It’s a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works, or to allow unauthorised works to be carried out, on a scheduled monument. This is set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
Scheduled monument consent is the mechanism by which Historic Environment Scotland ensures that any changes to monuments of national importance are appropriate and sympathetic to their character. It helps to protect what is a rare and unique resource.
The Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement 2016 guides the operation of decision making on scheduled monument consent. The value of the monument to the nation’s heritage is the main consideration in determining applications for scheduled monument consent. Works on a scheduled monument should normally be the minimum necessary to conserve its important features.
As each monument will require treatment specific to its individual characteristics, significance and condition, any proposed change to it must be fully and explicitly justified. Certain works may be appropriate at one monument, but not at another.
Is permission needed?
Most works on scheduled monuments require scheduled monument consent from Historic Environment Scotland. This includes repairs.
Works requiring consent are defined as:
- any works resulting in demolition, destruction or damage to a scheduled monument
- any works for the purpose of removing or repairing a scheduled monument or making alterations or additions
- any flooding or tipping operations in, on or under land where there is a scheduled monument
See examples of works requiring scheduled monument consent.
Anyone can apply for scheduled monument consent. But ownership notification is an important part of the application process if you’re not the monument’s sole owner. Where consent is granted, you will also need the owner’s permission before carrying out any works.
There is no charge to make an application for scheduled monument consent.
Crown bodies are not required to apply for scheduled monument consent. Instead, such bodies should apply to Historic Environment Scotland for scheduled monument clearance.
See how to apply for scheduled monument consent.
Find out more about how scheduling affects owners.
Learn about the scheduled monument consent process.
Historic Environment Scotland
Telephone: 0131 668 8716