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Propose a building for listing, delisting or review

St Lawrence's, Greenock

Anyone can:

Proposals must be made using our application form.

Send your completed form by post or email to:

Designations Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place

What information to include

The more detail you give at this stage, the quicker we can assess your proposal. We do not accept anonymous proposals.

You should include with your application (either on or with the form):

  • details of the building’s location
  • current photos of the exterior and interior of the building as well as of the building in relation to its setting
  • supporting information about why the building should be listed (or removed from the list)

Let us know on the form if there are reasons why we should prioritise your proposal. Include details of any development proposals or known risk to the structure.

Your proposal will take longer to assess if it involves more than one building. Complex sites can take considerably longer.

We are unlikely to process:

  • incomplete forms
  • requests not made on our proposal form
  • requests that don’t include current photos

You should contact the Designations team in advance if you plan to submit a proposal involving commercial, local authority or other public body large-scale assessments.

Proposals not taken forward

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

We assess three main types of proposals

  • listing proposals
  • requests for reviews of existing listings
  • requests for delistings

We also:

  • work in partnership with stakeholders to assess larger sites in advance of major development or planning proposals
  • carry out thematic studies of building types, places or the work of specific architects

Assessing a proposal may involve a number of detailed steps before we can reach a final view

  • research
When we receive a proposal we first carry out research to assess the building against the listing criteria. This may include a site visit. A wide range of sources may be considered. Depending on the type of proposal, this stage can take a number of weeks to complete.

We write to the relevant parties if we find at this stage that the building doesn’t meet the listing criteria.

  • consultation

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 Certificate of Intention Not to List (COINTL) requests – we reach an interim decision on the proposal. This is known as ‘an initial view’.

We then consult with the local planning authority and the owner (where possible) about this view. For some proposals, we may also 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.

  • completion

Following consultation, we consider the responses and make a final decision about whether to:

We will inform the owner, local authority and any relevant third parties of decisions to list, delist, change a statutory address or a category, or issue a COINTL.

Notification of listing

We will try to contact the owner of a building that is being considered for listing. This can be more difficult for an uninhabited structure such as a bridge.

We will normally tell you if a building that you own or occupy has:

  • been listed
  • been delisted (unless it has been demolished)
  • had the statutory address (the legal part of the listed building record) changed
  • changed listing category

We will also inform the local authority and we will also let them know about all delistings.

In exceptional circumstances, we may list a building without consulting with its owner.

Listing process timescales

Timescales will depend largely on whether or not we need to conduct a site visit and how many buildings the proposal involves.

If a site visit is needed, these approximate timescales will apply:

  • one to three buildings – initial view within four months, final view within six months
  • four to nine buildings – initial view within six months, final view within nine months
  • 10 buildings or more – please contact the Designations team before submitting your proposal so that we can estimate timings
Timescales may be shorter where no site visit is needed.

For delisting requests only, where the building has been demolished and evidence of this has been provided, the decision should take around one month.

Case progress

You’ll be assigned an individual case officer when you submit your proposal. You can contact them at any time to ask about progress.

We may sometimes need to prioritise urgent cases. We’ll let you know if this will affect your own case.

Reviewing a listing decision and appeals

We are always happy to review our listing decisions. You can request a review using our online proposal form. If you are unhappy with our listing decision, owners, occupiers and tenants have a statutory right of appeal for:

  • new listings
  • changes to statutory addresses of existing listed buildings

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.

You must make your appeal within three months of our notification of the new listing or change to the statutory address of an existing listing. Only those directly affected by a listing are eligible to appeal. However, interested parties may be able to make representations during the appeals process.

There’s no statutory right of appeal for:

  • delistings
  • decisions not to list
  • changes in listing category

However, if new information comes to light in these cases we will review our decision.

Please see ‘Appeal a Listing Decision’ for more information.


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