147.Subsection (2)(a) and (b) amends section 16(3) and inserts a new section 16(3A) into the 1981 Act. The effect of this is to allow the licensing authority to grant a licence to carry out activities which would otherwise be prohibited in relation to animals and plants protected by Part 1 of the 1981 Act. The licence must be for a social, economic or environmental purpose. Inserted section 16(3A) also requires the licensing authority to be satisfied that the conduct authorised will give rise to or contribute towards social, economic or environmental benefit and that there is no other satisfactory solution.
148.Subsection (2)(c) to (e) amends section 16 of the 1981 Act to provide that the Scottish Ministers are the licensing authority (“the appropriate authority”) for all types of licence under section 16, except where they delegate licensing functions to SNH or a local authority as set out below.