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Minister launches policy on Scheduled Monument Consent

17 March 2008

Policy on the consent process for the country’s 8,000 Scheduled Monuments has been launched by Scottish Ministers today (Monday, 17 March).

The Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) sets out Minister’s policies on works affecting scheduled monuments, which are archaeological sites, buildings and structures of national importance.

The policy is the Government’s third in a programme of 12 SHEPs, produced by Historic Scotland, which covers various areas of Scotland’s historic environment. All the SHEPs are subject to public consultation.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP said: “The Scheduled Monument Consent policy is key to the Government’s objective for the sustainable use and management of our historic environment. Scheduled monuments are of real importance to Scotland, not only as part of our cultural identity but as a resource for understanding our past, for education and for tourism. The Consent process has a vital role in protecting this small group of monuments, to ensure that future generations can appreciate and benefit from them.”

Scheduled monuments are legally protected, as being of ‘national importance’ under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. They range from 10,000-year-old sites created by the first settlers in Scotland to 20th-century military defences, and from abbeys and castles to the slight traces of prehistoric and medieval farms.

Malcolm Cooper, Chief Inspector, Historic Scotland, said: “The policy document sets out the principles that underpin the consent process.

“There are many misconceptions about scheduled monuments and, particularly about the way that change to the monuments is managed. The aim of the SHEPs is to deliver policy in a transparent way, so that people can understand what we do, and why we do it. These monuments are of great cultural and historical importance and Historic Scotland’s remit is to ensure that they receive the most appropriate treatment. The Consent process is flexible and produces long-term sustainable solutions for individual and unique sites and places.”

The Scheduled Monument Consent policy underwent a 12-week consultation period in 2007. The views, from the public and various stakeholders, on Scottish Ministers’ policies for scheduled monument consent process helped form the basis of the final policy paper.

Notes for 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.
·The Scheduled Monument Consent SHEP is one of 12 policy papers, including new policies (in final form) for Listing, Listed Buildings Consent, Gardens & Designed Landscapes and Properties in the Care of Scottish Ministers.
·SHEPs on the Marine Historic Environment and Battlefields will be consulted upon during 2008. They can be viewed at

For further information

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