Countryside and Rights of Way Bill - continued        House of Commons
SCHEDULE 9, SITES OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST - continued

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Statutory undertakers, etc.: general duty.     28E. - (1) An authority to which this section applies (referred to in this section and in sections 28F and 28G as "a section 28E authority") shall have the duty set out in subsection (2) in exercising its functions in relation to land which forms part of a site of special scientific interest.
 
      (2) The duty is to take reasonable steps, consistent with the proper exercise of the authority's functions, to further the conservation and enhancement of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the site is of special scientific interest.
 
      (3) The following are section 28E authorities-
 
 
    (a) a Minister of the Crown (within the meaning of the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975) or a Government department;
 
    (b) the National Assembly for Wales;
 
    (c) a local authority;
 
    (d) a person holding an office-
 
      (i) under the Crown,
 
      (ii) created or continued in existence by a public general Act of Parliament, or
 
      (iii) the remuneration in respect of which is paid out of money provided by Parliament; and
 
    (e) a statutory undertaker (meaning the persons referred to in section 262(1), (3) and (6) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990).
Statutory undertakers, etc.: duty in relation to carrying out operations.     28F. - (1) A section 28E authority shall give written notice to the Nature Conservancy Council before carrying out, in the exercise of its functions, operations likely to damage any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a site of special scientific interest is of special interest.
 
      (2) Subsection (1) applies even if the operations would not take place on land forming part of a site of special scientific interest.
 
      (3) In response to the notice referred to in subsection (1), the Council may send a written notice-
 
 
    (a) saying that they do not assent to the proposed operations, or
 
    (b) assenting to them (with or without conditions),
  but if they do not send a notice under paragraph (b) within the period of 28 days beginning with the date of the notice under subsection (1) they shall be treated as having declined to assent.
 
      (4) If the Council do not assent, or if the authority proposes to carry out the operations otherwise than in accordance with the terms of the Council's assent, the authority-
 
 
    (a) shall not carry out the operations unless the condition set out in subsection (5) is satisfied, and
 
    (b) shall comply with the requirement set out in subsection (6) when carrying them out.
      (5) The condition is that the authority has, after the expiry of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of the notice under subsection (1), notified the Council in writing of-
 
 
    (a) the date on which it proposes to start the operations (which must be after the expiry of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of the notification under this paragraph), and
 
    (b) how (if at all) it has taken account of any written advice it received from the Council, before the date of the notification under this paragraph, in response to the notice under subsection (1).
      (6) The requirement is that the authority carry out the operations in such a way as to give rise to as little damage as is reasonably practicable in all the circumstances to the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the site is of special interest (taking account, in particular, of any such advice as is referred to in subsection (5)(b)).
 
Statutory undertakers, etc.: duty in relation to authorising operations.     28G. - (1) This section applies where the permission of a section 28E authority is needed before operations may be carried out.
 
      (2) Before permitting the carrying out of operations likely to damage any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a site of special scientific interest is of special interest, a section 28E authority shall give written notice of the proposed operations to the Nature Conservancy Council.
 
      (3) Subsection (2) applies even if the operations would not take place on land forming part of a site of special scientific interest.
 
      (4) The authority shall wait until the expiry of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of the notice under subsection (2) before deciding whether to give its permission.
 
      (5) The authority shall take any advice received from the Council into account-
 
 
    (a) in deciding whether or not to permit the proposed operations, and
 
    (b) if it does decide to do so, in deciding what (if any) conditions are to be attached to the permission.
      (6) If the Council advise against permitting the operations, or advise that certain conditions should be attached, but the section 28E authority does not follow that advice, the authority-
 
 
    (a) shall give written notice of the permission, and of its terms, to the Council, and
 
    (b) shall not grant a permission which would allow the operations to start before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the date of that notice.
      (7) In this section "permission", in relation to any operations, includes authorisation, consent, and any other type of permission (and "permit" and "permitting" are to be construed accordingly).
 
Management schemes.     28H. - (1) The Nature Conservancy Council may, if they think fit, formulate a management scheme for all or part of a site of special scientific interest.
 
      (2) A management scheme is a scheme for-
 
 
    (a) conserving the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land (or the part of it to which the scheme relates) is of special interest; or
 
    (b) restoring them; or
 
    (c) both.
      (3) The Council shall serve notice of a proposed management scheme on every owner and occupier of any of the land (or the part of it to which the scheme would relate); but it may be served on them only after they have been consulted about the proposed management scheme.
 
      (4) The notice may be served with the notification referred to in section 28(1)(b) or afterwards.
 
      (5) The owners and occupiers upon whom the notice must be served (referred to in this section as "the relevant owners and occupiers") are-
 
 
    (a) if it is served with the notification under section 28(1)(b), or later but before the notification referred to in section 28(5)(b), the owners and occupiers referred to in section 28(1)(b);
 
    (b) if it is served with the notification under section 28(5)(b) or later, the owners and occupiers of such of the land as remains subject to the notification.
      (6) The notice of a proposed management scheme must include a copy of the proposed scheme.
 
      (7) The notice must specify the time (not being less than three months from the date of the giving of the notice) within which, and the manner in which, representations or objections with respect to the proposed management scheme may be made; and the Council shall consider any representation or objection duly made.
 
      (8) Where a notice under subsection (3) has been given, the Council may within the period of nine months beginning with the date on which the notice was served on the last of the relevant owners and occupiers either-
 
 
    (a) give notice to the relevant owners and occupiers withdrawing the notice, or
 
    (b) give notice to them confirming the management scheme (with or without modifications),
  and if notice under paragraph (b) is given, the management scheme shall have effect from the time the notice is served on all of the relevant owners or occupiers.
 
      (9) A notice under subsection (3) shall cease to have effect-
 
 
    (a) on the giving of a notice of withdrawal under subsection (8)(a) to any of the relevant owners and occupiers; or
 
    (b) if not withdrawn or confirmed by notice under subsection (8) within the period of nine months referred to there, at the end of that period.
      (10) The Council's power under subsection (8)(b) to confirm a management scheme with modifications shall not be exercised so as to make complying with it more onerous.
 
      (11) The Council may at any time cancel or propose the modification of a management scheme.
 
      (12) In relation to-
 
 
    (a) the cancellation of a management scheme, subsections (3) to (5) apply, and
 
    (b) a proposal to modify a management scheme, subsections (3) to (10) apply,
  as they apply in relation to a proposal for a management scheme.
 
      (13) An agreement under section 16 of the 1949 Act or section 15 of the 1968 Act relating to a site of special scientific interest may provide for any matter for which a management scheme relating to that site provides (or could provide).
 
Management notices.     28I. - (1) Where it appears to the Nature Conservancy Council that-
 
 
    (a) an owner or occupier of land is not giving effect to a provision of a management scheme, and
 
    (b) as a result any flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land is of special interest are being inadequately conserved or restored,
  they may if they think fit serve a notice on him (a "management notice").
 
      (2) They may not serve a management notice unless they are satisfied that they are unable to conclude, on terms appearing to them to be reasonable, an agreement with the owner or occupier as to the management of the land in accordance with the management scheme.
 
      (3) A management notice is a notice requiring the owner or occupier to-
 
 
    (a) carry out such work on the land, and
 
    (b) do such other things with respect to it,
  as are specified in the notice, and to do so before the dates or within the periods so specified.
 
      (4) The work and other things specified in the notice must appear to the Council to be measures which it is reasonable to require in order to ensure that the land is managed in accordance with the management scheme.
 
      (5) The management notice must explain the effect of subsection (7) and (8) and of sections 28J and 28K(4) to (6).
 
      (6) A copy of the management notice must be served on every other owner and occupier of the land.
 
      (7) If any of the work or other things required by a management notice have not been done within the period or by the date specified in it, the Council may-
 
 
    (a) enter the land and carry out the work, or do the other things; and
 
    (b) recover from the owner or occupier upon whom the notice was served any expenses reasonably incurred by them in carrying out the work or doing the other things.
      (8) If an appeal is brought against the management notice, and upon the final determination of the appeal the notice is affirmed (with or without modifications), subsection (7) applies as if the references there to the management notice were to the notice as affirmed.
 
Appeals against management notices.     28J. - (1) A person who is served with a management notice may appeal against its requirements to the Secretary of State; and a management notice does not take effect until-
 
 
    (a) the expiry of the period for appealing against it; or
 
    (b) if an appeal is brought, its withdrawal or final determination.
      (2) An appeal may be on the ground that some other owner or occupier of the land should take all or any of the measures specified in the management notice, or should pay all or part of their cost.
 
      (3) Where the grounds of appeal are, or include, that mentioned in subsection (2), the appellant must serve a copy of his notice of appeal on each other person referred to.
 
      (4) Before determining an appeal, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit-
 
 
    (a) cause the appeal to take, or continue in, the form of a hearing (which may be held wholly or partly in private if the appellant so requests and the person hearing the appeal agrees), or
 
    (b) cause a local inquiry to be held,
  and he must act as mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) if either party to the appeal (or, in a case falling within subsection (2), any of the other persons mentioned there) asks to be heard in connection with the appeal.
 
      (5) On determining the appeal, the Secretary of State may quash or affirm the management notice; and if he affirms it, he may do so either in its original form or with such modifications as he thinks fit.
 
      (6) In particular, on determining an appeal whose grounds are, or include, those mentioned in subsection (2), the Secretary of State may-
 
 
    (a) vary the management notice so as to impose its requirements (or some of them) upon any such other person as is referred to in the grounds; or
 
    (b) determine that a payment is to be made by any such other person to the appellant.
      (7) In exercising his powers under subsection (6), the Secretary of State must take into account, as between the appellant and any of the other people referred to in subsection (2)-
 
 
    (a) their relative interests in the land (considering both the nature of the interests and the rights and obligations arising under or by virtue of them);
 
    (b) their relative responsibility for the state of the land which gives rise to the requirements of the management notice; and
 
    (c) the relative degree of benefit to be derived from carrying out the requirements of the management notice.
      (8) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument make provision about appeals under this section, and in particular about-
 
 
    (a) the period within which and the manner in which appeals are to be brought, and
 
    (b) the manner in which they are to be considered,
  and any such regulations may make different provision for different cases or circumstances.
 
      (9) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (8) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (10) The Secretary of State may appoint any person to exercise on his behalf, with or without payment, his function of determining an appeal under this section or any matter involved in such an appeal.
 
      (11) Schedule 10A shall have effect with respect to appointments under subsection (10).
 
      (12) Subsections (2) to (5) of section 250 of the Local Government Act 1972 (local inquiries: evidence and costs) apply in relation to hearings or local inquiries under this section as they apply in relation to local inquiries under that section, but as if the reference there-
 
 
    (a) to the person appointed to hold the inquiry were a reference to the Secretary of State or to the person appointed to conduct the hearing or hold the inquiry under this section; and
 
    (b) to the Minister causing an inquiry to be held were to the Secretary of State.
      (13) Section 322A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (orders as to costs where no hearing or inquiry takes place) applies in relation to a hearing or local inquiry under this section as it applies in relation to a hearing or local inquiry referred to in that section.
 
 
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