May 2014

Historic Environment Scotland Bill

The Society's Planning Law Committee submitted written evidence on the above Bill at the end of April. The purpose of the Bill is to establish a new lead body for Scotland's historic environment, to be known as Historic Environment Scotland, which sustains the functions of two predecessor bodies, Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). The committee raises three main points in its response, the first being that there is no listed function under s2(2) for specifically promoting the 'maintenance' of the historic environments listed buildings. Secondly, at present Historic Scotland may choose not to object to the demolition of a listed building as a measure of last resort. The committee is concerned that this discretion may not be able to be exercised by Historic Environment Scotland who may be bound in terms of its functions under s2(2) which all point to conservation and enhancement. Thirdly, the committee supports the right of appeal against listing, however note that this would not be available for existing listed buildings.

The Society's full response can be found here.