Listed buildings

Listed buildings are included on a list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest compiled by Historic Environment Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.

The term 'building' is defined broadly in the legislation and can include, for example, walls, fountains, statues, sundials, bridges, bandstands and telephone boxes.

You can search for a listed building on the Historic Environment Scotland website.

There are 3 categories of listed buildings:

  • Category A - Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type.
  • Category B - Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered.
  • Category C - Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple, traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B or are part of a planned group such as an estate or an industrial complex.

Any proposed alteration to a listed building, external or internal, that is considered to affect the building’s character requires an application to be made for listed building consent. Please see Submit a Planning Application for more information. 

For guidance on whether a listed building application is required please contact the Technical Team (Applications):

  • Telephone: 01224 523 470
  • E-mail:


Government policy with regard to the demolition of listed buildings is that no worthwhile building should be lost to our environment unless it is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that every effort has been exerted by all concerned to find practical ways of keeping it. It is possible to apply to demolish a listed building but there would need to be a very convincing case to support the application. It should be noted that just because the current owner of a listed building is unable to find a viable use then they cannot expect to automatically obtain permission to demolish it. Historic Environment Scotland will require evidence that the building has been advertised for sale. A new owner may be better placed to secure the building's future.

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