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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Natural England

Section 311: Area in which functions of Natural England exercisable

803.This section amends section 1 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 in order to clarify the area over which Natural England may exercise its functions. Subsection (2) amends subsection (3) of the 2006 Act so that the reference to England includes, where the context requires, the territorial sea adjacent to England (up to 12 nautical miles from baseline). Subsection (3) inserts subsection (3A), which provides that orders defining the boundaries of the territorial sea adjacent to England, where it meets the sea adjacent to Wales and Scotland, apply for the purposes of section 1 of the 2006 Act.

804.Natural England and its predecessor bodies have regularly undertaken research and given advice on relevant marine issues within territorial waters. However, a new formulation of their territorial scope was expressed in the 2006 Act which it has been suggested might restrict their scope. So this section is not intended to alter the status quo, but merely to make it clear that Natural England may exercise functions in the territorial sea adjacent to England.

Section 312: Natural England not to be responder for Civil Contingencies Act 2004

805.This section amends Schedule 1 to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (category 1 and 2 responders) so as to omit paragraph 11A (Natural England). Paragraph 11A was inserted by paragraph 174 of Schedule 11 to the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, and had the effect of making Natural England a category 1 responder. Such responders have duties under section 2 of the 2004 Act (for example, to assess emergency risks and to maintain contingency plans). It has not been commenced. This section will remove Natural England from the lists of category 1 responders. Natural England has an important role in certain types of emergency, but it has been concluded that non-statutory arrangements are a more cost-effective way of engaging them.

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