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Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

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37 Exemptions from offence under section 35.E+W+S

(1)Section 35 of this Act does not apply to any operations carried out with the consent of the investigating authority for the area of archaeological importance in question.

[F1(1A)Section 35 does not apply to the carrying out of any operations for which development consent has been granted.]

(2)The Secretary of State may by order direct that section 35 shall not apply to the carrying out, or to the carrying out by any class or description of persons specified in the order, of operations of any class or description so specified; and an exemption conferred by an order under this subsection may be either unconditional or subject to any conditions specified in the order.

(3)The Secretary of State may direct that any exemption conferred by an order under subsection (2) above shall not apply to the carrying out on any land specified in the direction, or to the carrying out on any land so specified by any class or description of persons so specified, of operations of any class or description so specified, and may withdraw any direction given under this subsection.

[F2The Secretary of State shall consult with the Commission before giving or withdrawing a direction under this subsection in relation to land situated in England.]

(4)A direction under subsection (3) above shall not take effect until notice of it has been served on the occupier or (if there is no occupier) on the owner of the land in question.

(5)In any proceedings for an offence under section 35 consisting in carrying out, or causing or permitting to be carried out, any operations which disturb the ground, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid or prevent disturbance of the ground.

(6)In any proceedings for an offence under section 35 it shall be a defence for the accused to prove either—

(a)that he did not know and had no reason to believe that the site of the operations was within an area of archaeological importance;

(b)that the operations were urgently necessary in the interests of safety or health and that notice in writing of the need for the operations was given to the Secretary of State as soon as reasonably practicable.

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