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(1)A public body or office-holder must not carry out [F1, or cause or permit to be carried out on land owned or occupied by the public body or office-holder, ] any operation which is likely to damage any natural feature specified in an SSSI notification except—
(a)with the written consent of SNH given on an application under subsection (3),
(b)where subsection (1) of section 14 applies, or
(c)in accordance with subsection (2) of that section.
(2)Subsection (1) of this section applies whether or not the operation would take place on land within a site of special scientific interest.
(3)An application for SNH’s consent must specify—
(a)the nature of the operation,
(b)the proposed dates of commencement and completion, and
(c)the land on which it is proposed to carry out the operation.
(4)On an application under subsection (3) SNH may—
(a)give consent to the operation being carried out, whether or not subject to conditions, or
(b)refuse such consent.
(5)The conditions referred to in subsection (4)(a) may, in particular, provide—
(a)that, despite the terms of the application under subsection (3), the operation may be carried out—
(i)only in such manner as SNH may specify,
(ii)on part only of the land on which the public body or office-holder wishes to carry out the operation,
(b)that the operation may be carried out only for, or within, such period as SNH may specify.
(6)SNH must, in giving or refusing consent, provide the public body or office-holder with written advice in relation to the operation, including advice on minimising such damage as is referred to in subsection (1).
(7)SNH must give a public body or office-holder reasons for a decision under this section—
(a)to give consent subject to conditions,
(b)to refuse consent.
(8)SNH is, if it neither gives nor refuses consent within 28 days of the date of the application under subsection (3), to be treated as having refused consent.
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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills
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