Historic Environment Conservation

Historic environment

South Ayrshire's urban and rural environment has a historical dimension that contributes to its distinctive quality and character. This is most noticeable in our built heritage such as ancient monuments; archaeological sites and landscapes; historic buildings; townscapes; parks; gardens and designed landscapes. The historic environment encompasses the setting in which these features sit, and the patterns of past use in landscapes and in our towns, villages and streets. It also has less tangible aspects recognised as the historical, artistic, literary, and scenic associations of places and landscapes. These various elements contribute fundamentally to a sense of place and cultural identity.

The Planning Service is, amongst other things, responsible for the protection and management of the historic environment through the designation and enhancement of conservation areas, the formulation of policy and the processing of applications for listed building, planning and related statutory consents. It also has duties in relation to listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments and historic gardens and designed landscapes. South Ayrshire Council’s planning policy on the Historic Environment is set out on page 48 of the adopted South Ayrshire Local Development Plan and is augmented by Supplementary Guidance: Historic Environment.

There are currently twenty three designated conservation areas in South Ayrshire and over nine hundred listed buildings (see map)

Conservation areas

Conservation Areas Designated (as at March 2017):

Alloway (1969) | Ayr 1 (Central) (1969)| Ayr 11 (1969) | Ballantrae I (1976) | Ballantrae 11 (1976) | Barr (1976) | Burns Monument (1976) | Colmonell (1974) | Crosshill (1974) | Dundonald (1974) | Dunure (1974) | Girvan (1988) | Kirkmichael (1974)| Kirkoswald (1974) | Maybole 1976) | Monkton (1976) | Prestwick (2017) | Southwood (2004)| St. Quivox (1980)| Straiton (1974) | Symington (1974) | Tarbolton (2017) | Troon (2004) |

Conservation Area Character Appraisals

A character appraisal identifies and defines the important architectural or historic features within the Conservation Area that give it its unique character and appearance. Character appraisals are being prepared for all South Ayrshire’s conservation areas, with the following having been completed to date:

Management Plan

A Management Plan explains how the Council and other stakeholders will manage a Conservation Area to ensure its special character and appearance is preserved and enhanced, within the constraint of available resources. It sets out relevant planning policies and how they will be applied in assessing development proposals; how planning control will be enforced within the Conservation Area; and details those actions that will be taken to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the area, including physical improvements and training, where appropriate and resources permitting.

Article 4 Directions

Article 4 directions allow the Council to exert greater influence over development within conservation areas, for the purpose of preserving or enhancing their character or appearance, by withdrawing additional permitted development rights within them.

Note: Although these classes of development specified relate to an old General Permitted Development Order, they still apply to the classes of development in the current General Permitted Development Order.

Historic Environment Scotland is an agency of the Scottish Government responsible for the listing and safeguarding of the nation's historic buildings. Historic Environment Scotland safeguards the historic environment by scheduling monuments of national importance and by listing historic buildings of special architectural or historic interest. The agency also conserves properties in the care of Scottish Ministers and provides financial assistance to other owners towards the costs of conserving and repairing outstanding monuments and buildings. Historic Environment Scotland can be contacted by telephone on 0131 668 8600 or at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.


Planning Service
Telephone Number: 01292 616107
E-mail: planning.development@south-ayrshire.gov.uk