Advice and Support

Scheduling process

How we assess scheduling applications and requests for scheduling removals or reviews of existing schedulings.

The Standing Stones of Calanais at sunset.

1 Overview

We assess three main types of applications:

  • scheduling applications (designations)
  • requests for reviews of existing schedulings
  • requests for scheduling removals

Assessing an application may involve a number of detailed steps before we can reach a final view.

We also:

  • work in partnership with stakeholders to assess larger areas and sites in advance of major development or planning proposals
  • carry out thematic studies of types of monuments

Find out how to propose a site for scheduling.

2 Research

Evidence Gathering and Assessment

When we receive an application we will publish the case on our Portal and welcome comments and information about the site to inform our assessment. We will carry out research to assess the site or monument using the selection guidance and will consider the evidence submitted to us. A wide range of sources may be considered and this stage may also include a site visit. This stage can take a number of weeks to complete.

We write to the relevant parties if we find that the site or monument doesn’t meet the criterion of national importance for designation as a scheduled monument or if we don’t intend to proceed for any other reasons.

3 Consultation

Following research, we consider the merit of the site or monument.

If we find that the site or monument may be of interest – or not of interest in the case of requests to remove a scheduling – we reach an initial decision on the application.

We then consult with the planning authority and the owner (where possible) about this decision. We also welcome views from interested parties through our portal. We are primarily concerned with views that relate to the cultural significance of the site or place. We also consider comments on the purpose and implications of designation.

The consultation period is usually 21 days. For more complex sites or larger projects this stage can take longer.

In some cases we may decide to designate a site or place without a consultation period or we may conclude a consultation earlier than stated. This may be because the site or place is under urgent or imminent threat and we consider that this level of risk is unacceptable.

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4 Completion

Following consultation, we consider the responses and make a final decision about whether to:

  • schedule
  • remove a scheduling
  • change the boundary of the scheduling
  • update the scheduled monument record

We will normally tell the owner if a site or monument that they own or occupy has:

  • been scheduled
  • been removed from the schedule
  • had the boundary of the scheduling changed

We will also tell the planning authority, and will let them know about all scheduling removals.

5 Review a scheduling decision

We will only review a very recent decision to schedule if there is good reason to do so. Such reasons might include:

  • severe loss to the site or monument since its designation
  • significant evidence, not previously considered, relating to the site or monument’s interest

Appeals can be made against a number of decisions made by Historic Environment Scotland, including our decision to include or amend an entry in the schedule. 

Find out more about appealing a scheduling decision

6 Notification of scheduling

We will try to contact the owner of a site or monument that is being considered for scheduling.

We will normally tell you if a site or monument that you own or occupy has:

  • been scheduled
  • been descheduled (unless it has been destroyed)
  • had the boundary of the scheduling changed

We will also inform the local authority and we will also let them know about all scheduling removals.

In exceptional circumstances, we may schedule a site or monument without consulting with its owner.

You can write to us if you want to know who proposed your site or monument for scheduling. We consider each request individually. Data Protection legislation may mean that we can’t name the proposer.

Send your request to:

Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place


Find out how to propose a site for scheduling.

View the steps in the listing process.

7 Scheduling and development

The legislation that sets out what can be designated is brief. It allows us to designate regardless of other factors such as development proposals. However, in carrying out designations work, we will act proportionately in line with the Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code of Practice. 

In practice, this mean that we normally avoid intervening unnecessarily in the planning process or other regulatory processes where there are development proposals by adding a new designation. This may also extend to reviewing designations.

In deciding whether to designate a site or place or amend an existing designation while there are ongoing development proposals, appeals or enforcement, we will consider: 

  • the implications of designation on development proposals
  • the effect of the proposed development on the significance of the site or place
  • the extent to which plans have been developed for the site or place

Requests to remove a monument will be considered on a case-by-case basis where development proposals and/or enforcement issues are involved.

8 Service standards and timescales

Our overall aim is to provide a high quality, transparent and professional service within defined timescales.

We aim to respond to phone and email queries within 3 working days. Our preferred method of communication is by email.

Individual designation applications

We aim to complete individual designation requests within 6 months.

The timescales for our assessment and decision-making vary depending on the circumstances of the case. We prioritise cases according to factors such as our understanding of risk to a site, the potential impact on people and communities and any planning or development context.

Please note that we are currently experiencing a high caseload and cases are taking on average 6-12 months to complete. Some cases may take longer depending on the case type and priority. For example, some sites may be considered for recording and/or further research in the first instance or for a thematic designation project. We will contact you to let you know if we think the case will take longer than initially expected.

We ask that you let us know if circumstances affecting the site under review so we can consider the priority of the case.

Keeping in touch and feedback

You can follow the progress of your case by checking our portal using the Case ID (ex. 300065300) or by contacting us by email or by telephone.

We welcome feedback about our service. Please let us know what you think.

Telephone: 0131 668 8914