Building Alterations (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas)

Building Alterations

(Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas)

Listed Buildings, whether in a Conservation Area or not, are subject to additional controls. The alteration or removal of any features or fixtures within the interior or exterior of a Listed Building, including its curtilage, requires Listed Building Consent. This Consent is required for demolition, alteration or extension that in any way affects the character or appearance of a listed building. Alterations to listed buildings will only be acceptable where the proposals have regard to the restoration or enhancement of its architectural or historic character. In addition, Planning Permission for certain works may also be required.

Appointment of an architect or surveyor with appropriate conservation experience is recommended, and pre-application discussions with the Councilโ€™s Conservation Officer is encouraged. Owners of listed buildings should be aware that it is a criminal offence to undertake unauthorised works to a listed building. The Council have considerable powers to take enforcement action where expedient.

In Dundeeโ€™s designated Conservation Areas planning controls are stronger than elsewhere. Conservation Area status can be utilised as a management tool to ensure the preservation and enhancement of the special character of the area. The actual planning control legislation is complex, but is summarised below.ย ย 


Conservation Area Consent is required for the complete demolition of buildings and structures in Conservation Areas. Demolition of Listed Buildings in a Conservation Area requires Listed Building Consent. Consent for demolition is unlikely to be granted in the absence of proposals for satisfactory replacement of the building or redevelopment of the site. In addition, where a building or structure makes a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a Conservation Area, and/or is listed, the Council is unlikely to give permission for its demolition. Applications shall also be required to be in accordance with Historic Scotlandโ€™s - Scottish Historic Environment Policy.

Permitted Development

The limits of Permitted Development (ie.ย works not requiring Planning Permission) within Conservation Areas are lower in order to protect the character and appearance of the area.ย Minor works such as, window and door replacement, external painting and stone cleaning, erection of fences, gates and porches, require Planning Permission. For more detailed guidance about window or door alterations please see, Replacement Windows and Doors

New Development, Alterations and Extensions

Work which requires Planning Permission must be of a high standard appropriate to its surroundings. Planning legislation requires the Council to consider whether the proposed development โ€œpreserves or enhancesโ€ the special character of the Conservation Area. Work to Listed Buildings and unlisted buildings in Conservation Areas will normally be expected to involve the use of traditional materials. Conservation Areas also provide opportunities to introduce good quality modern design and bring together old and new in an attractive and ever-changing urban landscape. To be successful, new design must acknowledge its special context in terms of its scale, form, siting, alignment, materials and landscaping. Appointment of an architect or surveyor with appropriate experience in conservation work is recommended.

Works to Trees

The special character of Dundeeโ€™s Conservation Areas owes much to the contribution made by individual trees or groups of trees. In a designated Conservation Area, it is an offence for any person to cut, lop, top, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any tree, unless six weeksโ€™ notice has been given to the Councilโ€™s Planning and Transportation Department. The owner of the tree must submit a Tree Work Notice Application andย obtain written consent from the Council prior to undertaking such works.ย ย 

The Councilย can consider making a Tree Preservation Order. These exist for individual or groups of trees which are seen as giving amenity value to the community. The felling or lopping of trees which are subject to a Tree Preservation Order also requires consent from the City Development Department.

Conservation Area Appraisals and Conservation Plans

Conservation Area Appraisals are currently being prepared for all of Dundeeโ€™s Conservation Areas, and will be available to view or download from the Councils website, as and when they are produced.

Owners and occupiers of significant listed buildings, and historic areas are encouraged to prepare a Conservation Plan for their building or area.

Preparation of a Conservation Plan encourages those with responsibility for the site to think about it in structured way, to assess how, and why it is significant, and how it should be managed in order to conserve that significance.


Owners of traditionally constructed properties, whether listed or not, should be aware of the importance of adequate maintenance and appropriate repair to their properties. Without regular inspections and maintenance, minor defects can become major problems, and inappropriate repairs can cause further associated damage.

  • For helpful information on maintaining your listed building or preparing a Conservation Plan, visit the Historic Scotland website.