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Works on a scheduled monuments

Works on Scheduled Monuments

Once a monument is scheduled, the prior written consent of Scottish Ministers is required for most works including repairs.  Any person carrying out unauthorised works or allowing unauthorised works to be carried out on a scheduled monument, commits of a criminal offence.

Many scheduled monuments are stable and require little attention, but some will benefit from simple changes in landuse that will ensure no inadvertent damage occurs over the long term. Others will benefit from more proactive management that will sometimes require access to specialist conservation skills.

There are three types of consent which may be required for works:

(1)  Scheduled Monument Consent

Most works on scheduled monuments require scheduled monument consent, which is administered by Historic Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers. Works requiring scheduled monument consent are defined as anything resulting in the demolition or destruction of a scheduled monument, any works for the purpose of removing or repairing a monument or making alterations or additions, or any flooding or tipping operations. Examples of types of work which fall into each category can be found here..

(2) Section 42 Consent for Metal Detecting
A consent under section 42 of the Act is required for the use of any equipment capable of detecting metal within a scheduled area.  This includes metal detecting, magnetometry, gradiometry and ground penetrating radar surveys.  

(3) Class Consent
Some types of works do not require scheduled monument consent as they are deemed to have consent, under the terms of the Ancient Monuments (Class Consents) (Scotland) Order 1996 (‘the Class Consents Order’). Works covered under class consent include some types of ploughing, emergency works and works carried out as part of a management agreement or ancient monuments grant programme.

If you are unsure whether the works you are planning require consent, please contact Historic Scotland for advice.  Specific advice on the requirements for consent for survey works can be viewed here <insert link to ‘survey works and consent’.

Other Permissions

Some monuments are both scheduled and listed. Where this is the case only scheduled monument consent is required for any works and the relevant parts of the listed buildings legislation are disapplied.

Scheduled monument consent is separate from the statutory planning process. It may run in parallel in cases where planning permission is also required, and such cases are normally dealt with most effectively if applications for planning permission and scheduled monument consent are prepared at the same time. The protection of scheduled monuments and their setting is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.  Historic Scotland’s Guidance Note ‘Managing Change in the Historic Environment: Setting’ provides more information on this issue.

Related Links

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2011

Ancient Monuments (Class Consents) (Scotland) Order 1996

Historic Scotland Managing Change leaflets

Further information on listed buildings and the listing process

Further information on the scheduling process

Related Documents

PDF icon Managing Change in the Historic Environment: Works on scheduled monuments [PDF, 767kb]

PDF icon Managing Change in the Historic Environment: Setting [PDF, 2mb]

Contact us

Heritage Management Directorate
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8716