Under the Infrastructure Act 2015, the Welsh Ministers are obliged to issue a code of practice in relation to species control agreements and orders in Wales. The English government published a similar consultation for England back in December 2015.
The Welsh government has now issued a consultation seeking views on its draft code of practice for using species control agreements (SCAs) and species control orders (SCOs). The purpose of the consultation is to seek views from various Welsh Councils and environmental agencies and groups on how the species control provisions should be used in practice. The consultation closes on 5 April 2015.
The draft code of practice explains the:
The draft code emphasises the staged process required by the law. Environmental authorities (in Wales, the Welsh Ministers and the Natural Resources Body for Wales) should prioritise reaching an informal agreement with a landowner. If this cannot be achieved within a reasonable time, the environmental authority should make reasonable effort to reach a voluntary agreement (which is a SCA) with the landowner.
The draft code of practice provides guidance on factors that the environmental authority must consider before offering a SCA. The environmental authority must satisfy itself that:
A SCO can be made in various circumstances:
Before making a SCO the environmental authority must be satisfied that doing so would be proportionate to the objective to be achieved.
Additional protection is afforded to dwelling. If the proposed SCO relates to a dwelling, it can only be made by the Welsh Ministers.
Click here for more on SCOs, the implications of non-compliance and what these new powers mean for landowners and developers.
Contributor: Alexandra Holsgrove Jones
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at January 2016. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions on www.TLTsolicitors.com