Countryside and Rights of Way Bill - continued        House of Lords

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  PART IV
  AREAS OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY
Designation of areas.     82. - (1) Where it appears to the Countryside Agency (in this Part referred to as "the Agency") that an area which is in England but not in a National Park is of such outstanding natural beauty that it is desirable that the provisions of this Part relating to areas designated under this section should apply to it, the Agency may, for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area, by order designate the area for the purposes of this Part as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
 
      (2) Where it appears to the Countryside Council for Wales (in this Part referred to as "the Council") that an area which is in Wales but not in a National Park is of such outstanding natural beauty that it is desirable that the provisions of this Part relating to areas designated under this section should apply to it, the Council may, for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area, by order designate the area for the purposes of this Part as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
 
      (3) In this Part "area of outstanding natural beauty" means an area designated under this section as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
 
Procedure for designation orders.     83. - (1) Where the Agency or the Council propose to make an order under section 82, the Agency or the Council shall consult every local authority whose area includes any part of the area to which the proposed order is to relate.
 
      (2) Before making the order, the Agency or the Council shall then publish, in the London Gazette and in one or more newspapers circulating in the area of every such local authority, notice that they propose to make the order, indicating the effect of the order and stating the time within which and manner in which representations with respect to the proposed order may be made to the Agency or the Council (as the case may be), and shall consider any representations duly made.
 
      (3) An order under section 82 shall not come into operation unless and until confirmed-
 
 
    (a) in the case of an order made by the Agency, by the Secretary of State, or
 
    (b) in the case of an order made by the Council, by the National Assembly for Wales,
  and, in submitting any such order to the Secretary of State or the Assembly, the Agency or Council shall forward to the Secretary of State or the Assembly any representations made by a local authority consulted under subsection (1) or made by any other person under subsection (2), other than representations to which effect is given by the order as submitted to the Secretary of State or the Assembly.
 
      (4) The Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales may confirm an order submitted to him or it under this section either as submitted or with such modifications as the Secretary of State or the Assembly thinks expedient.
 
      (5) Before refusing to confirm an order under section 82, or determining to confirm it with modifications, the Secretary of State shall consult the Agency and every local authority whose area includes any land to which the order as submitted, or as proposed to be modified, relates.
 
      (6) Before refusing to confirm an order under section 82, or determining to confirm it with modifications, the National Assembly for Wales shall consult the Council and every local authority whose area includes any land to which the order as submitted, or as proposed to be modified, relates.
 
      (7) An order under section 82 may be revoked or varied by a subsequent order under that section.
 
      (8) Without prejudice to the powers of the Agency or the Council to vary an order under section 82, the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may by order vary any order under that section made by the Agency or the Council; and subsection (1) applies to any order under section 82 made by the Secretary of State or the Assembly by virtue of this subsection with the substitution for references to the Agency of references to the Secretary of State and for references to the Council of references to the Assembly.
 
      (9) It is the duty of the Agency and the Council to secure that copies of any order under section 82 relating to England or, as the case may be, to Wales, are available for inspection by the public at all reasonable times-
 
 
    (a) at the office of the Agency or, as the case may be, the Council,
 
    (b) at the offices of each local authority whose area includes any part of the area to which the order relates, and
 
    (c) at such other place or places in or near that area as the Agency or, as the case may be, the Council may determine.
Functions of certain bodies in relation to areas of outstanding natural beauty.     84. - (1) The following provisions of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (in this Part referred to as "the 1949 Act")-
 
 
    (a) section 6(4)(e) (duty of Agency or Council to give advice in connection with development matters),
 
    (b) section 9 (consultation in connection with development plan),
 
    (c) section 64(5) (consultation in connection with access agreements), and
 
    (d) section 65(5) and (5A) (consultation in connection with access orders),
  apply in relation to areas of outstanding natural beauty as they apply in relation to National Parks.
 
      (2) In section 6(4)(e) of the 1949 Act as it applies by virtue of subsection (1), "appropriate planning authority" means a local planning authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of an area of outstanding natural beauty and includes a local authority, not being a local planning authority, by whom any powers of a local planning authority as respects an area of outstanding natural beauty are exercisable, whether under the 1949 Act or otherwise.
 
      (3) Section 4A of the 1949 Act (which confers on the Council functions under Part II of that Act corresponding to those exercisable as respects England by the Agency) applies to the provisions mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b) for the purposes of their application to areas of outstanding natural beauty as that section applies for the purposes of Part II of the 1949 Act.
 
      (4) A local planning authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of an area of outstanding natural beauty has power, subject to subsections (5) and (6), to take all such action as appears to them expedient for the accomplishment of the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area of outstanding natural beauty or so much of it as is included in their area.
 
      (5) Nothing in this Part is to be taken to limit the generality of subsection (4); but in so far as the provisions of this Part or of the 1949 Act confer specific powers falling within that subsection those powers are to be exercised in accordance with those provisions and subject to any limitations expressed or implied in them.
 
      (6) Without prejudice to the powers conferred by this Part, subsection (4) has effect only for the purpose of removing any limitation imposed by law on the capacity of a local planning authority by virtue of its constitution, and does not authorise any act or omission on the part of such an authority which apart from that subsection would be actionable at the suit of any person on any ground other than such a limitation.
 
      (7) In this section "local planning authority" has the same meaning as in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
 
General duty of public bodies etc.     85. - (1) In exercising or performing any functions in relation to, or so as to affect, land in an area of outstanding natural beauty, a relevant authority shall have regard to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area of outstanding natural beauty.
 
      (2) The following are relevant authorities for the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) any Minister of the Crown,
 
    (b) any public body,
 
    (c) any statutory undertaker,
 
    (d) any person holding public office.
      (3) In subsection (2)-
 
  "public body" includes
 
 
    (a) a county council, county borough council, district council, parish council or community council;
 
    (b) a joint planning board within the meaning of section 2 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;
 
    (c) a joint committee appointed under section 102(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972;
  "public office" means-
 
 
    (a) an office under Her Majesty;
 
    (b) an office created or continued in existence by a public general Act; or
 
    (c) an office the remuneration in respect of which is paid out of money provided by Parliament.
Establishment of conservation boards.     86. - (1) The Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may-
 
 
    (a) in the case of any existing area of outstanding natural beauty, or
 
    (b) in connection with the designation of any area as an area of outstanding natural beauty,
  by order establish a board (in this Part referred to as "a conservation board") to carry out in relation to that area the functions conferred on such a board by or under this Part.
 
      (2) Schedule 13 (which relates to the constitution of conservation boards) has effect.
 
      (3) Where the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales considers it expedient for either of the purposes mentioned in section 87(1), an order under subsection (1) may-
 
 
    (a) provide for the transfer to the conservation board to which the order relates of any of the functions of local authorities, so far as relating to the area of outstanding natural beauty in question, or
 
    (b) provide for any function of a local authority, so far as relating to the area of outstanding natural beauty in question, to be exercisable concurrently by the local authority and by the conservation board.
      (4) Subsection (3) does not apply to functions of a local authority under Part II, III, VII or XIII of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
 
      (5) An order under subsection (1) may make further provision as to the constitution and administration of the conservation board to which it relates, including provision with respect to-
 
 
    (a) the appointment of members,
 
    (b) the removal and disqualification of members,
 
    (c) the conduct of members,
 
    (d) proceedings of the board,
 
    (e) the appointment of staff,
 
    (f) consultation with other public bodies,
 
    (g) records and documents of the board,
 
    (h) the provision of information by the board, and
 
    (i) complaints of maladministration.
      (6) Before making an order under subsection (1) in relation to an area of outstanding natural beauty in England, the Secretary of State shall consult-
 
 
    (a) the Agency, and
 
    (b) every local authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or part of the area of outstanding natural beauty.
      (7) Before making an order under subsection (1) in relation to an area of outstanding natural beauty in Wales, the National Assembly for Wales shall consult-
 
 
    (a) the Council, and
 
    (b) every local authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or part of the area of outstanding natural beauty.
      (8) An order under subsection (1) which amends or revokes a previous order under that subsection establishing a conservation board-
 
 
    (a) may be made only after consultation with the conservation board to which it relates (as well as the consultation required by subsection (5) or (6)), and
 
    (b) in the case of an order revoking a previous order, may provide for the winding up of the board.
      (9) Subject to any order under subsection (9), where there is a variation of the area of an area of outstanding natural beauty for which there is or is to be a conservation board, the area of outstanding natural beauty for which that board is or is to be the conservation board shall be taken, as from the time when the variation takes effect, to be that area as varied.
 
      (10) Where provision is made for the variation of the area of an area of outstanding natural beauty for which there is or is to be a conservation board, the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may by order make such transitional provision as he or it thinks fit with respect to-
 
 
    (a) any functions which, in relation to any area that becomes part of the area of outstanding natural beauty, are by virtue of the variation to become functions of that conservation board; and
 
    (b) any functions which, in relation to any area that ceases to be part of the area of outstanding natural beauty, are by virtue of the variation to become functions of a person other than that conservation board.
General purposes and powers.     87. - (1) It is the duty of a conservation board, in the exercise of their functions, to have regard to-
 
 
    (a) the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area of outstanding natural beauty, and
 
    (b) the purpose of increasing the understanding and enjoyment by the public of the special qualities of the area of outstanding natural beauty,
  but if it appears to the board that there is a conflict between those purposes, they are to attach greater weight to the purpose mentioned in paragraph (a).
 
      (2) A conservation board, while having regard to the purposes mentioned in subsection (1), shall seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the area of outstanding natural beauty, but without incurring significant expenditure in doing so, and shall for that purpose co-operate with local authorities and public bodies whose functions include the promotion of economic or social development within the area of outstanding natural beauty.
 
      (3) Sections 37 and 38 of the Countryside Act 1968 (general duties as to the protection of interests of the countryside and the avoidance of pollution) apply to conservation boards as they apply to local authorities.
 
      (4) The powers of a conservation board include power to do anything which, in the opinion of the board, is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to-
 
 
    (a) the accomplishment of the purposes mentioned in subsection (1), or
 
    (b) the carrying out of any functions conferred on it by virtue of any other provision of this Part or by virtue of any enactment not contained in this Part.
      (5) The powers conferred on a conservation board by subsection (4) do not include-
 
 
    (a) power to do anything in contravention of any restriction imposed by virtue of this Part in relation to any express power of the board, or
 
    (b) power to raise money (whether by borrowing or otherwise) in a manner which is not authorised apart from that subsection,
  but the things that may be done in exercise of those powers are not to be treated as excluding anything by reason only that it involves the expenditure, borrowing or lending of money or the acquisition or disposal of any property or rights.
 
      (6) Schedule 14 (which relates to the supplemental and incidental powers of conservation boards) has effect.
 
      (7) An order under section 86(1) may-
 
 
    (a) make further provision with respect to the supplemental and incidental powers of the conservation board to which it relates or the limits on those powers, including provision relating to the borrowing of money, and
 
    (b) provide for any enactment which relates to or limits the supplemental or incidental powers or duties of local authorities or relates to the conduct of, or transactions by, local authorities to apply in relation to the conservation board with such modifications as may be specified in the order.
 
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