PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

Standing Committee C

WILDLIFE BILL

Wednesday 15 May 1996

CONTENTS

Clause 14, as amended, agreed to.

New clauses considered.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose at twenty-eight minutes to Eleven o'clock.

LONDON: HMSO

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79 Standing Committee C Wednesday 15 May 1996

[MR. JOHN MAXTON in the Chair]

Wildlife Bill Clause 14
CITATION

Amendment proposed [8 May]: No. 28, in page 7, line 1, at end insert— "(2) In this Act—

  • 'the Act of 1949' means the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949; and
  • 'the Act of 1981' means the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.".—[Mr. Clappison.]
  • 10.30 am

    Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

    Mr. James Couchman (Gillingham): My hon. Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. Banks) has asked me to offer the Committee his apologies. He was in the middle of speaking when we adjourned our proceedings last week. He has been called to—

    Mr. Elliot Morley (Glanford and Scunthorpe): To account.

    Mr. Couchman: Yes, my hon. Friend has been called to account more than once this week. He apologises for his absence and is content that his remarks should be considered closed.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment made: No. 29, in page 7, line 1, at end insert— "(3) This Act comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed. (4) This Act does not extend to Northern Ireland.".—[Mr. Clappison.]

    Clause 14, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    New Clause 3
    SPECIAL PROTECTION FOR CERTAIN AREAS OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST

    ".In section 29 of the Act of 1981 (special protection for certain areas of special scientific interest), for subsection (2) substitute— '(2) Subsection (1)(a) applies to land which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features.

  • (2A) Subsection (1)(b) applies to land which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State is of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features and which is—
  • for that reason, of national importance; or
  • land in respect of which the conditions mentioned in subsection (2B) are satisfied.
  • 80
  • (2B) The conditions are—
  • that the Secretary of State is satisfied, having regard to information provided for him by the Council—
  • that the Council have taken action to secure conservation of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features in question; but
  • that, for reasons given by the Council to the Secretary of State in writing, that the action has been, or is likely to be, ineffective;
  • that the Council have taken all reasonably practicable steps to notify, in writing, every owner and occupier of any of that land—
  • of the action taken by the Council; and
  • of the reasons why it has been, or is likely to be, ineffective; and
  • that the Secretary of State is satisfied that the circumstances of the case are exceptional.
  • (2C) In determining, for the purposes subsection (2B)(c), whether the circumstances of a case are exceptional, the factors to be taken into account by the Secretary of State include—
  • the importance of the land, by reason of its flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features;
  • the nature of any activity which is likely to take place on the land;
  • the extent to which any such activity is likely to damage the flora, fauna or feature in question; and
  • the conduct, in relation to the land, of any person who is the owner or occupier of any of the land.'.".—[Mr. Clappison.]
  • Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

    New Clause 4
    BYELAWS FOR PROTECTION OF AREAS OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST

    In the Act of 1949 after section 20 insert— "Byelaws for protection of areas of special scientific interest.

  • 20A.—(1) The Nature Conservancy Council areas of special may make byelaws with respect to any land scientific Interest. which is an area of special scientific interest but which is not a nature reserve or a European site.
  • Byelaws may be made—
  • only for the purpose for facilitating the conservation of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land is an area of special scientific interest;
  • only if the Council are satisfied that—
  • they have taken action to secure that conservation; but
  • for reasons which they have given to the Secretary of State in writing, that action has been, or is likely to be, ineffective; and
  • only if every owner and occupier of any land to which the byelaws will apply has given his consent in writing to their being made.
  • Provision may be made in byelaws similar to that which may be made with respect to a nature reserve (by virtue of section 20(2) above).
  • Before making any byelaws, the Council must
  • take all reasonably practicable steps to identify and consult all those persons who have an interest in any of the land to which the byelaws will apply; and
  • have regard to any representations made to them by any person whom they are under a duty to consult.
  • Byelaws shall not interfere with
  • the exercise by any person of a right 81 vested in him as owner, lessee or occupier of any of the land to which the byelaws apply or of any surroundings or adjoining land;
  • the exercise of any public right of way;
  • the exercise of functions of any statutory undertakers;
  • the exercise of functions of an internal drainage board, a district salmon fishery board or the Commissioners appointed under the Tweed Fisheries Act 1969; or
  • the running of a telecommunications code system or the exercise of any right conferred by or in accordance with the telecommunications code or the operator of any such system.
  • In this section—
  • "Area of special scientific interest" means land which is the subject of notification given by the Council under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;
  • "byelaws" means byelaws made under this section; and
  • "European site" means land which is a European site for the purposes of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &.) Regulations 1994.'".—[Mr. Clappison.]
  • Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

    New Clause 5
    RESTORATION WHERE BYELAWS CONTRAVENED

    ". In section 31 of the Act of 1981 (restoration where byelaws contravened), for subsection (1) substitute— "(1) This subsection applies if— 82

  • the operation in respect of which a person is convicted of an offence under section 28 or 29, or
  • the act or omission in respect of which a person is convicted of an offence under any byelaw made under section 20A of the 1949 Act (protection of areas of special scientific interest),
  • 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 out is of special interest. (1A) This subsection applies if the act or omission in respect of which a person is convicted of an offence under any byelaw made under—
  • section 20 (protection of nature reserves) or 21 (establishment of nature reserves by local authorities) of the 1949 Act, or
  • the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &.) Regulations 1994 or any instrument amending, or made in substitution for, those regulations,
  • has destroyed or damaged any of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features of special interest on the land in question.
    (1B) If subsection (1) or (1A) applies, the court by which the person is convicted may, in addition to dealing with him in any other way, 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 in respect of which the offence was committed to its former condition as may be so specified.'.".—[Mr. Clappison.]

    Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

    Bill, as amended, to be reported

    Committee rose at twenty-eight minutes to Eleven o'clock.

    THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

    Maxton, Mr. John (Chairman)

    Ainsworth, Mr. Peter

    Atkinson, Mr. Peter

    Brazier, Mr.

    Carlisle, Sir Kenneth

    Clappison, Mr.

    Couchman, Mr.

    Hill, Mr. Keith

    Merley, Mr.

    Tyler, MR.