Applications affecting the historic environment

What designation means for you

Heritage designations are there to ensure that change to our valued historic places are carefully managed in a way that preserves or enhances what makes them special.

The purpose of this consents system is to manage change carefully so the special interest of the historic site is conserved or enhanced for the benefit of current and future generations. Depending on the characteristics of the historic place and the development proposed, some changes may raise considerable issues while in others major intervention may be perfectly acceptable.

If you want to make changes that affect a designated heritage site, it is likely that you will require consent before any works can take place. This could include:

  • Planning permission
  • Listed building consent
  • Conservation area consent
  • Scheduled monument consent

What consent is required depends on the designation type and the nature of the works proposed. Building warrants are a separate process, and granting of one does not infer granting of the other.

Any form of application notably affecting a historic site, including any contribution made by its setting, is expected to demonstrate that heritage interests have been carefully considered and the proposals developed to preserve and enhance what makes it special.

We, as local planning authority, have a statutory duty to seek the protection and enhancement of many historic sites in determining applications for consent, and non-compliant applications may be refused.

Heritage related consents

The most common types of heritage related consents, more than one of which may be required for a single proposal:

Listed building consent

Listed building consent must be obtained in advance for any interior or exterior change to a listed building which affects its special interest. As the principal decision maker on listed building consents in the Scottish Borders, our Planning Department determine whether works would require consent. Unauthorised work to a listed building is a criminal offence. There are some exemptions for consent for places of worship, which is detailed on the Historic Environment Scotland Website.

Planning permission

Plannning permission is required as set out on our website. Permitted development rights are also affected in some instances, for example if you live in a conservation crea you will need planning permission for most external alterations to a building. Applications should take into account the desirability of preserving and enhancing any heritage asset potentially affected, including through development within their setting.

Conservation area consent

Conservation area consent is required for relevant demolition in a conservation area, which includes unlisted buildings. In planning terms, there is a presumption in favour of retaining buildings which make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of a conservation area.

Scheduled monument consent

Scheduled momument consent is required for works to scheduled monuments, it is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works (or to allow unauthorised works to be carried out). Unlike the other consent types, this system is managed by Historic Environment Scotland.

This is not an exhaustive list of consents. The 'Which Form?' Wizard on the EPlanning Scotland website is a useful tool for understanding which consents are required as well as Historic Environment Scotland’s guidance.

Development management

Processing of planning applications, and advice on the need for planning permission

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800

Heritage and design team