1.The Committee has asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a memorandum on the following points:
(1) Given that Article 4(2) is inclusive and not exclusive, how old does a property have to be before becoming historic?
(2) Is it intended that a newly constructed place of worship should be within the definition of historic property?
2.In response to the first point, the use of the word “historic” carries its natural meaning, i.e. of particular interest, importance or significance in history, or famous, or likely to become so. Whether or not a property is “historic” does not depend on its age (in contrast to something which is “historical” (i.e. pertaining to history). This meaning is specifically reflected in the definition of “historic property” in section 13(8) of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014 as “a heritable property which is of historical, archaeological, architectural or cultural significance or interest”. We consider this definition articulates the ordinary meaning of the phrase in a slightly fuller way, by specifying particular types of importance or interest. We also consider that, in the absence of such a definition specifying particular types of importance or interest, the meaning can be expressed more succinctly as suggested above, and that the phrase does not require definition in order to have that meaning.
3.In response to the second point, it is intended that a newly constructed place of worship is within the definition of an historic property.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
23 July 2018
Published: 14 September 2018