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Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Bill [H.L.]
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Make new provision in relation to areas of outstanding natural beauty.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

Purposes of designation of areas of outstanding natural beauty.     1. - (1) Section 87 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (designation of areas of outstanding natural beauty) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) At the beginning insert-
 
 
    "(1) This section and sections 87A to 88D have effect for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the areas specified in subsection (1A)."
 
      (3) Subsections (1) and (1A) are renumbered (1A) and (1B) respectively.
 
Duty of certain bodies and persons to have regard to conservation and enhancement of areas of outstanding natural beauty.     2. - (1) After section 87 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 insert-
 
 
"Duty of certain bodies and persons to have regard to conservation and enhancement of areas of outstanding natural beauty.     87A. - (1) In exercising or performing any functions in relation to, or so as to affect, land in an area of outstanding natural beauty, any relevant authority shall have regard to the need to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of that area.
 
    (2) For the purposes of this section "relevant authority" means-
 
 
    (a) any Minister of the Crown,
 
    (b) any public body,
 
    (c) any statutory undertaker, or
 
    (d) any person holding public office.
      (3) In subsection (2)-
 
 
    "public body" includes-
 
      (a) any local authority as defined in section 11A(6),
 
      (b) any joint planning board within the meaning of section 2 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and
 
      (c) any joint committee appointed under section 102(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972;
 
    "public office" has the meaning given in section 11A(4)."
Management and conservation of areas of outstanding natural beauty.     3. - (1) After section 88 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (functions of certain bodies in relation to areas of outstanding natural beauty) insert-
 
 
"Duty of local planning authority in relation to areas of outstanding natural beauty.     88A. - (1) Subject to subsection (3), it shall be the duty of every local planning authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of an area of outstanding natural beauty to promote the conservation and management of the area of outstanding natural beauty or so much thereof as is included in their area.
 
    (2) Subject to subsection (3) and in pursuance of its duty under subsection (1), every local planning authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or part of an area of outstanding natural beauty shall also seek to foster the economic and social well-being of communities within the area of outstanding natural beauty, but without incurring significant expenditure in doing so.
 
      (3) Subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply to a local planning authority in respect of an area of outstanding natural beauty for which a conservation board has been established in accordance with section 88B of this Act.
 
      (4) In this section "local planning authority" has the meaning given in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
 
Conservation boards for areas of outstanding natural beauty.     88B. - (1) The Secretary of State, acting on the recommendation of the appropriate countryside body or bodies, may by order establish a board (to be known as a "conservation board") to promote the conservation and management of an area of outstanding natural beauty and perform such other functions as may be specified in the order.
 
      (2) In pursuance of its duty under subsection (1), a conservation board shall also seek to foster the economic and social well-being of communities within its area, but without incurring significant expenditure in doing so.
 
      (3) Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State shall-
 
 
    (a) consult-
 
      (i) the appropriate countryside body or bodies;
 
      (ii) every local authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of the area of outstanding natural beauty; and
 
      (iii) such other local authorities as he considers appropriate, and
 
    (b) be satisfied that there is a broad measure of agreement amongst those consulted that a conservation board should be established.
      (4) A conservation board shall be a body corporate and shall consist of-
 
 
    (a) such number of local authority members, and
 
    (b) such number of members to be appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with the appropriate countryside body or bodies so as to reflect both national and local community interests,
  as may be specified in the order.
 
      (5) The powers of a conservation board shall include the power to do anything which in the opinion of the board is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the accomplishment of the functions mentioned in subsection (1).
 
      (6) A conservation board shall have the powers of ownership and acquisition of land set out in the Third Schedule to this Act.
 
      (7) An order under this section providing for the establishment of a conservation board may also provide for the establishment of an advisory council, consisting of such members as may be specified in the order, to advise the conservation board on the exercise of its functions.
 
      (8) In this section and in section 88C "appropriate countryside body" means-
 
 
    (a) in relation to an area of outstanding natural beauty in England, the Countryside Agency and the Nature Conservancy Council for England; and
 
    (b) in relation to an area of outstanding natural beauty in Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales.
Area of outstanding natural beauty management plans.     88C. - (1) Every local planning authority to which section 88A(1) applies and every conservation board shall prepare, publish and adopt a management plan (to be known as an "area of outstanding natural beauty management plan") which formulates its policy for carrying out its functions in relation to an area of outstanding natural beauty.
 
      (2) The area of outstanding natural beauty management plan shall be published in draft form for consultation purposes.
 
      (3) Written submissions will be accepted for a period of six weeks beginning on the date of publication.
 
      (4) Submissions will be taken into account by the local planning authority and the conservation board in producing the final management plan.
 
      (5) Where two or more local planning authorities have a duty under section 88A(1) in relation to the same area of outstanding natural beauty they shall prepare, publish and adopt a plan jointly.
 
      (6) A conservation board or local planning authority shall review its area of outstanding natural beauty management plan at intervals of not more than five years.
 
      (7) A conservation board or local planning authority which is proposing to publish, adopt or review any plan under this section shall give notice of the proposal and send a copy of the plan together (where appropriate) with any proposed amendments of the plan to the Secretary of State and to-
 
 
    (a) the appropriate countryside body or bodies,
 
    (b) every local authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of the area of outstanding natural beauty, and
 
    (c) such other bodies, organisations and members of the public with an interest in the area as they think fit,
  and shall take into consideration any observations made by a body or authority mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b).
 
Conservation boards: finances.     88D. - (1) A conservation board shall have power in respect of every financial year beginning after the establishment of that board to issue levies to the councils by whom local authority members fall to be appointed to it, and accordingly section 71 of the Environment Act 1995 shall apply to a conservation board as if references in that section to a National Park authority were references to the board.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may make grants to a conservation board for such purposes, of such amounts and on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit, and accordingly sections 72 and 73 of the Environment Act 1995 shall apply as if references in that section to a National Park authority were references to the board."
 
      (2) In that Act, after the second Schedule insert the Schedule set out in Schedule 1 to this Act.
 
Development plans and applications for planning permission.     4. - (1) The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is amended as follows.
 
      (2) After section 52 insert-
 
 
"Development plans for areas of outstanding natural beauty.     52A. - (1) Where a local planning authority is exercising its functions under or by virtue of this Chapter in preparing proposals to make, alter, replace or repeal a development plan they shall-
 
    (a) in respect of any land in an area for which an area of outstanding natural beauty management plan has been adopted under section 88C of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, incorporate the provisions of that management plan so far as they are material to the formulation of the development plan unless relevant considerations dictate otherwise, and
 
    (b) in respect of any land in an area for which a conservation board has been established under section 88B of that Act, consult the board.
      (2) If a conservation board objects to proposals for the making, alteration, replacement or repeal of a development plan and the objection is not by writing withdrawn then-
 
 
    (a) in the case of a structure plan, the Secretary of State shall cause an examination in public to be held under section 35(3)(b), and
 
    (b) in the case of a local plan, the local planning authority shall cause a local inquiry or other hearing to be held under section 42,
  unless the proposals are withdrawn."
 
      (3) After section 71 insert-
 
 
"Planning permission relating to areas of outstanding natural beauty.     71A. - (1) Where it appears to a local planning authority that an application for planning permission is likely to affect any land in an area for which a conservation board has been established under section 88B of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 ("the 1949 Act"), they shall-
 
    (a) give notice of the application to the board, and
 
    (b) in determining the application, take into account any representations made by the board.
      (2) Subsection (1) does not affect any other duties of a local planning authority under or by virtue of this Part.
 
      (3) So far as the relevant provisions of an area of outstanding natural beauty management plan adopted pursuant to section 88C of the 1949 Act are not incorporated in a development plan, due regard shall be given to those provisions in making any determination under section 70 in respect of or relating to any proposed development in an area for which that management plan has been adopted and to which that development plan applies."
 
      (4) In section 77-
 
 
    (a) after subsection (3) insert-
 
    "(3A) Where an application has been made for development and, in the opinion of the local planning authority or a conservation board established under section 88B of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, the development will materially affect an area of outstanding natural beauty or any part of it, the local planning authority shall give notice of the application to the Secretary of State."
 
 
    (b) in subsection (4), after "71(1) and (2)," insert "71A,"; and
 
    (c) in subsection (5), for ", if either the applicant or the local planning authority wish," substitute ", if the applicant, the conservation board or the local planning authority wish,".
Consequential amendments and repeal.     5. The consequential amendments and repeal set out in Schedule 2 shall have effect.
 
Short title, commencement and extent.     6. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Act 2000.
 
      (2) Sections 1 to 5 shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint.
 
      (3) This Act extends to England and Wales only.
 
 
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