How to find out if a site or place is designated

You can search by record or map for the following designations:

  • Scheduled monuments
  • Listed buildings
  • Entries on the inventory of gardens and designed landscapes
  • Entries on the inventory of historic battlefields
  • Historic marine protected areas

Searches can be carried out in two ways:

  • By map (opens new website)
  • By a record search which searches the designation records for the text (or reference number) you have submitted.

You can also search by map only for conservation areas and world heritage sites, although we do not designate these types of sites.

What our map records show

All scheduled monuments, entries on the inventory of gardens and designed landscapes, entries on the inventory of historic battlefields and historic marine protected areas have a legally defined boundary which is shaded on the map as a shape known as a polygon to help you to identify it. It is generally easiest to search for these designations using the map.

Listed buildings are different and it is important that you carry out both a record and a map search to find out if a building is listed. This is because listed buildings don’t have a legally defined boundary in the same way as the other designations. Listed buildings are shown as coloured dots (known as point data) on the relevant building on the map. Category A listed buildings are red, category B are blue and category C are pink

The names of listed buildings tend to change frequently over time and the listed building record may not have been updated to reflect that change. For example, a factory may now be converted into flats and while the building remains listed the address of the site may not have been updated so a record search on its own using the new flat addresses would not show that the building was listed.

All new and newly revised listings are given both point data and a polygon (shaded in blue) which are accurate like the other designations. However, the majority of listings have point data only.

The dots on the map (or point data) which indicate the presence of a listed building may not always be accurate. Sometimes, dots have been placed on the wrong building or exactly on top of each other making it difficult to determine if there are a number of different listings on the same site. While we are working to correct these, because of the large number of listed buildings (over 47,000), there are a small amount of inaccuracies. Please email us if you spot inaccurate point data.

For these reasons we recommend you carry out a cross-referenced record and map search to find out if a building is listed.

If you would like to find out more, try our designations search user guide. If you are still unsure we are here to help you and you can contact the designations team on 0131 668 8914 or by email at

Searching for and commenting on designation proposals and applications for scheduled monument consent

Historic Environment Scotland welcomes participation in our decision-making on designating sites and places and on determining scheduled monument consents.

You can provide:

  • Comments on our proposals to add, amend, and remove entries to the list of buildings of special architectural and historic interest, the schedule of monuments of national importance, the inventory of gardens and designed landscapes, and the inventory of historic battlefields.
  • Representations in relation to applications for scheduled monument consent.

Searching for decisions

You can find information on all statutory designation and scheduled monument decisions on our Portal.

The search tool allows you to search by a case number if you know it (e.g. 30005678), or by case type (e.g. designation enquiry or scheduled monument consent). You can also filter out the results to select only cases ‘in progress’ – these are the only cases where we’re inviting comments as we haven’t yet made a decision.

A map screen appears which helps you to find the decision you’re looking for.

What you can comment on

Designation proposals

We will consider comments and representations which are material to our decision-making, such as:

  • Your understanding of the cultural significance of the site or place and whether it meets the criteria for designation.
  • The purpose and implications of designating the site or place. We consider whether these are relevant to the case.
  • Development proposals related to the site or place. Where there are development proposals, we consider whether to proceed with designation in line with our designation policy.
  • The accuracy of our information.

You can find our designation policy and selection guidance on our website.

Scheduled Monument Consent

We will consider representations which are material to our decision-making, such as:

  • Potential impacts on biodiversity or protected species and places.
  • If you think that a proposal may conflict with our Scheduled Monument Consents Policy.
  • If you think a proposal is supported by our Scheduled Monument Consents Policy, for example it would provide public benefits that we should take into account.

You can find our Scheduled Monument Consents Policy on our website.

Comments we don’t consider

    We do not consider comments and representations on non-relevant/material issues, such as:

  • Economic considerations
  • Abusive or offensive remarks
  • Whether you personally like, or do not like, a proposal

All comments on designations must be received by the target date. We do not consider comments submitted after this.

For scheduled monument consents applications we normally issue our decisions within eight weeks, but sometimes more quickly than this. If you wish to make a representation on a scheduled monument consent application then please contact us as soon as possible and we can make sure we leave enough time to consider your comments.

How to make a comment

Comments can be made electronically through our Portal, by clicking on the ‘Email your comments about this case’ on the case page. This generates an email with the relevant case details added so that we can tell what case your comments refer to.

If you would prefer to contact us through other means, you can always write to us at Heritage Directorate, Historic Environment Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SH.

How we deal with your comments

You will receive an acknowledgement when you send us your comments.

Once we receive all the comments on a case, we analyse these before arriving at our decision.

We include a summary of comments which are material to our decision-making in our report on handling. This is the document which sets out how we have reached our decision.

It is important to note that a proposal to designate a site or place, or to issue scheduled monument consent will not be stopped just because a lot of people object to it or are in favour of it. Sometimes our work can produce very opposing views and it is our role to ensure that our decision-making is transparent and that the reasons for our decision are taken clearly, and in line with our policies.

Keeping an eye on our Portal is the best way for you to find out about the outcome of any case. Once we have arrived at our decision, this will be made available on our Portal. We will, however, also contact everyone who made comments to us when we issue our decision.

For information on how we take decisions please see our website.

You can also find information on how we treat your personal data on our Privacy Notice.

Scheduled monument consent applications are published on the Portal. The names and addresses of applicants are made available. Any other personal or special category data will be removed from documents before publication.

Individuals who wish to make a comment or representation about a designation decision that’s in progress, or a scheduled monument consent application will need to provide their email address in sending comments, but do not need to provide other personal information such as names, or addresses.

However, providing this information is necessary if you want us to tell you when we have reached a decision. We do not publish the personal data or detailed comments in our report on handling. Please be aware, however, that we are a Scottish public authority and are therefore subject to the provisions and obligations set out in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). This means that any person who makes a valid request for recorded information held by us (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions) will be entitled to receive it. For the avoidance of doubt we may disclose information if we consider we are required to do so under FOISA and EIRs.

Printed: 25/09/2020 07:03