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.
What happens after an application to protect an historic building or site has been submitted?
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'll 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'll 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'll recommend whether or not the historic building or site should be added to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).
- We aim to complete our assessments within 21 weeks of receipt of application. However, if the building or site is under threat this timescale will be reduced.
- If your case is being dealt with through our Enhanced Advisory Service we provide a guaranteed time frame.
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/national park 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 usually 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.
Who makes the final decision?
The final decision is made either by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport or us, 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 Digital, 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.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also decides whether a Certificate of Immunity from Listing (COI) should be issued.
In the majority of cases the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport aims to make decisions on our recommendations within 10 working days of receipt of our advice. Around 93% of cases have been determined within this timeframe over the last two and a half years. For cases where a decision is not possible within 10 days, we are kept informed of progress and timescales.
When it comes to registering a park, garden or battlefield the decision is taken by us and not the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 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 List, we will also notify local land charges.
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 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 sites, please contact us to request a review.
Should DCMS be minded to grant a COI, we will send out a letter on their behalf informing all parties of this. At this stage they will have 28 days in which to appeal to DCMS to ask for this to be reviewed. After this period the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will formalise their decision. If a COI is issued this cannot be challenged or revoked.