Cameron House Hotel short life working group minutes: June 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the Cameron House Hotel short life working group on 27 June 2023.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Government Officials

  • Stephen Garvin, Deputy Director, Building Standards Division (SLWG Co-Chair) – chair for this meeting
  • Lisel Porch, Safer Communities Division
  • Chris Booth, Safer Communities Division
  • James Clark, Safer Communities Division
  • Colin Hird, Building Standards Division
  • Terri O’Donnell, Building Standards Division
  • Benny Rooney, Building Standards Division
  • Steven Scott, Building Standards Division
  • Tom Hardy, Safer Communities Division
  • Helen Stephenson, Sponsorship and Historic Environment Division
  • Callum Grigor, Sponsorship and Historic Environment Division

External members

  • Clare Winskill, Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • Steven Bosworth, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS)
  • Alan McAulay, Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS)
  • David Weston, The Scottish Bed and Breakfast Association
  • Fiona Campbell, The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (attended part of the meeting)
  • Peter Drummond, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)
  • Simon Montgomery, HES
  • Margo Paterson, Hostelling Scotland


  • Maureen Rooney, Deputy Director, Safer Communities Division (SLWG Co-Chair)
  • Steven McCallum, National Trust for Scotland
  • Elizabeth McCrone, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Marc Crothall, Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • Leon Thompson, UK Hospitality, Scotland
  • Sam North, National Trust for Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair invited any new members or officials to introduce themselves. 

Note of the last meeting and matters arising (Paper 05-02)

One change was requested to the note of the fourth meeting prior to publication.

Actions from fourth meeting (23 May 2023):

AP 4.1 – officials provided a link for the website note.: completed

AP 4.2 – officials to update the website with the notes of the meetings and to issue an email to all once done – ongoing - action 5.1

AP 4.3 – auditing details and handover sheet templates to be issued to members by SFRS: ongoing

AP 4.4 – officials to set up a meeting with BAFSA: completed

AP 4.5 – officials to issue the slides from the meeting: completed

AP 4.6 – Building standards division (BSD) and LABSS/ the building standards hub to meet discuss the application of the section 34 letter to relevant conversions: completed

AP 4.7 – officials will issue the SLWG report a week before the next meeting: completed

AP 5.1 – members to be advised once notes of meetings are uploaded to the website

SLWG initial draft final report: progress, next steps and timescales: paper 05-03

The draft report (paper 05-03) of the SLWG was presented and discussed by members. The following points were noted:

  • to clarify that the recommendations 1 to 3 of the FAI are directed at the hotel industry and not individual representatives
  • the need for automatic fire suppression systems in all conversions of historic buildings to hotels regardless of size, use, type and level of risk. Scottish Government (SG) officials noted that there is an expert panel being set up to consider this in detail prior to introducing regulations. It was noted that research will inform the expert panels considerations.aAn attendee noted that there is a focus on conversions, alterations to extensions may bring in further discussions
  • short term action on section 34 letter, this is about information gathering and raising awareness of risks rather than a change to regulation. It is a short-term measure whilst the expert panel meets
  • further work needs to be done on setting up the expert panel and the next steps

Industry representatives to consider the section on recommendations 1 to 3 and to add to and complete the text based on the paper presented at meeting 2 and any further work carried out since.  SRS will complete for Recommendation 6. SG officials will complete for recommendations 4 and 5.


AP 5.2 – further meeting on the Section 34 letter, SG officials and BS Hub

AP 5.3 – industry members to complete text for recommendations 1 to 3; SFRS for recommendation 6 and SG officials for recommendations 4 and 5. All to be completed by 14 July 2023  

HES technical guidance

HES provided an update on the review of the ‘conversion of traditional buildings guidance document’ that was published in 2007. The guide for practitioners 6 is there to assist people to reach agreements when looking to gain a building warrant for relevant conversions. This sits alongside the technical handbooks. SG officials are in agreement for the guidance to be updated and will highlight areas for further work. The work will take around two years to complete.

Guide for practitioners 7 is currently being updated. The draft is expected to be ready in September for consultation. 

The Chair thanked HES for this update. 

Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 – industry update

Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 were discussed under agenda item 3. Industry members work on the draft report and add in more detail as agreed.

Recommendations 4 and 5 – Scottish Government update

SG officials requested that members nominate individuals or organisations for the expert panel, by no later than 21 July. Hotel industry members can be represented on the exert panel.

Recommendation 6 – SFRS Update

SFRS indicated that all actions have been completed.  SFRS will issue the tear off sheet via the secretariat.    


AP 5.4 – members to make recommendations for the expert panel 21 July

AP 5.5 – SFRS to issue the tear off sheet by 14 July

Future of the SLWG and further meeting(s)

A further ad-hoc meeting will be held as required once the draft final report is issued by the end of July.


No other items were raised.

The Chair thanked everyone for their support and assistance in these SLWG meetings. 

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