The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

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.

Listed building consent

Detail on gate

What is listed building consent?

Listed building consent is the mechanism by which the planning authorities ensure that any changes to listed buildings are appropriate and sympathetic to their character.

You must obtain listed building consent from the authority if you wish to demolish, alter or extend internally or externally a listed building.

Although listing does not mean that the building must remain unaltered in all circumstances, it does mean that demolition will generally not be allowed, and alterations and extensions should, as far as possible, preserve its special character.

It is a criminal offence to demolish, alter materially or extend a listed building without listed building consent.

How do I know if I need listed building consent?

If you are planning to make alterations which may affect the character of the building, contact your local planning authority who will tell you whether they consider the works require listed building consent.

How do I apply?

Applications for listed building consent must be made through the planning authority who will be able to provide you with the required form. More planning authorities are enabling online applications to be submitted. You can check your local authority planning website for information and guidance on this.

If you wish to alter or extend a listed building and your proposed alteration is included in a development for which planning permission is required, you will need both planning permission and listed building consent.

There is no fee for listed building consent but there is normally a fee for planning permission. The planning authority can confirm this. Planning authorities will normally process any associated applications for planning permission and listed building consent at the same time.

How long does the process take?

Planning authorities aim to reach a decision on all applications for listed building consent within eight weeks. For certain listed building applications, if the plannning authority is minded to approve consent, they must notify and obtain clearance from Historic Scotland (on behalf of Scottish Ministers) prior to issuing consent. Historic Scotland aim to clear 97 per cent of these cases within 28 days of receiving the notification from the planning authority.

How can I appeal against refusal of listed building consent?

If your application for listed building consent is refused by the planning authority or if you feel the conditions are unreasonable you have the right to appeal. You must appeal using a form which can be obtained from:

The Scottish Government
Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals
4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
Callendar Road
Falkirk FK1 1XR


The appeal must be accompanied by full details of the proposed works and by a copy of all relevant correspondence with the planning authority.

Does this mean that I can't alter my listed building?

No. Listing is a mechanism designed to help manage change to listed buildings, so as to safeguard their special architectural or historic character, rather than preserve them in aspic. Annually, Historic Scotland deals with around 2,700 notifications from planning authorities who are minded to approve listed building consent applications to category A and B buildings (category C are dealt with solely by the local authority except in the case of demolitions).

There are approximately 28,000 category A or B-listed buildings in Scotland so each year around 10% of these listed buildings receive listed building consent for alterations. This clearly illustrates that listed buildings are being adapted to changing circumstances.

What about like for like repairs?

If you need to make repairs or do routine maintenance on your building, and you are using the same materials as already exist, you will not need listed building consent but we recommend you check with your local planning authority before you start repairs to ensure they agree the materials are like for like.


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

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

External Links