Advice and Support

Listed building and conservation area consent

Learn about listed building consent, used to ensure that any changes to listed buildings are appropriate, and find out when owners may need permission.

It’s a criminal offence to demolish, alter materially or extend a listed building without listed building consent.

Listed building consent is the mechanism by which planning authorities ensure that any changes to listed buildings are appropriate and sympathetic to their character. It helps to protect what is a rare and unique resource.

Conservation area consent controls the demolition of unlisted buildings in conservation areas. The consent process is similar to the listed building consent process. Your planning authority can advise.

Is permission needed?

You must get listed building consent from your planning authority if you wish to demolish (all or part), alter or extend (internally or externally) a listed building.

You probably won’t need listed building consent if you’re replacing old materials for new on a ‘like-for-like’ basis and the repair work doesn’t affect the character of the building. But we recommend you check with your planning authority before making repairs.

You won’t be granted permission to demolish a listed building unless it can be shown that there’s no viable alternative. If consent is granted, you must notify Historic Environment Scotland, so that we have the chance to make a record of the building. Demolition may not begin until three months after the date of notification.

It’s free to apply for listed building consent and you apply in much the same way as for planning permission. Planning authorities are required to consult Historic Environment Scotland on some listed building consent cases.

See how to apply for listed building consent.

Read about living in a listed building to see specific examples of works requiring listed building consent.

Find out about listing and development.

Learn about the listed building consent process.


For more information or if you have any questions, please contact us by telephone on 0131 668 8716 or email us at