Countryside and Rights of Way Bill. - continued        House of Commons
SCHEDULE 8, SITES OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST - continued

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Appeals in connection with consents.     28D. - (1) The following persons-
 
 
    (a) a person who has been refused a consent under section 28C(3)(a),
 
    (b) a person who has been granted such a consent but who is aggrieved by conditions attached to it, or by the fact that it is for a limited period, or by the length of that period,
 
    (c) a person who has been granted such a consent but who is aggrieved by its modification,
 
    (d) a person from whom such a consent has been withdrawn,
       may by notice appeal to the Secretary of State against the relevant decision.
 
      (2) If the Nature Conservancy Council neither give consent nor refuse it within the period of four months beginning with the date on which the notice referred to in section 28C(1)(a) was sent, the person who gave that notice may for the purposes of subsection (1) treat the Council as having refused consent (and his appeal is to be determined on that basis).
 
      (3) Notice of an appeal must reach the Secretary of State-
 
 
    (a) except in a case falling within subsection (2), within the period of two months beginning with the date of the notice giving consent or the notice under section 28C(5) or (6), or
 
    (b) in a case falling within subsection (2), within the period of two months beginning immediately after the expiry of the four-month period referred to there,
       or, in either case, within such longer period as is agreed in writing between the Council and the appellant.
 
      (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 asks to be heard in connection with the appeal.
 
      (5) On determining an appeal against a decision, the Secretary of State may-
 
 
    (a) affirm the decision,
 
    (b) where the decision was a refusal of consent, direct the Council to give consent,
 
    (c) where the decision was as to the terms of a consent (whether the original or a modified one), quash all or any of those terms,
 
    (d) where the decision was a withdrawal or modification of consent, quash the decision,
       and where he exercises any of the powers in paragraphs (b), (c) or (d) he may give directions to the Council as to the terms on which they are to give consent.
 
      (6) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument make provision about appeals under this section, and in particular about-
 
 
    (a) notices of appeal and supporting documentation required, and
 
    (b) how appeals are to be brought and considered,
       and any such regulations may make different provision for different cases and circumstances.
 
      (7) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (6) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (8) 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.
 
      (9) Schedule 10A shall have effect with respect to appointments under subsection (8).
 
      (10) 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.
      (11) 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.
 
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 is included in 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;
 
    (e) a statutory undertaker (meaning the persons referred to in section 262(1), (3) and (6) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990); and
 
    (f) any other public body of any description.
Statutory undertakers, etc.: duty in relation to carrying out operations.     28F. - (1) A section 28E authority shall give 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 included in a site of special scientific interest.
 
      (3) In response to the notice referred to in subsection (1), the Council may send a 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 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 notice of the proposed operations to the Nature Conservancy Council.
 
      (3) Subsection (2) applies even if the operations would not take place on land included in 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 notice of the permission, and of its terms, to the Council, the notice to include a statement of how (if at all) the authority has taken account of the Council's advice, 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).
 
 
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