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What Happens after an Application To Protect an Historic Building or Site Has Been Submitted

This page explains how we take forward your application to have an historic building or site protected and added to the National Heritage List for England.

Having received your application we first check:

  • If it is eligible and
  • Whether you have provided us with enough information, including images, to make an initial judgement

If eligible we will begin our assessment, which happens in three stages.

STAGE 1: Initial assessment

  • Based on the information provided in the application, we will carry out an initial assessment to determine whether or not the building or site may merit further investigation.

STAGE 2: Full assessment

  • If we decide the application merits further investigation, we will carry out a full assessment, including further research.
  • This stage usually includes a site visit and a period of consultation. See further details about the consultation process below.

STAGE 3: Final report

  • All the information and representations will then be considered, and we will  recommend whether or not the historic building or site should be added to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).
  • It takes on average 6 months from receiving an application to the final recommendation. However, if the building or site is under threat this timescale will be reduced. 

Brodsworth Hall Garden, Doncaster.
Brodsworth Hall Garden, Doncaster. Laid out in the mid 19th century. Registered Grade II*. NHLE List Entry Number: 1001250.

The Consultation Process

As part of the full assessment stage we will consult with all relevant parties.

An initial report setting out the background and history of the building or site is sent to the following consultees:

  • The owner
  • The local planning authority
  • The Historic Environment Record Officer
  • The applicant and
  • Other relevant parties

They are given the opportunity to comment on the facts set out in the report and invited to respond within 21 days from the date of the consultation letter.

For those responding to a consultation, see our guidance on how to draft your response at the bottom of this page.

We will then consider all representations before finalising our recommendation.

Although we will follow this process in the majority of cases, if it can be demonstrated that the building or site is at substantial risk of imminent damage or destruction, then we may choose not to notify or consult the owner or local authority.

Byland Abbey, North Yorkshire.
Byland Abbey, North Yorkshire. The Cistercian monastery of St Mary dates from the 12th century. Listed Grade I and a scheduled monument. NHLE List Entry Numbers: 1315790 and 1013403.

Who makes the final decision?

The final decision is made either by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport or Historic England, depending on the type of building or site.

When it comes to listing a building, scheduling a monument or protecting a wreck site the final decision is taken by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. They also decide whether a building, a monument or a wreck can be removed from the List or whether a List entry can be amended.

When it comes to registering a park, garden or battlefield the decision is taken by Historic England. We also decide whether a park, garden or battlefield can be removed from the List or whether a List entry can be amended.

Everyone who has been consulted on a case will be informed of the final decision. Where we are adding a building or site to the Heritage List, we will also notify local land charges.

Wainfleet Signal Box, Lincolnshire.
Wainfleet Signal Box, Lincolnshire. Built for the Great Northern Railway in 1899. Listed Grade II. NHLE List Entry Number: 1014000. © Charles Weightman for Network Rail

Challenging a decision

If you want a final decision to be reviewed, you need to contact the appropriate body. 

To challenge a listing or a scheduling decision, you can contact the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) within 28 days of the date of the decision notification letter.

Requests made beyond this 28 day period will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.  

Please complete the relevant form on the DCMS website:

To challenge a decision about parks, gardens, battlefields or wreck site, please contact Historic England to request a review.

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