Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c. 69)
1981 c. 69 - continued

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Part II

 

NATURE CONSERVATION, COUNTRYSIDE AND NATIONAL PARKS

 

Nature conservation


Areas of special scientific interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1971 c. 78.
1972 c. 52 .


        28.—(1)  Where the Nature Conservancy Council are of the opinion that any area of land is of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features, it shall be the duty of the Council to notify that fact—

     (a)  to the local planning authority in whose area the land is situated;
     (b)  to every owner and occupier of any of that land ; and
     (c)  to the Secretary of State.

    (2)  Before giving a notification under subsection (1). the Council shall give notice to the persons mentioned in that subsection—

     (a)  setting out the proposed notification; and
     (b)  specifying 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 thereto may be made,

and shall consider any representation or objections duly made.

    (3)  If, after reasonable inquiry has been made, the Council are satisfied that it is not practicable to ascertain the name or address of an owner or occupier of any land a notification or notice required to be served on him may be served by addressing it to him by the description "owner" or "occupier" of the land (describing it) and by affixing it to some conspicuous object or objects on the land.

    (4)  A notification under subsection (1)(b) shall specify—

     (a)  the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land is of special interest; and
     (b)  any operations appearing to the Council to be likely to damage that flora or fauna or those features.

    (5)  The owner or occupier of any land which has been notified under subsection (1)(b) shall not carry out, or cause or permit to be carried out, on that land any operation specified in the notification unless—

     (a)  one of them has, after the commencement date, given the Council written notice of a proposal to carry out the operation specifying its nature and the land on which it is proposed to carry it out; and
     (b)  one of the conditions specified in subsection (6) is fulfilled.

    (6)  The said conditions are —

     (a)  that the operation is carried out with the Council's written consent ;
     (b)  that the operation is carried out in accordance with the terms of an agreement under section 16 of the 1949 Act or section 15 of the 1968 Act ; and
     (c)  that three months have expired from the giving of the notice under subsection (5).

    (7)  A person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes subsection (5) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 500.

    (8)  It is a reasonable excuse in any event for a person to carry out an operation if —

     (a)  the operation was authorised by a planning permission granted on an application under Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 or Part III of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 ; or
     (b)  the operation was an emergency operation particulars of which (including details of the emergency) were notified to the Council as soon as practicable after the commencement of the operation.

    (9)  The Council shall have power to enforce the provisions of this section ; but nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorising the Council to institute proceedings in Scotland for an offence.

    (10)  Proceedings in England and Wales for an offence under subsection (7) shall not, without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, be taken by a person other than the Council.

    (11)  A notification under subsection (1)(b) of land in England and Wales shall be a local land charge.

    (12)  A notification under subsection (1)(b) of land in Scotland shall be registered either—

     (a)  in a case where the land is registered in that Register, in the Land Register of Scotland ; or
     (b)  in any other case, in the appropriate Division of the General Register of Sasines.

    (13)  Section 23 of the 1949 Act (which is superseded by this section) shall cease to have effect; but any notification given under that section shall have effect as if given under subsection (1)(a).

    (14)  Subsection (2) shall not apply in relation to a notification of any land under subsection (1)(6) where a notification of that land under the said section 23 has effect as if given under subsection (1)(a).


Special protection for certain areas of special scientific interest.


        29.—(1)  Where it appears to the Secretary of State expedient to do so—

     (a)  in the case of any land to which this paragraph applies, for the purpose of securing the survival in Great Britain of any kind of animal or plant or of complying with an international obligation; or
     (b)  in the case of any land to which this paragraph applies, for the purpose of conserving any of its flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features,

he may, after consultation with the Nature Conservancy Council, by order apply subsection (3) to that land;. and the provisions of Schedule 11 shall have effect as to the making, confirmation and coming into operation of orders under this section.

An order made under this section may be amended or revoked by a subsequent order so made.

    (2)  Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) apply to any land which in the opinion of the Secretary of State is—

     (a)  of special interest; and
     (b)  in the case of paragraph (b) of that subsection, of national importance,

by reason of any of its flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features.

    (3)  Subject to subsection (4), no person shall carry out on any land to which this subsection applies any operation which—

     (a)  appears to the Secretary of State to be likely to destroy or damage the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land is land to which paragraph (a) or, as the case may be, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) applies; and
     (b)  is specified in the order applying this subsection to the land.

    (4)  Subsection (3) shall not apply in relation to any operation carried out, or caused or permitted to be carried out, by the owner or occupier of the land if—

     (a)  one of them has, after the commencement date, given the Council notice of a proposal to carry out the operation, specifying its nature and the land on which it is proposed to carry it out; and
     (b)  one of the conditions specified in subsection (5) is fulfilled.

    (5)  The said conditions are—

     (a)  that the operation is carried out with the Council's written consent;
     (b)  that the operation is carried out in accordance with the terms of an agreement under section 16 of the 1949 Act or section 15 of the 1968 Act; and
     (c)  subject to subsections (6) and (7), that three months have expired from the giving of the notice under subsection (4).

    (6)  If before the expiration of the period mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (5) the Council offer to enter into an agreement for the acquisition of the interest of the person who gave the notice under subsection (4) or an agreement under section 16 of the 1949 Act or section 15 of the 1968 Act providing for the making by them of payments to that person, that paragraph shall have effect as if for the said period there were substituted,—

     (a)  where the agreement is entered into before the expiration of twelve months from the giving of the notice, the period expiring on the day on which it is entered into ;
     (b)  in any other case, twelve months from the giving of the notice or three months from rejection or withdrawal of the offer to enter into the agreement, whichever period last expires.

    (7)  If before the expiration of the period mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (5), or that paragraph as it has effect by virtue of subsection (6), an order is made for the compulsory acquisition by the Council of the interest of the person who gave the notice under subsection (4), that paragraph shall have effect as if for the said period there were substituted the period expiring—

     (a)  in the case of an order which is confirmed, on the day on which the Council enter on the land;
     (b)  in any other case, on the day on which the order is withdrawn or the Secretary of State decides not to confirm it.

    (8)  A person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes subsection (3) shall be liable—

     (a)  on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;
     (b)  on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

    (9)  It is a reasonable excuse in any event for a person to carry out an operation if—

     (a)  the operation was authorised by a planning permission granted on an application under Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 or Part III of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972; or
     (b)  the operation was an emergency operation particulars of which (including details of the emergency) were notified to the Council as soon as practicable after the commencement of the operation.

    (10)  An order made under this section in relation to land in Scotland shall be registered either—

     (a)  in a case where the land affected by the order is registered in that Register, in the Land Register of Scotland; or
     (b)  in any other case, in the appropriate Division of the General Register of Sasines.

    (11)  A report submitted by the Council to the Secretary of State under paragraph 17 of Schedule 3 to the Nature Conservancy Council Act 1973 for any year shall set out particulars of any areas of land as respects which orders under this section have come into operation during that year.


Compensation where order is made under s. 29.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1973 c. 26.

1973 c. 56.

 

1961 c. 33.

1963 c. 52.


        30.—(1)  Subsection (2) applies where an order is made under section 29 and subsection (3) applies where—

     (a)  notice of a proposal to carry out an operation is duly given to the Nature Conservancy Council under subsection (4) of that section; and
     (b)  paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of that section has effect as modified by subsection (6) or (7) of that section.

    (2)  The Council shall pay compensation to any person having at the time of the making of the order an interest in land comprised in an agricultural unit comprising land to which the order relates who, on a claim made to the Council within the time and in the manner prescribed by regulations under this section, shows that the value of his interest is less than what it would have been if the order had not been made; and the amount of the compensation shall be equal to the difference between the two values.

    (3)  The Council shall pay compensation to any person having at the time of the giving of the notice an interest in land to which the notice relates who, on a claim made to the Council within the time and in the manner prescribed by regulations under this section, shows that—

     (a)  he has reasonably incurred expenditure which has been rendered abortive, or expenditure in carrying out work which has been rendered abortive, by reason of paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of section 29 having effect as modified by subsection (6) or (7) of that section ; or
     (b)  he has incurred loss or damage which is directly attributable to that paragraph having effect as so modified;

but nothing in this subsection shall entitle any such person to compensation in respect of any reduction in the value of his interest in the land.

    (4)  For the purposes of subsection (2)—

     (a)  an interest in land shall be valued as at the time when the order is made;
     (b)  where a person, by reason of his having more than one interest in land, makes more than one claim under that subsection in respect of the same order, his various interests shall be valued together;
     (c)  section 10 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 (mortgages, trusts for sale and settlements) or section 10 of the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1973 (restricted interests in land) shall apply in relation to compensation under that subsection as it applies in relation to compensation under Part I of that Act.

    (5)  For the purposes of assessing any compensation payable under subsection (2), the rules set out in section 5 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 or section 12 of the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1963 shall, so far as applicable and subject to any necessary modifications, have effect as they have effect for the purpose of assessing compensation for the compulsory acquisition of an interest in land.

    (6)  No claim shall be made under subsection (2) in respect of any order under section 29 unless the Secretary of State has given notice under paragraph 6(1) or (2) of Schedule 11 of his decision in respect of the order; and, without prejudice to subsection (4)(a), that decision will be taken into account in assessing the compensation payable in respect of the order.

    (7)  Compensation under this section shall carry interest, at the rate for the time being prescribed under section 32 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 or section 40 of the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1963, from tie date of the claim until payment

    (8)  Except in so far as may be provided by regulations under this section, any question of disputed compensation under this section shall be referred to and determined by the Lands Tribunal or the Lands Tribunal for Scotland .

    (9)  In relation to the determination of any such question, the provisions of sections 2 and 4 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 or sections 9 and 11 of the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1963 (procedure and costs) shall apply, subject to any necessary modifications and to the provisions of any regulations under this section.

    (10)  Regulations under this section shall be made by the Secretary of State and shall be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

    (11)  In this section "agricultural unit" means land which is occupied as a unit for agricultural purposes, including any dwelling-house or other building occupied by the same person for the purpose of farming the land.


Restoration where order under s. 29 is contravened.

 

 

1968 c. 19.


        31.—(1)  Where the operation in respect of which a person is convicted of an offence under section 29 has destroyed or damaged any of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land on which it was carried put is of special interest, the court by which he is convicted, in addition to dealing with him in any other way, may make an order requiring him to carry out, within such period as may be specified in the order, such operations for the purpose of restoring the land to its former condition as may be so specified.

    (2)  An order under this section made on conviction on indictment shall be treated for the purposes of sections 30 and 42(1) and (2) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (effect of appeals on orders for the restitution of property) as an order for the restitution of property; and where by reason of the quashing by the Court of Appeal of a person's conviction any such order does not take effect, and on appeal to the House of Lords the conviction is restored by that House, the House may make any order under this section which could be made on his conviction by the court which convicted him.

    (3)  In the case of an order under this section made by a magistrates court the period specified in the order shall not begin to run—

     (a)  in any case until the expiration of the period for the time being prescribed by law for the giving of notice of appeal against a decision of a magistrates' court;
     (b)  where notice of appeal is given within the period so prescribed, until determination of the appeal.

    (4)  At any time before an order under this section has been complied with or fully complied with, the court by which it was made may, on the application of the person against whom it was made, discharge or vary the order if it appears to the court that a change in circumstances has made compliance or full compliance with the order impracticable or unnecessary.

    (5)  If, within the period specified in an order under this section, the person against whom it was made fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with it, he shall be liable on summary conviction—

     (a)  to a fine not exceeding £1,000 ; and
     (b)  in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding £100 for each day during which the offence continues after conviction.

    (6)  If, within the period specified in an order under this section, any operations specified in the order have not been carried out. the Nature Conservancy Council may enter the land and carry out those operations and recover from the person against whom the order was made any expenses reasonably incurred by them in doing so.

    (7)  In the application of this section to Scotland —

     (a)  subsections (2) and (3) shall not apply; and
     (b)  for the purposes of any appeal or review, an order under this section is a sentence.


Duties of agriculture Ministers with respect to areas of special scientific interest.

1970 c. 40.


        32.—(1)  Where an application for a grant under a scheme made under section 29 of the Agriculture Act 1970 (farm capital grants) is made as respects expenditure incurred or to be incurred for the purpose of activities on land notified under section 28(1) or land to which section 29(3) applies, the appropriate Minister—

     (a)  shall, so far as may be consistent with the purposes of the scheme and section 29 of the said Act of 1970. so exercise his functions thereunder as to further the conservation of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land is of special interest; and
     (b)  where the Nature Conservancy Council have objected to the making of the grant on the ground that the activities in question have destroyed or damaged or will destroy or damage that flora or fauna or those features, shall not make the grant except after considering the objection and, in the case of land in England, after consulting with the Secretary of State.

    (2)  Where, in consequence of an objection by the Council, an application for a grant as respects expenditure to be incurred is refused on the ground that the activities in question will have such an effect as is mentioned in subsection (1)(b). the Council shall, within three months of their receiving notice of the appropriate Minister's decision, offer to enter into, in the terms of a draft submitted to the applicant, an agreement under section 16 of the 1949 Act or section 15 of the 1968 Act—

     (a)  imposing restrictions as respects those activities; and
     (b)  providing for the making by them of payments to the applicant.

    (3)  In this section "the appropriate Minister" has the same meaning as in section 29 of the said Act of 1970.


Ministerial guidance as respects areas of special scientific interest.


        33.—(1)  The Ministers shall from time to time, after consultation with the Nature Conservancy Council and such persons appearing to them to represent other interests concerned as they consider appropriate—

    (a)  prepare codes containing such recommendations, advice and information as they consider proper for the guidance of—

       (i)   persons exercising functions under sections 28 to 32; and
       (ii)   persons affected or likely to be affected by the exercise of any of those functions; and
     (b)  revise any such code by revoking, varying, amending or adding to the provisions of the code in such manner as the Ministers think fit.

    (2)  A code prepared in pursuance of subsection (1) and any alterations proposed to be made on a revision of such a code shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament forthwith after being prepared; and the code or revised code, as the case may be. shall not be issued until the code or the proposed alterations have been approved by both Houses.

    (3)  Subject to subsection (2). the Ministers shall cause every code prepared or revised in pursuance of subsection (1) to be printed, and may cause copies of it to be put on sale to the public at such price as the Ministers may determine.


Limestone pavement orders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1971 c. 78.
1972 c. 52.


        34.—(1)  Where the Nature Conservancy Council or the Com­ mission are of the opinion that any land in the countryside which comprises a limestone pavement is of special interest by reason of its flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features, it shall be the duty of the Council or the Commission to notify that fact to the local planning authority in whose area the land is situated.

    (2)  Where it appears to the Secretary of State or the relevant authority that the character or appearance of any land notified under subsection (1) would be likely to be adversely affected by the removal of the limestone or by its disturbance in any way whatever, the Secretary of State or that authority may make an order (in this section referred to as a "limestone pavement order") designating the land and prohibiting the removal or disturbance of limestone on or in it; and the provisions of Schedule 11 shall have effect as to the making, confirmation and coming into operation of limestone pavement orders.

    (3)  The relevant authority may. after consultation with the Council and the Commission, amend or revoke a limestone pavement order made by the authority; and the Secretary of State may, after such consultation as aforesaid, amend or revoke any such order made by him or that authority but, in the case of an order made by that authority, only after consultation with that authority.

    (4)  If any person without reasonable excuse removes or disturbs limestone on or in any land designated by a limestone pavement order he shall be liable—

     (a)  on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;
     (b)  on conviction on indictment, to a fine. 

    (5)  It is a reasonable excuse in any event for a person to remove or disturb limestone or cause or permit its removal or disturbance, if the removal or disturbance was authorised by a planning permission granted on an application under Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 or Part III of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972.

    (6)  In this section—

    "the Commission" means the Countryside Commission in relation to England and Wales and the Countryside Commission for Scotland in relation to Scotland ;
    "limestone pavement" means an area of limestone which lies wholly or partly exposed on the surface of the ground and has been fissured by natural erosion;

    "the relevant authority " means the county planning authority in relation to England and Wales and the authority exercising district planning functions in relation to Scotland .

 
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