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Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2011

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The Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 4 May 2010.  The Bill was passed by Parliament on 20 January 2011 and received Royal Assent on 23rd February 2011 becoming the Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2011.  All provisions and associated Regulations attached to the Act were commenced on 1 December 2011.  



What is the Historic Environment (Amendment) Scotland Act 2011?

What is the Historic Environment (Amendment) Scotland Act 2011?

The Act is a tightly focused technical amending piece of legislation that improves the management and protection of Scotland’s historic environment. It does this by addressing specific gaps and weaknesses in the current heritage legislation framework that were identified during extensive discussions with stakeholders.

What does the Act do?

  • The Act amends three pieces of primary legislation:
  • The Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953;
  • The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979; and,
  • The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conversation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

The Act aims to harmonise aspects of historic environment legislation with the planning regime; improve the ability of central and local government to work with developers and their partners; and improve the capacity to deal with urgent threats and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of deterrents.

Below are examples of what the Act will do:

The Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act

  • Enables Scottish Ministers to set out in a grant award letter the terms of grant recovery in the event of a disposal or breach of condition of grant.

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

  • modify the current ‘defence of ignorance’ in relation to unauthorised works affecting scheduled monuments to allow lack of knowledge only to be used in defence where a person can show they took all reasonable steps to find out
  • Raise the level of fines to £50,000 on summary conviction for unauthorised works to a scheduled monument
  • Create new and enhanced enforcement powers that will allow for the reversal or amelioration of unauthorised works to scheduled monuments The range of historic environment assets that can be scheduled is extended;
  • Enhanced power of entry when a monument is at risk from imminent damage;
  • introduce a power to enable Scottish Ministers to decline to consider a scheduled monument consent application where that application is similar to an application that had been made within the previous two years;
  • provide a new statutory duty for Scottish Ministers to compile and maintain two new inventories of nationally important sites i.e. an inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and an inventory of battlefields.
  • remove the automatic right to be heard in connection with scheduled monument appeals and enable Scottish Ministers to determine the most suitable means of determining each application, through written submissions, a hearing or an inquiry or any combination of these.

The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997

  • Raise the level of fines to £50,000 on summary conviction for unauthorised works to a listed building;
  • New power that will enable Scottish Ministers to offer any person a certificate that will guarantee that a building will not be listed during the five years from the date of the certificate;
  • Duty for Scottish Ministers to compile and maintain two new statutory inventories of nationally important sites: an inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and an inventory of battlefields;
  • Enables a notice of liability for expenses for urgent works to be registered in the appropriate property register against the listed building;
  • Enables Scottish Ministers to set out in a grant award letter the terms of grant recovery in the event of a disposal or breach of condition of grant;
  • introduce a system of stop and temporary stop notices for unauthorised works to listed buildings;
  • enable planning authorities to issue fixed penalty notices as an alternative in cases when a person is in breach of a listed building enforcement notice;
  • introduce a power to enable planning authorities to decline to consider a listed building consent application where that application is similar to an application that had been made within the previous two years;
  • enable a notice of liability for expenses for urgent works to be registered in the appropriate property register against the listed building;
  • amend grant recovery powers for the preservation of listed buildings and conservation areas to enable planning authorities and Scottish Ministers to set out in a grant award letter the terms of grant recovery in the event of a disposal or breach of condition of grant; and,
  • remove the automatic right to be heard in connection with listed building applications and appeals and enable Scottish Ministers to determine the most suitable means of determining each application.





Contact us

The Policy & Legislation Team
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH