materials during the 19th Century. Much of this material survives today, often still performing its original function, whether it’s a set of railings outside someone’s home, or a footbridge over a railway line. In this talk, Ali Davey from Historic Environment Scotland provides an insight into the history of traditional ironwork and some guidance on how to care for it.

Heritage Trust Network: Network Day
Date & Time: 23 February, 09.30
At the first HTN Network Day you can learn about business planning, get an update from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, get answers to your problems and challenges from our panel of experts, and find out about holiday accommodation as a business opportunity for heritage sites. Sign up for the day – attend the sessions that interest you – share the day with colleagues. Attendees must be members of HTN (Connect membership is free).

Date & Time: 25 February, 12:00 – 14:00
The onset of COVID-19 saw Scotland’s heritage organisations pivot to digitally engaging with audiences and volunteers on social media and video conferencing platforms. Amidst all the changes brought on by the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 called on heritage organisations to address racism, slavery, empire and colonialism. Join us on 25 February to reflect on all we’ve learned in the past two years and discuss how to engage audiences with community heritage in our post-COVID world.


New Lanark 2022: A Living Legacy
Date & Time: 1–3 March, 9:00 – 20:00
Location: New Lanark Mill
New Lanark Trust will be hosting a special anniversary conference marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen, the site’s most famous advocate, as well as the 20th anniversary of UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription. Speakers will celebrate New Lanark’s remarkable journey, from Robert Owen to World Heritage and beyond, exploring legacies of social reform and heritage-led regeneration.

CITiZAN Conference: Connecting Coastal Heritage, Communities and Climate Change
Date & Time: 5 March, 09:30
Museum of Liverpool, Pier Head, Liverpool, and Online
The UK, as an island nation, is home to thousands of coastal communities that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – whether that is from the loss of livelihoods, homes or even entire landscapes. This conference explores the opportunities and challenges of understanding these coastal processes and the impact that they have on our shoreline heritage and on the communities who live along them.


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
Closing date: 25 February

National Lottery Heritage Fund: Engagement Manager (Fixed Term)
Fixed term until 31 Dec 2022
Secondments and part-time or flexible working arrangements considered.
The primary purpose of this post is to engage a wider range of people with heritage. If you are excited about helping ensure that heritage is inclusive and accessible to everyone, for now and future generations, then we want to hear from you.
Closing date: 1 March

Green Action Trust: Multiple Roles
The Green Action Trust is Scotland’s leading environmental regeneration charity, working with a range of private, public and third sector partners to deliver positive action across the country to help Scotland achieve its climate change ambitions. GAT is looking to add additional capacity in order to increase, substantially, their environmental impact for communities across Scotland. Energetic, passionate, and committed people are sought to fill the following six roles:
Central Scotland Green Network – Programme Manager (Up to £45,000)
Development Manager (Up to £40,000)
Development Officer x 2 (Up to £35,000)
Project Manager x 2 (Up to £35,000)

Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust: Perth Lower City Mills Development Officer
1-Year Fulltime Fixed-Term Contract
Salary: £30,000 p.a.
PKHT have secured Development Phase funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NHLF), to develop a £2.7 million project to fully restore the A-Listed Lower City Mills, Perth, including restoration of its rare working machinery, afford public access, establish a heritage skills and conservation hub and a centre for Scottish mills and milling. This role will lead on the NLHF Delivery Phase submission, with other staff and Trustees.
Closing date: 18 March

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