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St Lawrence's, Greenock
A Certificate is a legal guarantee that a building won’t be statutorily listed for five years from the date the certificate is granted. You can apply for a further Certificate of Intention Not to List (COINTL) when this expires.

A COINTL gives certainty to owners and developers planning works on a particular building. The aim of the COINTL process is not to exempt a building from listing. It instead ensures that the listing criteria are considered at an early stage in development and planning proposals.

If we don’t issue a COINTL, the building may be listed. You’ll need listed building consent to make changes to a listed building that your planning authority deems will affect its character.

Anyone can apply for a COINTL for a building – you don’t need to own it to apply.

We may grant a COINTL to a building that:

  • does not meet the listing criteria for special architectural or historic interest
  • is not part of the curtilage of an existing listed building

We won’t necessarily issue a COINTL to a building we’ve previously decided not to list.

A planning authority can’t serve a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) on a building that holds a COINTL. (A BPN is a form of temporary listing served by the local planning authority under Section 3 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997).

COINTLs were introduced in December 2011, by section 18 of the Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2011. This Act added section 5A to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

The following guidance provides information about the Certificate Of Intention Not To List (COINTL), why it is granted and how to apply for it.

How are COINTL applications assessed?

The COINTL application will be processed in the same way as an application for listing. All applications for a COINTL will be assessed against the listing criteria set out in Annex 2 of the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP). A site or building which is subject to a planning application may be considered for a COINTL.

If a COINTL is not granted, then a building may be added to the statutory list (please see our website for more information about what we list.  

If a building becomes listed as part of the COINTL process, the applicant must seek listed building consent (LBC) from the local authority for the subsequent demolition of the building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

If Historic Environment Scotland has previously considered listing the building and decided not to list it should not be assumed that a COINTL will be granted, even if the decision was recent. Historic Environment Scotland will grant a COINTL where a building is not found to meet the criteria for special architectural or historic interest and where it does not form part of the curtilage of an existing listed building.

How can I apply for a COINTL?

Applications for a COINTL are submitted to Historic Environment Scotland using our online proposal form.

The application should be supported by as much information as possible, including photographs. A person submitting an application to Historic Environment Scotland for a Certificate must at the same time give notice of the application to the local authority.

What is the process?

The process for a COINTL is the same as any listing assessment. As with listing proposals or reviews, a thorough external and internal inspection of the subject will be made. More than one site visit may be required to carry out an assessment. It is essential that contact details of the owner(s) of any site under consideration are provided. We may review a wider area than that proposed for a COINTL in order to have full understanding of the site.

We would normally aim to reach a view on whether a building is eligible for a Certificate within 8 weeks of receipt depending on the scale of the site and the building type.

If a building is thought to meet the criteria for listing we would subsequently normally consult with the owner, the local authority and before reaching a final decision. The consultation period usually lasts around one month.

If we are satisfied that the building is not of special architectural or historic interest, the Certificate is granted.

Applications for a COINTL may be withdrawn by the applicant at any time during the process and this request should be made in writing.

A Certificate takes the form of a letter to the applicant and the owner from Historic Environment Scotland. We will also notify the local authority when a Certificate is granted. Once granted, COINTLs will be published on our website and will be removed upon expiry.

Other designations

A COINTL does not prevent other designations being implemented, such as conservation areas which are designated by local authorities. As such, consent will still be required for demolition if the building is in a conservation area (section 66 of the 1997 Act). Certificates do not prevent the designation of a scheduled monument. Read further information about scheduled monuments.

In addition, buildings may be included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes and the Inventory of Historic Battlefields.

Will a COINTL be renewed?

No. We do not issue reminders that a COINTL is about to expire. You can apply for a subsequent Certificate before its expiry.

Any application will be subject to exactly the same procedure as a new application. It cannot be assumed that a Certificate will be granted automatically as the circumstances may have changed since the granting of the original Certificate, particularly if new evidence about the building has come to light.

A COINTL relates to the building(s) and not an owner, therefore a change of ownership does not alter the terms of the Certificate. The existence of a Certificate and its expiry date should be included in the information relating to planning matters disclosed in response to enquiries by prospective purchasers of land.

Can I appeal a decision to grant or not to grant a COINTL?

There is no statutory right of appeal against a decision to grant or not to grant a COINTL.

However owners, occupiers and tenants have a statutory right of appeal for new listings and changes to the statutory address for an existing listed building. Appeals are made to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA). They can be made on the grounds that the building is not of special architectural or historic interest and should be removed from the list.

There’s no statutory right of appeal for delistings, decisions not to list or changes in listing category. See Propose A Building For Listing, Delisting Or Review page for more information.


For more information about a COINTL or the listing process please see the online application form and guidance which are available on the Historic Scotland website.

Designations Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH9 1SH
Telephone: 0131 668 8705/8701

COINTLs which have been issued

Address:      1 Joppa Gardens, Edinburgh EH15 2HU
Issue Date: 28 October 2013
Expiry Date: 27 October 2018

Address:      New Empire Bingo, 50 Nicholson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DJ
Issue Date: 12 November 2013
Expiry Date: 11 November 2018


View our range of publications about listed buildings.


Dictionary of Scottish Architects

William Fraser

A web resource for anyone interested in the built environment and those who created it.

Contact us

Designations Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8716