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Session 2005 - 06
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Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill


Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 3 — Wildlife etc.

19

 

50      

Codes of practice in connection with invasive non-native species

After section 14ZA of the 1981 Act insert—

“14ZB   

  Codes of practice in connection with invasive non-native species

(1)   

The Secretary of State may issue or approve a code of practice relating

to—

5

(a)   

animals which are not ordinarily resident in and are not regular

visitors to Great Britain in a wild state,

(b)   

animals or plants included in Schedule 9, or

(c)   

any description of animals or plants mentioned in paragraph (a)

or (b).

10

(2)   

The Secretary of State may revise or replace a code or approve its

revision or replacement.

(3)   

The Secretary of State must ensure that a code is published in a way that

is appropriate for bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be

affected by it.

15

(4)   

A person’s failure to comply with a provision of a code does not make

him liable to criminal or civil proceedings.

(5)   

A code—

(a)   

is admissible in evidence in any proceedings, and

(b)   

must be taken into account by a court in any case in which it

20

appears to the court to be relevant.”

Enforcement etc. of provisions relating to wildlife

51      

Enforcement powers in connection with wildlife

Schedule 5 contains amendments relating to enforcement powers in

connection with wildlife.

25

52      

Wildlife offences: time limits for proceedings

Schedule 6 contains provisions extending the time limit for summary

proceedings for certain offences relating to wildlife.

53      

Application of Part 1 of 1981 Act to Crown

(1)   

In the 1981 Act, before section 67 insert—

30

“66A    

Application of Part 1 to Crown

(1)   

Subject to subsections (2) to (5), Part 1 and regulations and orders made

under it bind the Crown.

(2)   

No contravention by the Crown of any provision of Part 1 makes the

Crown criminally liable; but the High Court may, on the application of

35

any person appearing to the Court to have an interest, declare unlawful

an act or omission of the Crown which constitutes such a

contravention.

 
 

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 4 — Sites of special scientific interest

20

 

(3)   

Despite subsection (2), Part 1 applies to persons in the public service of

the Crown as it applies to other persons.

(4)   

But the powers conferred by sections 18A to 19XA are not exercisable

in relation to premises occupied by the Crown.

(5)   

Nothing in this Part affects Her Majesty in her private capacity.

5

(6)   

Subsection (5) is to be read as if section 38(3) of the Crown Proceedings

Act 1947 (c. 44) (meaning of Her Majesty in her private capacity) were

contained in this Act.”

(2)   

For the heading to section 67, substitute “Application of Parts 2 and 3 to Crown

land”.

10

Part 4

Sites of special scientific interest

54      

Offences in connection with SSSIs

(1)   

Amend section 28P of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c. 69) (offences)

as follows.

15

(2)   

After subsection (5) insert—

“(5A)   

A section 28G authority which, in the exercise of its functions, permits

the carrying out of an operation which damages any of the flora, fauna

or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a site of

special scientific interest is of special interest—

20

(a)   

without first complying with section 28I(2), or

(b)   

where relevant, without first complying with section 28I(4) or

(6),

   

is, unless there was a reasonable excuse for permitting the carrying out

of the operation without complying, guilty of an offence and is liable on

25

summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000 or on conviction on

indictment to a fine.

(5B)   

For the purposes of subsection (5A), it is a reasonable excuse in any

event for a section 28G authority to permit the carrying out of an

operation without first complying with section 28I(2), (4) or (6) if the

30

operation in question was an emergency operation particulars of which

(including details of the emergency) were notified to Natural England

as soon as practicable after the permission was given.”

(3)   

After subsection (6) insert—

“(6A)   

A person (other than a section 28G authority acting in the exercise of its

35

functions) who without reasonable excuse—

(a)   

intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages any of the flora,

fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of

which a site of special scientific interest is of special interest, or

(b)   

intentionally or recklessly disturbs any of those fauna,

40

   

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not

exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.”

(4)   

In subsection (7), after “(6)” (in both places) insert “or (6A)”.

 
 

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 5 — National Parks and the Broads

21

 

(5)   

In section 31 of the 1981 Act (restoration following offence under section 28P),

in subsection (1)(b), after “28P(6)” insert “or (6A)”.

55      

Notices and signs relating to SSSIs

(1)   

After section 28R of the 1981 Act insert—

“28S    

Notices and signs relating to SSSIs

5

(1)   

Natural England may, on any land included in a site of special scientific

interest, put up and maintain notices or signs relating to the site.

(2)   

Natural England may remove any notice or sign put up under

subsection (1).

(3)   

Any other person who intentionally or recklessly and without

10

reasonable excuse takes down, damages, destroys or obscures a notice

or sign put up under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

(4)   

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.”

(2)   

In section 51 of the 1981 Act (powers of entry), in subsection (1), after

15

paragraph (k) insert—

“(ka)   

for the purposes of putting up, maintaining or removing notices

or signs under section 28S;”.

(3)   

In subsection (2) of that section, for “paragraphs (a) to (k)” substitute

“paragraphs (a) to (ka)”.

20

Part 5

National Parks and the Broads

National Parks

56      

Procedure for orders designating National Parks

(1)   

Amend the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (c. 97) as

25

follows.

(2)   

In section 7 (designation and variation of National Parks), in subsection (1), for

“county council, county borough council and county district council”

substitute “and local authority”.

(3)   

After subsection (6) of that section insert—

30

“(7)   

In this section and Schedule 1 “local authority” means—

(a)   

in relation to England, a county council, district council or

parish council;

(b)   

in relation to Wales, a county council, county borough council

or community council.”

35

(4)   

In section 9 (development plans relating to National Parks), omit subsection

(2).

(5)   

In Schedule 1, in paragraph 2, after sub-paragraph (2) (local inquiries to be held

 
 

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 5 — National Parks and the Broads

22

 

where objection by local authority not withdrawn) insert—

   “(2A)  

In sub-paragraph (2) “local authority” does not include, in relation to

an order designating a National Park in England, a parish council.”

57      

Members of National Park authorities

(1)   

Amend Schedule 7 to the Environment Act 1995 (c. 25) (National Park

5

authorities) as follows.

(2)   

In paragraph 1, for sub-paragraphs (2) to (6) (constitution of National Park

authorities) substitute—

    “(2)  

A National Park authority shall consist of—

(a)   

a specified number of local authority members,

10

(b)   

in the case of a National Park in England, a specified number

of parish members to be appointed by the Secretary of State,

and

(c)   

a specified number of other members to be appointed by the

Secretary of State;

15

           

and “specified” means specified in the relevant order.

      (3)  

The total number of—

(a)   

local authority members, and

(b)   

parish members,

           

must exceed the number of other members.”

20

(3)   

In paragraph 2 (local authority members), for sub-paragraph (6) substitute—

   “(5A)  

Sub-paragraph (5B) applies to a person who retires from being a

member of a council by virtue of an election.

     (5B)  

Sub-paragraph (5)(a) does not terminate his office as member of a

National Park authority until—

25

(a)   

three months after he retires from being a member of the

council, or

(b)   

if earlier, the day on which the National Park authority

receives notice of a proposed replacement appointment;

           

but if he is re-elected he is eligible for re-appointment to the National

30

Park authority.”

(4)   

In paragraph 3 (parish members of English National Park authorities), for sub-

paragraph (4) substitute—

   “(4A)  

Sub-paragraph (4B) applies to a person who retires from being a

member of a parish council by virtue of an election.

35

     (4B)  

Sub-paragraph (3) does not terminate his office as member of a

National Park authority until—

(a)   

three months after he ceases to be a member of the parish

council, or

(b)   

if earlier, the day on which the National Park authority

40

receives notice of a proposed replacement appointment;

           

but if he is re-elected he is eligible for re-appointment to the National

Park authority.”

 
 

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 5 — National Parks and the Broads

23

 

(5)   

For sub-paragraph (6) of that paragraph substitute—

   “(5A)  

Sub-paragraph (5B) applies to a person who retires from being

chairman of a parish meeting by virtue of an election.

     (5B)  

Sub-paragraph (5) does not terminate his office as member of a

National Park authority until—

5

(a)   

three months after he retires from being chairman, or

(b)   

if earlier, the day on which the National Park authority

receives notice of a proposed replacement appointment;

           

but if he is re-elected as chairman he is eligible for re-appointment to

the National Park authority.”

10

(6)   

In paragraph 4 (members, other than parish members, appointed by the

Secretary of State), in sub-paragraph (2)(a) for “three years” substitute “four

years”.

58      

Expenditure by National Parks authorities

In section 11A of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (c. 97),

15

in subsection (1) (duty of National Park authority to foster economic and social well-

being of local communities in National Park), omit “, but without incurring

significant expenditure in doing so,”.

59      

Notification of agricultural operations on moor and heath in National Parks

(1)   

Amend section 42 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c. 69) (notification

20

of agricultural operations on moor and heath in National Parks) as follows.

(2)   

In subsection (1)—

(a)   

for “The Ministers” substitute “A National Park authority”, and

(b)   

for “a National Park” substitute “the relevant Park”.

(3)   

In subsection (2)(b), for “the Ministers” substitute “the National Park

25

authority”.

(4)   

In subsection (6), for “the Ministers, the Nature Conservancy Council and the

Countryside Agency” substitute “Natural England”.

(5)   

For subsection (8) substitute—

“(8)   

An order under this section shall be made by statutory instrument and

30

the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply to such an instrument as

if the order had been made by a Minister of the Crown.”

(6)   

In section 51 (powers of entry), in subsection (2)(c), omit “the Ministers or”.

The Broads

60      

Functions of Broads Authority and others in relation to the Broads

35

(1)   

Amend the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 (c. 4) as follows.

(2)   

In section 2 (functions of the Authority: general), in subsection (1), for

 
 

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 6 — Rights of way

24

 

paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute—

“(a)   

conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and

cultural heritage of the Broads;

(b)   

promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment

of the special qualities of the Broads by the public; and”.

5

(3)   

In section 17A (general duty of public bodies etc.), in subsection (1), for

paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute—

“(a)   

conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and

cultural heritage of the Broads;

(b)   

promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment

10

of the special qualities of the Broads by the public; and”.

(4)   

Any increase in the expenses of the Broads Authority attributable to subsection (2) and

not related to protecting the interests of navigation is to be met by grants under section

15 of the 1988 Act.

Part 6

15

Rights of way

61      

Restriction on creation of new public rights of way

(1)   

No public right of way for mechanically propelled vehicles is created after

commencement unless it is—

(a)   

created (by an enactment or instrument or otherwise) on terms that

20

expressly provide for it to be a right of way for such vehicles, or

(b)   

created by the construction, in exercise of powers conferred by virtue of

any enactment, of a road intended to be used by such vehicles.

(2)   

For the purposes of the creation after commencement of any other public right

of way, use (whenever occurring) of a way by mechanically propelled vehicles

25

is to be disregarded.

62      

Ending of certain existing unrecorded public rights of way

(1)   

An existing public right of way for mechanically propelled vehicles is

extinguished if it is over a way which, immediately before commencement—

(a)   

was not shown in a definitive map and statement or was shown in a

30

definitive map and statement only as a footpath, bridleway or

restricted byway, and

(b)   

was being used by the public mainly for one or more of the purposes

for which restricted byways are used or was not being used by the

public as a right of way of any kind.

35

   

But this is subject to subsections (2) to (4).

(2)   

Subsection (1) does not apply to an existing public right of way if—

(a)   

it was not shown in a definitive map and statement but was shown in a

list required to be kept under section 36(6) of the Highways Act 1980

(c. 66) (list of highways maintainable at public expense),

40

(b)   

it was created (by an enactment or instrument or otherwise) on terms

that expressly provide for it to be a right of way for mechanically

propelled vehicles,

 
 

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Part 6 — Rights of way

25

 

(c)   

it was created by the construction, in exercise of powers conferred by

virtue of any enactment, of a road intended to be used by such vehicles,

or

(d)   

it was created by virtue of use by such vehicles during a period ending

before 1st December 1930.

5

(3)   

Where, immediately before commencement, the exercise of an existing public

right of way to which subsection (1) applies was reasonably necessary to

enable access to any land to be obtained by—

(a)   

a person with an interest in that land, or

(b)   

a lawful visitor to that land,

10

   

the right so far as so exercisable on commencement becomes a private right of

way for mechanically propelled vehicles for the benefit of that land.

(4)   

Nothing in this section applies in relation to an area in London to which Part 3

of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c. 69) does not apply.

63      

Supplementary

15

(1)   

In section 53(3)(c)(i) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c. 69)

(modification of definitive map and statement on discovery of evidence of a

right of way), after “public path” insert “, a restricted byway”.

(2)   

In section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (prohibition of driving

mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads)—

20

(a)   

in subsection (2), omit “(subject to section 34A of this Act)”, and

(b)   

in subsection (6), for “and section 34A of this Act do” substitute “does”.

(3)   

In Schedule 7 to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (c. 37), omit

paragraphs 6 and 7.

64      

Interpretation

25

(1)   

In sections 61 and 62

“interest”, in relation to land, includes any estate in land and any right

over land (whether exercisable by virtue of the ownership of an estate

or interest in the land or by virtue of a licence or agreement) and, in

particular, includes rights of common and sporting rights,

30

“mechanically propelled vehicle” does not include a vehicle falling within

section 189(1)(c) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (electrically assisted pedal

cycle), and

expressions defined for the purposes of Part 3 of the Wildlife and

Countryside Act 1981 by section 66(1) of that Act have the same

35

meaning as in that Part.

(2)   

In each of sections 61 and 62 “commencement” means the commencement of

that section; and in section 62 “existing” means in existence immediately before

commencement.

 
 

 
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