Listed Buildings

William Street stonework

What are Listed Buildings?

The Scottish Ministers are required to compile lists of buildings which are of special architectural or historical interest. The number of listed buildings will vary as properties are reassessed by Historic Enivonment Scotland on their behalf. The listing procedure seeks to protect the character of our heritage and to guard against unnecessary loss or damage. Buildings are categorised according to their relative importance:

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. (About 8% of total listed buildings.)

Category B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance; or major examples of some particular period, style or building type, which may have been altered. (About 50% of total listed buildings.) 

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 that group well with other listed buildings. (About 42% of total listed buildings.)

How are Buildings chosen?

All buildings erected before 1840, the character of which remains substantially unimpaired, are included. Later buildings are selected on the basis of their individual character and quality.

Special regard is paid to:

  • Planned streets, villages or burghs
  • Works of well known architects, engineers or designers
  • Buildings associated with famous people or events
  • Good examples of buildings connected with social and industrial history and the development of communications
  • Distinctive regional variations in design and use of materials
  • Good examples within individual building types
  • Technological innovation

The term "building" includes (for example) walls, fountains, sundials, statues, bridges, bandstands and telephone boxes.

How many Buildings have been Listed?

In Scotland there are 47,408 listed buildings (as at May 2016). 247 of these listed buildings are in Inverclyde, the breakdown being as follows: 






GOUROCK 0 21 43 64
GREENOCK 15 67 31 113
PORT GLASGOW 5 13 3 21
KILMACOLM 3 15 5 23
INVERKIP 1 8 1 10
WEMYSS BAY 1 1 3 5
TOTAL 25 129 93 247

How does listed status affect the owner/occupier?

Permission is required from Inverclyde Council for any changes to either the inside or the outside of listed structures. Owners have a duty to look after Listed Buildings and to keep them in good repair. Failure to do this may result in a "repair notice" requiring specified work to be carried out within a fixed period. If this is not complied with, the building may be acquired by the Council or by the Government at a valuation not taking into account the development potential of the site. Alternatively, the Council may have the necessary repairs carried out and recover the cost from the owner.

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 states that any of the following may be excluded from a listing:

  • an object or structure fixed to the building
  • any object or structure within the curtilage of a listing
  • any part or feature of a listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest

This means you won’t normally need listed building consent for alterations to a building part that is identified as not of special interest.

You should still check before you undertake any work. While you might not need listed building consent, you may need planning permission or a building warrant.

In some cases, you may still need listed building consent. For example, if you demolish a late 20th-century extension that’s excluded from the listing but physically attached to the listed building, you may need listed building consent to make good any stonework on the listed building affected by the work.

Is my building listed?

Downloadable from this page is a full guide to listed buildings in Inverclyde - ordered by settlement. Clicking on a chosen address links you to a page giving fuller information and photographs.