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Scheduled Monument Consent Process

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Scottish Historic Environment Policy sets out Scottish Ministers’ policy on scheduled monument consent. It is the value of the monument to the nation’s heritage that is the primary consideration in determining applications for scheduled monument consent. Works on scheduled monuments should normally be the minimum necessary to conserve the important features of a monument.

As each monument will require treatment specific to its individual characteristics, significance and condition, any proposed change to it must be fully and explicitly justified. Certain works may be appropriate at one monument, but not at another.

Pre-application discussions

Historic Environment Scotland promotes early pre-application discussions between prospective applicants and Historic Environment Scotland. Pre-application discussions should identify the information required in support of an application, and when it will be submitted and considered.  Pre-application discussions between Historic Environment Scotland and applicants are intended to add value at the start of the change management process. They should improve the quality of the proposal and allow prospective applicants the opportunity to amend their emerging proposals. They should also simplify the application process itself. Pre-application discussions should identify the level of information required. Historic Environment Scotland offers a pre-application checking service for scheduled monument consent applications.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply for scheduled monument consent, but must give the owner of the monument due notice of making the application and will need the permission of the owner before undertaking any works.

Charges

There is no charge to make an application for scheduled monument consent. Applications are made by completing an application form which can be downloaded below or requested from Historic Environment Scotland. Applications can be submitted electronically, or by post.

Publication of Applications for Scheduled Monument Consent

Scheduled monument consent applications will be made publicly available by Historic Environment Scotland on its online Decision Portal during the application process (normally within five working days of receiving an application that satisfies the information requirements). You must advise Historic Environment Scotland if there are particular reasons why you think any document, or part of document, you have provided cannot be published.

Once an application has been determined, Historic Environment Scotland will publish the decision notice and associated report on handling. Any representations made concerning an application that are material to the determination of the application will be addressed in the report on handling.

Visit our Decisions Portal to search and view applications and decisions for scheduled monument consent, search for scheduled monuments and other designations and for spatial downloads.

Application Form

All applicants must complete a scheduled monument consent application form.  This can be completed and submitted electronically or by post.  The scheduled monument consent application pack contains the application form and guidance on how to fill it out.  

Historic Environment Scotland offers a free pre-application checking service where we will be happy to comment on draft applications and give you advice as to whether they contain sufficient information to be validated

Determining applications

A scheduled monument consent application normally takes up to 8 weeks to be determined, but many applications are determined well within this timescales.  However, particularly complex applications may take longer; where this is likely to be the case Historic Environment Scotland will discuss and agree appropriate timescales with the applicant.

Historic Environment Scotland can take the decision to: grant; grant with conditions, part grant/part refuse; part grant/part refuse with conditions, or refuse and application for scheduled monument consent.  The conditions applied can include a condition reserving specified details of the works (whether or not set out in the applications for consent) for subsequent approval by Historic Environment Scotland.

Once an application has been determined, Historic Environment Scotland will publish the decision notice and associated report on handling.  Any representations made concerning an application that are material to the determination of the application will be addressed in the report on handling.

Right of Appeal

Under the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014, applicants for scheduled monument consent have the right to appeal to Scottish Ministers against:
  • refusal of an application for scheduled monument consent
  • granting an application for scheduled monument consent subject to conditions
  • refusing an application for variation or discharge of conditions (related to a scheduled monument consent application)
  • granting an application for variation or discharge of conditions (related to a scheduled monument consent application) subject to conditions
  • refusing an application for subsequent approval required by a conditions to which a scheduled monument consent is subject
  • failure to determine scheduled monument consent or variation thereof within a two month period.

Appeals must be made in writing on a form obtained from Scottish Ministers.  Appeals may be submitted online; forms and guidance for doing do are available at Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals or www.eplanning.scotland.gov.uk

Historic Environment Scotland can refuse to entertain applications for scheduled monument consent where a similar application has been refused in the previous two years and there has been no significant change in any material considerations since the similar application was refused.

Conditions attached to a scheduled monument consent

Often a scheduled monument consent is granted with conditions.  Conditions are important and must be read and understood as they can limit and control the way in which the consent may be implemented.  In some cases conditions as suspensive which means that the works, or aspects of the works, for which consent has been granted cannot be started until the terms of the “suspensive” condition have been met.  Other conditions will require the production and submission of specific reports after aspects of the works have been completed, for instance an archaeological Data Structure Report.

To receive written confirmation that a condition has been complied with, an applicant has to apply for a discharge of conditions attached to a scheduled monument consent.  Such an application is made on a form obtained from Historic Environment Scotland and should demonstrate that the condition has been complied with.  In some instances an applicant may wish to request vary a condition, and again an application can be made of a form available from Historic Environment Scotland.

Applications which are refused by Historic Environment Scotland for varying or discharging conditions attached to a scheduled monument consent, or applications for varying conditions attached to a scheduled monument consent which are granted with further conditions, can be appealed to Scottish Ministers.

Scheduled Monument Clearance

Crown bodies are not subject to the 1979 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act, and therefore do not have to apply for scheduled monument consent. These bodies are Government departments or agency’s but not Non-Departmental Public Body such as Historic Environment Scotland. For these bodies there is a non-statutory parallel system to scheduled monument consent called scheduled monument clearance. This system is administered by Historic Environment Scotland and applies the same standards and tests to works carried out to scheduled monuments by such bodies.

Further Information

For more information on the Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) Process see Guidance for applicants and Historic Environment Circular 1.




Contact us

Heritage Management Directorate
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8716