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Minister Announces Planning Targets and Improvements

24 April 2008

Historic Scotland has been set new targets to deal with 70% of planning applications  within 14 days in 2008, rising to 90% in 2009/10. The Agency currently exceeds previous ministers’ target of clearing 97% of all listed building consent applications within 28 days.

The new target was announced yesterday (Wednesday, 23 April) by Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP as part of a range of reforms aimed at improving planning procedures between government agency, Historic Scotland, and local authorities across Scotland.

Announcing the reforms at a debate on Historic Scotland and Local Authorities  at Parliament, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP said: “Historic Scotland’s Key Performance Targets are part of modernising procedures to offer strategic support to local government, and make an impact on the successful management of Scotland’s historic environment.”

The reforms also include new joint working agreements with local authorities where there will be a distinction between local and national areas of interest for the management of change. An online ePlanning programme will ensure that planning applications, such as applications for listed building consent, are dealt with quickly and more cost effectively.

All of the measures seek to streamline the management of Scotland’s historic environment by simplifying the relationship between Historic Scotland and local authorities.

The Minister continued: “Heritage is integral to Scottish culture and identity. I want to develop procedures to best manage the historic environment to the benefit of all.

“We each have a responsibility to ensure that our heritage is protected. The measures announced today are a  big step forward for Ministers.”

The new joint working agreements will help manage change at a local level, with Historic Scotland offering support where appropriate. All local authorities across Scotland will be invited to participate in the new joint working agreements from May onwards.

The joint working agreements will enable those authorities that are interested, to deal with more listed building consent casework at a local level without the need to refer their decisions to Historic Scotland. The Agency will pilot this new arrangement later this year with three local authorities – Glasgow City Council, City of Edinburgh Council and Perth and Kinross.

Supporting the proposals, Councillor George Ryan, Executive Member for Development and Regeneration at Glasgow City Council, said: "We welcome the principle of greater delegation in dealing with these applications, and believe that this decision will help to protect listed buildings and our historic environment.  These targets will speed the decision-making process in planning applications, and we are absolutely confident that Glasgow City Council has the expertise to meet the targets set in the programme."

The Minister concluded:  “This reform is about combining the knowledge and expertise of local and central government. A clear distinction of management and responsibility will, ultimately, allow the process to move at a much greater pace, and encourage economic growth and development.”


Notes for editors

1.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. For more information visit

2.The Minister also announced today Historic Scotland’s latest £8m round of Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes (CARS) funding for local authorities

3.Register for media release email alerts from If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email  or telephone on 0131 668 8603

For further information

Lisa Nicholson
Communications and Media Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8852 or 075000 65438