Listed Buildings

Listed buildings are buildings that have been recognised as being of special architectural or historic interest. Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for listing such buildings. There are approximately 2,700 buildings in East Lothian that are either listed individually or as part of a group.

You can find out if a building is listed on Historic Environment Scotland's website.

Listing is a statutory designation that has implications for the alteration of or extension to a building. The term 'building' is defined broadly in the legislation and can include (for example) walls, fountains, sundials, ha-has, statues, bridges, bandstands and telephone boxes.

Listed buildings are classified under three headings, according to their relative importance. These are:

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 that 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.

Altering or extending listed buildings

Listed Building Consent is required for any works or alterations that affect the character of a listed building (this is in addition to any requirement for planning permission). This includes the interior of a building and the removal or alteration of any object or structure fixed to the building (e.g. plasterwork or a chimneypiece).

Alterations or extensions to listed buildings should be in keeping with other parts of the building to ensure that the value of the building is not lost or the character of a historically important area undermined by insensitive changes.

In the case of A and B listed buildings, and for all demolition proposals, the Council must first refer any intended approval to Scottish Ministers.

Demolition of a listed building

Government policy with regard to the demolition of a listed building is that no worthwhile building should be lost to our environment unless it is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that every effort has been made by all concerned to find practical ways of keeping it.


The setting of a listed building can be affected by any development proposed within its curtilage, adjacent to it or visible from it. Any such proposals must ensure that the listed building remains the focus of its setting and is not harmed by the presence of new development. Views of or from listed buildings should not be restricted or obstructed by development proposals.