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Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014

Section 5 – Power of entry to investigate the historic environment

39.Section 5 gives Historic Environment Scotland the power to enter land (including buildings or other structures on the land) to identify and record the historic environment, subject to certain provisions set out in the subsections.

40.Subsections (2) to (4) set out details of how this power may be exercised, including restrictions on the power, for example the exclusion of access to dwellings. Similar statutory powers of access, which already exist for Ministers and their employees, are only used as a last resort after every effort to contact the owner or occupier of a property has failed. These powers have been exercised very seldom – less than ten times in total over the past 30 years.

41.Subsection (5) makes it a criminal offence to (without reasonable excuse) intentionally obstruct a person exercising the powers of entry under subsection (1). The offence is punishable on summary conviction up to a maximum fine, set in subsection (6), of level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1000).

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