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Water Industry Act 1991

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156 Restriction on disposals of land.E+W

(1)A company holding an appointment under Chapter I of Part II of this Act shall not dispose of any of its protected land, or of any interest or right in or over any of that land, except with the consent of, or in accordance with a general authorisation given by, the Secretary of State.

(2)A consent or authorisation for the purposes of this section—

(a)shall be set out in a notice served by the Secretary of State on the company which is or may be authorised, by virtue of the provision contained in the notice, to dispose of land or of interests or rights in or over land or, as the case may be, on every such company; and

(b)in the case of an authorisation, may be combined with an authorisation for the purposes of section 157 of the M1Water Resources Act 1991.

(3)A consent or authorisation for the purposes of this section may be given on such conditions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(4)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3) above and subject to subsection (5) below, the conditions of a consent or authorisation for the purposes of this section may include—

(a)a requirement that, before there is any disposal, an opportunity of acquiring the land in question, or an interest or right in or over that land, is to be made available, in such manner and on such terms as may be specified in or determined under provision contained in the notice setting out the consent or authorisation, to such person as may be so specified or determined;

(b)a requirement that the company making the disposal has complied with such of the conditions of its appointment under Chapter I of Part II of this Act as relate to the disposal of its protected land or of any interest or right in or over that land;

(c)a requirement that the company, before making a disposal in a case in which the land in question is situated in a National Park, in the Broads or in an area of outstanding natural beauty or special scientific interest, should do one or both of the following, that is to say—

(i)

[F1consult with Natural England (as respects land in England) or the Countryside Council for Wales (as respects land in Wales); and

(ii)

enter into such management agreements or such covenants under subsection (6) below as the Secretary of State may determine;]

(d)provision requiring determinations under or for the purposes of the consent or authorisation to be made, in such cases as are mentioned in paragraph (c) above, either by [F2Natural England] or the Countryside Council for Wales or only after consultation with [F3Natural England or the Countryside Council for Wales] .

(5)A consent or authorisation shall not be given on any such condition as is mentioned in subsection (4)(a) above except where the Secretary of State is satisfied that the condition will have effect in relation only to—

(a)land which, or any interest in or right over which, was acquired by the relevant undertaker in question, or any predecessor of that undertaker, either compulsorily or at a time when the undertaker or that predecessor was authorised to acquire it compulsorily; or

(b)land situated in a National Park, in the Broads or in an area of outstanding natural beauty or special scientific interest.

(6)Where a company holding an appointment under Chapter I of Part II of this Act is proposing, in such a case as is mentioned in subsection (4)(c) above, to dispose of, or of any interest or right in or over, any of its protected land, it may enter into a covenant with the Secretary of State by virtue of which it accepts obligations with respect to—

(a)the freedom of access to the land that is to be afforded to members of the public or to persons of any description; or

(b)the use or management of the land;

and a covenant under this subsection shall bind all persons deriving title from or under that company and shall be enforceable by the Secretary of State accordingly.

(7)Section 3 above shall have effect for the purposes of this section as if every proposal which—

(a)is made by a company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker with respect to land in a National Park, in the Broads or in an area of outstanding natural beauty or special scientific interest, or with respect to any interest or right in or over any such land; and

(b)is a proposal for which the Secretary of State’s consent or authorisation is required under this section,

were a proposal relating to the functions of such an undertaker.

(8)In this section—

  • area of outstanding natural beauty or special scientific interest” means an area which—

(a)is for the time being designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty [F4under section 82 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 of the M2Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000]; or

[F5(b)is a site of special scientific interest within the meaning of the M3Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;]

and the reference in subsection (4)(c) above to an area of special scientific interest shall, accordingly, be construed as a reference to an area such as is mentioned in paragraph (b) of this definition;F6. . .

  • the Broads” has the same meaning as in the M4Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988.

  • [F7management agreement” means—

    (a)

    in relation to land in England, an agreement under section 39 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 or section 7 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006;

    (b)

    in relation to land in Wales, an agreement under section 39 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.]

Textual Amendments

F4S. 156(8): words in definition of

area of outstanding natural beauty or special scientific interest

in para. (a) substituted (1.4.2001 for E. and 1.5.2001 for W.) by 2000 c. 37, s. 93, Sch. 15 Pt. I para. 12; S.I. 2001/114, art. 2(2)(e); S.I. 2001/1410, art. 2(g)

F5S. 156(8): para. (b) in definition of

area of outstanding natural beauty or special scientific interest

substituted (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 76(1), 103(2), Sch. 10 Pt. II para. 9

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