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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, in Committee the noble Lord, Lord Luke, and the noble Earl, Lord Caithness, referred us to Section 31 of the Land Compensation Act 1961. It is quite right that where a notice to treat following a compulsory purchase order is withdrawn the costs of the owner or occupier should be reimbursed. However, I do not think that this is a parallel situation. On a successful objection to a compulsory purchase order such that it is not confirmed, the costs of making the objection at a public inquiry follow the event; that is, an award of costs is made automatically. If a compulsory purchase order is confirmed, the acquiring authority then serves a notice to treat. The owner or occupier needs to take steps in response--for instance, terminating an operation or acquiring new property--which would be rendered abortive if the notice were withdrawn. Confirmation in such a case would take away from the objector some right or interest in land for which the legislation gives an explicit right to compensation.

In planning law, a revocation or discontinuance notice which prevents implementation of a previously granted planning permission or a stop notice requiring cessation of activities which do not have the benefit of planning permission and where enforcement notice proceedings are being taken are examples of analogous cases where compensation is payable and where costs would "follow the event if the notice was not confirmed on appeal. That could also arise under this Bill if an agency sought to withdraw an existing consent and its action was quashed following an appeal.

But this is not the case with a management scheme. A scheme would be the result of extensive consultation and discussion. It reflects, in statute, the conservation agencies' existing practices in agreeing site management statements and conservation plans, which land managers have welcomed and encouraged. The purpose of the scheme is to reach agreement on the preferred management of the conservation interest. This could include confirming activities which may take place or which have consent. It may be accompanied by a management agreement supporting positive management. It should therefore be of benefit to an owner or occupier, although it is quite possible that it could be withdrawn in favour of a voluntary agreement. It does not remove any rights and there is no entitlement to compensation.

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A management scheme is by no means analogous to a compulsory purchase order, as the noble Lord, Lord Luke, appears to suggest. I hope that he will not press this amendment.

Lord Luke: My Lords, I am not terribly happy with that explanation. I believe that this is similar to a compulsory purchase order which has not been carried out. This concerns an outside agency which would come into an owner's private property. Obviously the owner would wish to secure the best possible advice as to how he should deal with it and thus costs will be incurred. If the whole procedure then goes through, everything will be taken care of but if, for whatever good reason, it is then stopped, it seems to me that it would be extremely unfair on the owner.

I should like to test the opinion of the House on this matter.

10.39 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 206) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 20; Not-Contents, 46.

Division No. 1


Arran, E.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buxton of Alsa, L.
Byford, B.
Dixon-Smith, L. [Teller]
Elton, L.
Glentoran, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Luke, L. [Teller]
Marlesford, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Peel, E.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Selborne, E.
Waldegrave of North Hill, L.
Wilcox, B.


Acton, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Billingham, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Filkin, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Greaves, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Maddock, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Simon, V.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Thornton, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

16 Nov 2000 : Column 463

10.49 p.m.

[Amendment No. 206A not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 207:

    Page 122, line 25, at end insert ("without reasonable excuse").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 208 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 209:

    Page 122, line 34, at end insert--

("( ) It is a reasonable excuse in any event for a person to do what is mentioned in subsection (6) if--
(a) paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (4) is satisfied in relation to what was done (reading references there to an operation as references to the destruction, damage or disturbance referred to in subsection (6)), and
(b) where appropriate, subsection (5) is also satisfied, reading the reference there to an operation in the same way.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 210 and 211:

    Page 123, line 23, at end insert--

28R.--(1) The Nature Conservancy Council may make byelaws for the protection of a site of special scientific interest.
(2) The following provisions of the 1949 Act apply in relation to byelaws under this section as they apply in relation to byelaws under section 20 of that Act--
(a) subsections (2) and (3) of section 20 (reading references there to nature reserves as references to sites of special scientific interest); and
(b) sections 106 and 107.").
Page 124, line 25, at end insert--

("(1B) Byelaws made by virtue of section 28R may apply to Crown land if the appropriate authority consents.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 10 [Consequential amendments relating to sites of special scientific interest]:

Baroness Byford moved Amendment No. 211A:

    Page 126, leave out lines 9 to 12.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment speaks for itself. We on these Benches are asking the Government whether they wish to continue to include these three lines in the 1981 Act. In the light of our feelings on the matter, we feel that they should not be included at this stage of the Bill. I beg to move.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, the noble Baroness says that the amendment speaks for itself. I do not wish to delay the House, but I wonder whether she could interpret it for me. I have read through the amendment, but I am not familiar with the details of the Act to which it refers. Perhaps the noble Baroness could expand upon her explanation.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, perhaps I may try to do so. The amendment has the effect of

16 Nov 2000 : Column 464

retaining references to English legislation in the 1981 Act. This Bill applies only to England and Wales, whereas the 1981 Act also applies to Scotland. The Bill inserts into the 1981 Act a new Section 28, which will apply in England and Wales. Paragraph l(2) of Schedule 10 merely deletes references in the original Section 28, which will be retained in Scotland, where these refer only to England and Wales, as these references will be obsolete. References to these matters have been carried forward for England and Wales in the new Sections 28 to 28Q, set out in Schedule 9 to the Bill. Therefore, what we have done is intentional.

Baroness Byford: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Schedule 11 [Transitional provisions and savings relating to sites of special scientific interest]:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 212:

    Page 128, line 24, at end insert ("and "stop notice" has the meaning given by paragraph 9(3) of this Schedule").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 213 to 216 and 262A. Amendments Nos. 212 and 216 are technical amendments to Schedule 11. They set out the transitional arrangements for SSSIs and relate to procedures for service of a stop notice. Amendment No. 212 defines the term "stop notice" for the purposes of the schedule. Amendment No. 216 applies the conservation agencies' powers of entry in Section 71 of the 1981 Act so as to enable them to,

    "determine whether or not to give or vary a stop notice".

The amendment also applies to Schedule 11 generally the procedures for service of notices, which already apply to Part II of the 1981 Act.

Amendments Nos. 213, 214 and 215 clarify the time limits for an owner or occupier to make representations on the statement made by the conservation agencies of views about the management of the land. The owner/occupier is notified of the date, not being less than three months, on or before which he may make representations about the proposed statement. The agency then has a further two months to consider any representations and confirm or revise its statement of views.

Amendment No. 262 clarifies the timing of commencement of the transitional provisions set out in Schedule 11; namely, that they come into force two months after Royal Assent, along with the other SSSI provisions of this Bill. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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