Historic Environment Scotland Act: Secondary Legislation

Closed 27 Mar 2015

Opened 19 Dec 2014

Feedback updated 16 Jun 2015

We asked

About principles and draft wording of new and revised regulations required to operationalise changes made by Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. The Act sets up a new NDPB, Historic Environment Scotland, to take over functions from Historic Scotland e.g. scheduling, listing, consents. HES will also be a consultation body for developments which could impact the historic environment. We sought specific views around procedures for appeals and handling live cases during transition.

You said

36 responses were received, showing strong support for the approach and the drafts as consulted upon. Clarification and reassurance were sought on some aspects (e.g. consultation timescales, operational implementation, guidance below the level of regulations). There were helpful comments on transitional arrangements and on the scheme of delegation for properties in care. In connection with the scheme, the need for robust and transparent arrangements was singled out for comment.

We did

Based on your feedback we finalised the draft regulations and associated orders which were laid before Parliament on 4 June 2015. Comments received will also inform the development of guidance. We agree that robust and transparent arrangements for the management of the properties in care are crucial. The scheme that will achieve this is currently under development and will take into account of your responses. It will be published once it comes into effect.

Results updated 17 Jun 2015

36 responses were received for the Scottish Government’ consultation on the Historic Environment Scotland Act Secondary Legislation which ran from 19 December 2014 to 27 March 2015. Where we have been given permission to do so responses have been published.  

An analysis of the responses, with numeric data and a summary of key themes and issues raised, is available here alongside the Scottish Governments response to the consultation and finalised impact assessments.


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Historic Environment Scotland Act gained Royal Assent on the 9th December 2014. The Act establishes Historic Environment Scotland (HES) as a new Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which will take over the functions of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS. In addition to changes to legislation reflecting HES’ role and legal status, the Act changes processes for the designation of sites and buildings (by scheduling and listing) and for scheduled monuments, listed buildings and conservation areas consent. It also creates new rights of appeal against certain HES decisions.

The overall approach in the Act has been to streamline systems, aligning Scheduled Monument, listed building and planning where possible, while retaining the same level of protection for our valuable historic environment.

The approach also seeks to improve transparency through new requirements for notification and publication. In many cases Historic Scotland already publishes information, by including these requirements in Regulations demonstrates the commitment of this Government to transparency and access to information.

Image courtesy of Shetland Amenity Trust (c) Davy Cooper

Why your views matter

The objective of this consultation is to gather and listen to your views on the draft Regulations which follow on from the Act and set out the detail of the processes outlined above. This consultation is important, as the specifics of how these processes work will have a direct impact on a wide range of people including owners of Scheduled monuments and listed buildings and heritage professionals.

We are seeking views on whether or not the Regulations take the best approach within the framework set by the Act to achieve the stated aims of streamlining and transparency. We are also seeking any thoughts you may have on the impact of the changes, including any concerns. We would also welcome views on how the Regulations will be brought into operation, for example in the form of supporting guidance.

The consultation is not seeking views on the provisions of the 2014 Act, as this has already by approved by parliament, but on the regulations which the act requires. This consultation seeks to make clear where the Regulations represent a significant change from existing regulations; this is the primary focus of the consultation.

How to Respond

The Scottish Government wants to make it as easy as possible for those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work. Together with traditional methods of response we are now also welcoming responses using this online website Citizen Space. You can provide your views and comments on the proposals set out in this document online or send them to us via email, or letter using the respondent information form and consultation booklet attached below.

Handling your response

We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Whichever way you chose to respond to the consultation please ensure you complete the respondent information form or information about you.  If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

What happens next

The closing date for responses is 27th March 2015. Following this date, all responses will be analysed  and a Scottish Government response will be published, making clear where any changes will be made to the regulations, and any other action which will be taken. This report and response will be made available on the Scottish Government consultation website and on the citizen space website.


The Regulations as finalised following the consultation will be laid in Parliament during the early summer, with a view to coming into force on the 1st of October 2015 when Historic Environment Scotland will take up its full responsibilities.