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Historic Environment Legislation

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Tirefour Castle, Argyll



Historic Environment Legislation

Find out more about the Historic Environment Scotland Act

Valuing and Protecting our Historic Environment

Fiona Hyslop at Ben Cruachan Power Station

"The historic environment is all around us.  It roots us in place, helps to shape our communities and provides both social and economic benefits.

This government recognises that the historic environment has value both in and of itself.  We are ambitious about the historic environment: that's why I'm driving forward this legislation, which will create a single body to lead the delivery of Scotland's first Historic Environment Strategy.  This will deliver real public benefit for Scotland, ensuring we continue to understand, value and enjoy our historic environment, protecting and conserving it for future generations."

Fiona Hyslop,

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs


Key Documents

Downloadable documents:

Title:Historic Environment Legislation
Description:Information about Historic Environment Legislation.
File:Annex A - August 2015 [PDF, 90.3 kb: 31 Aug 2015]
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File:Letter - August 2015 [PDF, 233.7 kb: 31 Aug 2015]
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Latest Updates

On 31 August 2015 Scottish Government issued a letter to all Heads of Planning at Scottish Planning Authorities and to Historic Environment Scotland which outlines changes to the processes by which Scotland’s historic environment is protected and managed, introduces new notification directions in relation to Listed Building / Conservation Area and Scheduled Monument Consents and withdraws earlier directions relating to call-in and the removal of duty to notify certain types of listed building consent applications to Scottish Ministers.

To support all those who work with heritage management processes, Historic Environment Circular 1 has recently been issued in readiness for the new arrangements, and staff training and familiarisation sessions have been offered to Planning Authorities.  The Circular may be found at: HES Circular

Please direct any queries regarding the SG letter and directions HE_policy@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

Queries relating the Circular should be directed to: hs.heritagemanagement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

Secondary legislation now in place

All secondary legislation has been finalised and is now in place, completing the detail of the changes to statutory arrangements set in train by the HES Act 2014 (see below).  User guidance is under preparation and will be issued later in the summer.  The new arrangements will commence on 1 October 2015, when Historic Environment Scotland takes over its full range of functions.  Historic Scotland and RCAHMS will cease to operate at the same time.

A complete list of the new statutory instruments is available.  Full text for each can be found on the Scottish Parliament’s website and on www.legislation.gov.uk

Consultation on secondary legislation - 19th December 2014 to 27th March 2015

Scottish Government sought views on draft Regulations, transitional arrangements and other concerns. 36 responses were received and were taken into account in finalising the regulations.

The SG response and the analytical report.

The online form for the consultation.

Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014

The Historic Environment Scotland Act received Royal Assent on the 9th December 2014. The Act establishes Historic Environment Scotland (HES) as a new Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which will take over the functions of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS. In addition to changes to legislation reflecting HES’ role and legal status, the Act changes processes for the designation of sites and buildings (by scheduling and listing) and for scheduled monuments, listed buildings and conservation areas consent. It also creates new rights of appeal against certain HES decisions. The detail of changes to procedures will be supplied through secondary legislation.

Historic Environment Scotland Act