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New protection for the historic environment

21 January 2011

The Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland)  Bill has been backed by Parliament, harmonising the existing legislation protecting our historic buildings and monuments.

In addition to the introduction of certificates for immunity from listing during a development, the Bill will also:

  • introduce statutory inventories for gardens and designed landscapes and for battlefields ensuring these nationally important sites are identified and recorded

  • extend Scottish Ministers’ grant making powers to support a wider range of historic environment projects than are currently eligible

  • introduce a series of enforcement provisions which that will harmonise aspects of historic environment legislation with the planning regime and enhance the ability of regulatory authorities to deal with urgent threats

Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop said:

“This is an important step in the protection of our historic architecture, skills and monuments. We should not underestimate how important these are.

“Every community in the country has buildings that represent the social and industrial change that has gone before and has a part to play in telling the story of how it has been shaped.

“We need robust legislation to ensure that we can continue to enjoy a built landscape that gives us glimpses into our past and physical connections to our ancestors. This Bill will update and harmonise the existing Acts to make them more efficient.

“I would like to thank all of the people and organisations that took part in the consultation that has helped us shape this Bill.

“The response to the aims of the Bill has been incredibly supportive throughout its progress through parliament. Any divergence of opinion has been focused on what the best way forward is. I think that that in itself shows how important our historic environment is.

“It is that positivity and the aim of enabling people to maintain and celebrate the unique legacy we have that was behind this amending Bill, which I believe will make a real difference in retaining the architecture and monuments that are important to Scotland.”

The Bill will amend provisions in the existing Listed Building and Conservation Areas (Scotland) Act 1997, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953.

The historic environment makes a significant contribution to our economy, directly generating 41,000 Full Time Equivalent jobs and making a £2.3bn contribution to Scotland’s Gross Value Added. (The Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland)

Notes to editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

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For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768100