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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.

Information for owners

Front cover of Scotland's Listed Buildings

Scotland’s Listed Buildings is our booklet for owners and occupiers and it explains more about what listing means.

You can download it as a PDF or view it as a digital edition.

Some of the most frequently asked questions about listing are found below.

PDF icon Download the Frequently Asked Questions here {pdf, 902kb]

How will being listed affect me?

Listing will only affect you if you wish to alter or extend the listed building. Listed buildings can be altered, extended and, sometimes, even demolished.

If you are planning to make alterations which may affect the character of the building, contact your planning authority who will tell you if you need to apply to them for listed building consent.

Will I be notified and consulted if my building is being considered for listing?

In most cases, yes. We make reasonable effort to contact owners of buildings being considered for listing. For uninhabited structures such as bridges, this can be more difficult. If a building is at imminent risk we may list without consulting with an owner.

How long will it take to assess my building?

See our page on What do we list? for information about our processes.

Can I appeal a listing decision?

Although there is no right of appeal against listing we will review a listing when asked to do so. If the decision to list has been taken very recently we will only review it if there are sound reasons for doing so. These could be that the building has suffered catastrophic damage or you have significant evidence relating to the special architectural or historic interest of the building which was not previously considered.

For existing listings you can apply for a review of a listing at any time or suggest changes to the listed building record using our proposal form. You can also use this form to propose a building for listing.

Can I find out who proposed my building for listing?

If you would like to know who proposed your building for listing you can ask us in writing for this information.  We will consider each request before responding, as in some circumstances releasing the identity of the proposer may not be appropriate for data protection reasons. See

How are owners notified of listing?

If your building has been listed, there has been a change of category or the building has been delisted we will write and tell you if we have previously consulted with you and we have your contact details.

The legislation (Statutory Instrument 1987 No 1529 (S. 112) section 12 also requires that your local authority tells you formally about a new listing or a delisting.

Does a listing cover all of my building?

Yes, listing always covers all of the structure, the exterior and the interior, no matter what the category of listing. Structures around the building may also be covered by the listing. This is called the curtilage and its boundaries are defined by the planning authority. If you are unsure what is covered by the listing please contact your planning authority. See our page What do we list? for more information about curtilage.

What if I want to alter my building?

If you are planning to make alterations which may affect the character of the building, contact your planning authority who will tell you if you need to apply to them for listed building consent.

Listed building consent is applied for in much the same way as planning permission, with an application form and plans of the proposed work submitted to the planning authority. There is no charge for listed building consent.

In some cases a local authority will ask Historic Scotland will be involved in listed building consent cases. You can find out more about our role and download guidance about alterations to listed buildings here.

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 probably not need listed building consent but we recommend you check with your local authority before you start to ensure they agree that the materials are like-for-like.

Will I have to undo things that have been done in the past?

No. A building is listed as it is on the date of listing; you will not be asked to undo any changes retrospectively.

Will grant money be available?

See our grants pages for information about Historic Scotland’s grant schemes. Private owners should be aware that as well as the architectural or historical merit of a property as reflected in its listing category, building repair grant applications are considered under extended criteria that includes enhanced community use, regeneration elements and public access and this may mean that private owners are less likely to attract grant assistance from public funds.

Your local authority may also offer grants related to historic buildings.

The Funds for Historic Buildings website at is a comprehensive guide to funding for anyone seeking to repair, restore or convert for a new use any historic building in the United Kingdom.

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme makes grants towards the VAT incurred in making repairs and carrying out necessary alterations to listed buildings mainly used for public worship. Find out more at

Will I need to change my insurance?

See our factsheet about insurance.

Who do I go to for specialist advice about conservation?

See our conservation group pages for advice about technical issues.

Where can I find further information?

If your question is not answered above or in our booklet Scotland’s Listed Buildings please email the team at or phone us on 0131 668 8701/8705.


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

Listing and Designed Landscapes
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8701/5

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