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We're changing

We are creating a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland, which will come into effect from 1 October 2015. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. We will continue to keep you up to date on developments. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Propose a building for listing, de-listing or review

Anyone can propose a building for listing, request a review of an existing listing, ask for an existing listing to be delisted or request a Certificate of Intention not to List (COINTL). Proposals need to be in writing and can be sent by email or post.

St Lawrence's, Greenock

We receive a high number of new listing proposals and we need to prioritise these against our other work. For new listing proposals we may not take forward all applications received for a full assessment. Cases which may not be taken forward include:

  • Proposals for structures which do not have obvious special interest and are therefore unlikely to meet the criteria for listing
  • Proposals where the supporting information supplied on the proposal form does not make a strong case for listing
  • Proposals for structures which are in use and the structure may be better assessed as part of a thematic programme

Please use our
application form for these requests.

For commercial, local authority or other public body large-scale assessments please contact the listing team in advance.

We need you to fill in our proposal form and include with it information about the location of the building, current photographs showing both the exterior and interior of the building as well as it in its setting. We do not accept anonymous proposals.

You need to provide supporting information about why the building should be listed or removed from the list for delisting proposals. Details about any planning permissions and any known risk to the structure would also be helpful. If your proposal contains more than one building it will take longer to assess. Complex sites can take considerably longer.

If there are reasons why we should prioritise your proposal you must make this clear on the proposal form.

The more information you provide, the quicker we can assess your proposal.

How long does it take to assess a proposal?

We assess three main types of proposals

  • a new listing
  • a review of an existing listing
  • a delisting

Depending on the type of case we may need to go through a number of detailed steps before we can reach a final view. You can find out more about how we assess cases in our listing process factsheet

The following timescales are approximate. Some stages of the process can be outwith our control and take longer than expected. Organising a site visit, particularly where there is multiple occupancy, as well as the consultation period, can be the most time-consuming parts of the assessment.

For a new listing proposal, review of an existing listing or a delisting where we need to undertake a site visit the following approximate timescales apply

  • One to three buildings - initial view* within 4 months, final view within 6 months
  • Four to nine buildings - initial view* within 6 months, final view within 9 months
  • Ten buildings or more - please contact the listing team before proposing ten or more buildings for listing as we will need to calculate how long this will take

For delisting requests only

  • If the building has been demolished and evidence of this has been provided – one month

If we find that we do not need to carry out a site visit you are likely to get a response more quickly than the timescales noted above.

You will be assigned an individual case officer for your proposal. We will not issue you with regular updates for your case but you can contact your nominated case officer at any time to ask about progress. There may be rare occasions when we need to prioritise urgent cases and non-urgent assessments will be delayed, if you are affected by this we will let you know.

* An initial view is where we think the building may meet the criteria for listing before we consult with others about this view. Consultation is not always required but is principally for new listings and can include delistings and it increases the time taken to reach a final view.

Our assessment process

For more detailed information download our factsheet about our assessment process.

Once we receive a proposal research is then carried out. This may include a site visit. The aim of the research is to assess the proposal against the listing criteria (see pages 74-76 of the Scottish Historic Environment Policy).

When undertaking research into a building a wide range of sources may be considered and, depending on the type of proposal, this stage can take a number of weeks to complete. If we find that the building does not meet the criteria for listing we will write to the relevant parties at this stage.


Following research, we consider the merit of the building. If we find that the building may be of interest (or not of interest in the case of delisting and COINTL requests) we reach an interim decision on the proposal. The local planning authority is then consulted along with the owner, where possible. For potential new listings we also normally consult with an independent third party.

The consultation period is usually 21 days. For more complex sites or larger projects this stage can take longer.


Following consultation we consider the responses and make a final decision about whether to  list, delist, change a category, or in the case of a COINTL proposal, we may issue a Certificate. Owners and local authorities as well as any third parties, if relevant, will be informed of the outcome of the case.


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

Listing and Designed Landscapes
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8701/5