BEFS Newsletter

Welcome to the BEFS e-Bulletin.

We are very pleased to confirm that additional speakers at our Congress on November 19 will be Chris Stewart, CEO of the Chris Stewart Group and Elisabeth Michiels Director, of Monumentenwacht, Belgium. Places are being booked and we would encourage you to register now.
BEFS Calendar is filling up with events across Scotland from a wide range of organisations through to May 2014 and if you have a talk, seminar or conference on the built environment that you would like added please do let us know.


Wednesday 6 November – HEWG, Edinburgh
Tuesday 19 November – BEFS Congress, Linlithgow
Friday 22 November – BEFS AGM and Festive Drink, Edinburgh


Report highlights importance of wildlife in cities (SNH 04/10/13)
A new report issued today (4 October) stresses that brownfield sites are important for wildlife in cities, and urges planners to look after nature right in the heart of Scotland’s cities. Called “brown” because they’ve been developed on in the past, these areas are quickly re-colonised by insects, flowers and birds. A surprisingly high number of rare species have been recorded from the UK’s brownfield sites, including approximately half of rare solitary bees and wasps and a third of rare ground beetles.

New report shows 2012 visibility of built development in Scotland(SNH 27/09/13)

Built development can be seen from 71% of Scotland. This is according to a new report published today (Friday 27 September) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Scottish Government’s advisor on nature and landscape. The figure, using data gathered in 2012, has increased from 70% since the last report using 2010 data, and from 65% since 2008. The 2012 Visual influence of built development National Indicator is available on the SNH website.

Scottish Government News Release

£2m Town Centre Housing Fund opens (SG 01/10/13)
Local authorities, housing associations and private developers are urged to sign up for a £2million pound fund which will bring empty town centre properties back into use for affordable housing. Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay announced the launch of applications for the Town Centre Housing Fund today (October 1) during the annual Royal Town Planning Institute conference in Glasgow.

News Release

English Heritage to Mobilise Volunteer Heritage Army (EH 10/10/13)
English Heritage is to launch the first crowd-sourcing project to tackle heritage at risk, it announced today (Thursday 10 October). Working with other bodies in the heritage sector and local authorities, it aims to provide the means for members of the public to volunteer to carry out surveys of England’s 345,000 Grade II buildings as a first step to continued engagement in saving local heritage. The move is expected to enable thousands of passionate heritage fans to get more actively involved.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller today announced a new £10 million fund to help fund projects marking some of the United Kingdom’s most important anniversaries and commemorative events. Over the next 4 years at least £10 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will be invested to ensure that those moments which form a central part of our national history are commemorated and understood.
Towns and villages will now find it easier to get the development they need after changes to the village green system that will stop it being abused came in today. Village green status protects land that is regularly used for recreation but loopholes in the system have increasingly been abused by people looking to stop local development.
Recent Parliamentary Questions

Parliamentary Questions
Questions marked with a (?) are initiated by the Scottish Executive 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”.
S4W-17597 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Government what priority it gives to promoting and developing Scotland’s world heritage sites. (SP 03/10/13)
S4W-17602 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Government what organisation is responsible for protecting and promoting the Antonine Wall. (SP 03/10/13)
S4O-02485Jayne Baxter: To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on progress on the proposed community empowerment and renewal bill. (SP 03/10/13)
S4O-02487Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Government what avenues of redress are available to residents and community councils involved in local authority planning disputes. (SP 03/10/13)
Recent Parliamentary Answers
Questions marked with a (?) are initiated by the Scottish Executive in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.
Q S4W-17318 John Finnie: To ask the Scottish Government what sanctions can result from a failure to comply with a Notice Requiring the Proper Maintenance of Land. (SP 20/09/13)
A Derek Mackay (02/10/2013): Where a Notice Requiring the Proper Maintenance of Land is not complied with within the period allowed for such compliance, the planning authority which issued the Notice has the power to enter the land and carry out any works required by the Notice. It is an offence for any person to wilfully obstruct the planning authority from exercising this power. Any expenses incurred in taking this action are recoverable from the owner or lessee of the land.
Q S4W-17343 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government on how many occasions local authorities took action without notice on dangerous buildings in 2011-12 under sections 29(2) and (3) of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. (SP 23/09/13)
A Derek Mackay (03/10/2013): In 2011-12 local authorities took action 992 times under subsection 29 (2) and (3) of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 on buildings they considered to be dangerous. The following figures are taken from the Building Standards Annual Return that shows there were 212 dangerous buildings notices under section 30 served on owners in 2011-12. A breakdown by local authority is given in the following table.

Other Parliamentary activitiy
S4M-07932? Claire Baker: National Parks, Unfinished Business-That the Parliament welcomes the recent report by the Scottish Campaign for National Parks and the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, Unfinished Business: A National Parks Strategy for Scotland; notes that the report states that “Scotland’s landscapes rank amongst the best in the world”; further notes its claim that “there are further areas of outstanding importance for landscape and recreation in Scotland worthy of National Park designation, and that this would best be done in the context of an overall agreed national strategy”; understands that the report identifies seven areas that should be considered for designation as a national park: the Ben Nevis/Glen Coe/Black Mount area, the Cheviot Hills, an area based around Mull, Coll and Tiree, Galloway, Glen Affric, Harris and Wester Ross; believes that, by protecting the environment, attracting tourists and providing social and economic benefits to the communities that they serve and the rest of the country, the national parks at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms have proved to be successful in meeting the aims set out by the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000, and notes calls for a Scotland-wide debate on the way forward for national parks. (SP 07/10/13)
S4M-07912 Mike MacKenzie: Stromness Townscape Heritage Initiative-That the Parliament congratulates Stromness Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), a five-year project by Orkney Islands Council to enhance the historic centre of Stromness, on being shortlisted for an independent regeneration award; understands that the 2013 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration received over 50 applications; recognises that Stromness THI is one of three shortlisted in the Town Centre Regeneration category; understands that Stromness THI has been underway in the Stromness Conservation Area since July 2009 and is scheduled to finish in June 2014, and wishes Stromness THI the best of luck when the awards take place in Glasgow on 4 December 2014. (SP 03/10/13)
Recess – 12 – 27 October 2013


Margaret Macdonald & The Glasgow Girls
Wed 16th October 2013, 7pm-9pm, GCHT, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ
£5 donation, booking required (click here to email us), call us on 0141 5521331 or join Friends of GCHT for free entry!
Join us for this special event as part of the 2013 Creative Mackintosh Festival looking at Margaret Macdonald & the Glasgow Girls, with guest speakers Alison Brown, curator of Decorative Arts at Glasgow Museums and Robyne Calvert, Lecturer in Architectural and Design History, The Glasgow School of Art. Refreshments served. Booking essential please call 0141 5521331 or email to reserve your place.

Managing Historic Designed Landscapes

Friday 18 October 2013, Birnam Arts and Conference centre in Dunkeld
This study day, combining a guided walk with talks and dis-cussion, will demonstrate and address issues common to many historic landscapes in Scotland namely: to consider the effectiveness of current legislation in protecting historic landscapes and problems and op-portunities which can arise from multiple and overlap-ping designations; problems and opportunities arising from fragmented ownership and responsibilities, and conflicts of interest which may results from these; the need for a more holistic and integrated approach to historic designed landscape management. For further information and booking.
Walking and the Urban Environment: The Living Streets Scotland Conference
Wed 6th November 2013, Grosvenor Hotel, Edinburgh
Join us at this free conference with pedestrian concerns, dynamic speakers and universal issues. Living Streets Scotland, supported by Paths for All, want to focus on how to get more people walking more often in a better walking environment in our urban communities. Read more
Whose town is it anyway, Scotland’s Towns Annual Conference
Friday 22 November, Inverness
Visit website for further information.
HADAS programme of events 2013/14
Wednesday 16th Oct. 2013, 7.15 p.m. Trinity Centre, Church Street, Haddington
“The development of small towns – an international perspective”
Talk by Professor Cliff Hague : Emeritus Professor at Heriot Watt University.
 Wednesday 27th Nov. 2013, 7.30 p.m. Trinity Centre, Church Street, Haddington.
“Scottish Town Centres – the national policy response”
Talk by Craig McLaren :Director of the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland.
Wednesday 5th Feb. 2014, 7.30 p.m., Trinity Centre, Church Street, Haddington
“Development management in Haddington – A review of development planning, conservation and property issues”
Talk by Iain McFarlane : Head of Development Management, East Lothian Council
Contact HADAS for further information.

IHBC Scotland Annual General Meeting 2013

5pm Tuesday 19th November
Linlithgow Burgh Halls, The Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian EH49 7AH

Job Vacancies

Compliance Officer
National Trust for Scotland, Edinburgh, £25,412 & Car Allowance
Fixed-term for one year / full-time
We now have an exciting opportunity for a Compliance Officer to devise an audit methodology, conduct a programme of audits and deliver cyclical and planned maintenance activity, with a focus on Legionella Control, Asbestos Management and Fire Risk. To be successful in this role you will possess general and fire safety NEBOSH certificates (or equivalent) as well as training/experience in the management of legionella in water systems. BOHS P405 Management of Asbestos would also be highly desirable. Closing date: Friday 18 October 2013

full job details and information about how to apply.


Other updates

Information in the Bulletin is extracted from a number of websites; including the Scottish Government (SG); the Scottish Parliament (SP); Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS); Historic Scotland (HS); Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); English Heritage (EH); Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE); Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG); Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); National Assembly for Wales (NAW); Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS); Scottish Building Standards Agency (SBSA);Heritage Alliance (HL). For further information, links are provided to the relevant documents.If you have any questions or comments on the above, or would like to submit information to be included, please get in touch with Anne Wilkinson or tel: BEFS Office on 0131 220 6241. We hope that you find the Bulletin useful, however if you wish to be removed from the circulation list, please get in touch.

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