Managing Change – Fire and historic buildings

Closed 13 Mar 2023

Opened 19 Dec 2022


Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is looking for your views on draft guidance on fire and historic buildings. This is an update and refresh to the current Managing Change guidance note called Fire Safety Management.

The Fire and Historic Buildings guidance sets out the principles and specific issues that are relevant to fire and historic buildings. It looks at understanding your building and cultural significance, identifying risks, safety measures and responses to damage.

Why your views matter

This guidance will support good decision-making and explains how to apply the policies in the Historic Environment Policy for Scotland and national planning policy. It will also help anyone interested in a decision on this topic to understand the decision-making process.

We want to hear your thoughts and ideas about the proposed content of this guidance and would welcome your feedback on any part of it. We would particularly welcome your views on whether you think we have identified the right key messages and considerations to guide decision-making. We would also like to hear from you if you have any suggestions for possible case studies relating to fire safety or works after a fire has taken place.

You can provide feedback by completing the short online surveyIf you prefer, you can download the full set of consultation questions in advance in pdf format.

You can find the draft guidance below or download a copy.

Providing feedback in other ways

If you would like a copy of the draft guidance and associated consultation questions in a different format, please let us know.

If you would like to provide feedback differently, such as over the phone, by email or via online meeting (on Microsoft Teams, Zoom or similar), please let us know and we would be happy to arrange this.

Please contact Ruth Cameron at or call on 0131 668 8657.


This proposed guidance note is relevant to decisions on development proposals and changes to individual historic assets, such as listed buildings. It forms part of national guidance on managing change in the historic environment. Policy 7 of National Planning Framework 4 requires proposals to be informed by this guidance.


The draft guidance includes the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Key messages
  • Status
  • Understanding your building
  • Historic buildings and fire risk
  • Fire safety
  • Fire damage
  • Permissions and consents
  • References


What happens next

Thank you for taking part in this consultation. Our next steps will be processing all the results and addressing your comments in the document draft.

The final policy guidance document will be published on the Managing Change Guidance page on our website.