Sites of special scientific interest SSSI
SSSI's were first established in 1949 by the Nature Conservancy so that the conservation of important sites of natural habitat, wildlife and geological heritage could be taken into account during the planning process. Today, Natural England has responsibility for identifying and protecting SSSIs in England under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
SSSI’s include sites such as:
- Ancient woodlands.
- Species-rich grasslands.
- Coastal marshes and mudflats.
- Unique geological formations.
It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly damage the features of special interest of an SSSI, or to disturb the wildlife for which the site is of special interest.
Sites are designated by a process of notification and confirmation. When Natural England believes …that an area of land is of special interest by reason of its flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features … it notifies the owners and occupiers of the land and informs the local planning authority, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a number of other statutory authorities such as the Environment Agency. It also registers the site as a local land charge.
Owners or occupiers are informed of operations that they may not carry out on notified sites without the consent of Natural England (or some other statutory authorities). An application for such consent can be refused, or consent may be given with conditions or time limits attached. Existing consents may be reviewed and withdrawn, or modified if there is new information, if circumstances change, or if the operations for which consent has been given are damaging to the SSSI.
Consent may not be required even though operations are listed in the notification; if emergency work is required, where planning permission has been granted for the operation (other than Permitted Development Orders) or if permission has been given by another statutory authority that has consulted Natural England.
If an SSSI is suffering from poor management or neglect Natural England may serve Management Schemes or Management Notices on the owner or occupier. Management Schemes set out how the SSSI should be managed. Management Notices require specified works. Failure to comply with a Management Notice is an offence.
In very extreme cases, compulsory purchase may be used.
Owners or occupiers must inform Natural England about any changes in ownership or occupation of the site.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Common land.
- Commons Act 2006.
- Conservation area.
- Consultation process.
- Designated areas.
- Halley VI Research Station.
- Listed building.
- National nature reserves.
- National parks.
- Natural England.
- Permitted development.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Special areas of conservation.
- Special protection areas.
- Statutory approvals.
- Statutory authorities.
- Tree preservation order.
- Wildlife and Countryside Act.
- World heritage site.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Take a look back at our top 5 interviews of 2017.
UandI announce a new joint venture to deliver a new Designer Outlet shopping destination in Cannock.
"A wilful misuse of public funds" - MPs committee calls for legal action against HS2 Ltd. for unauthorised redundancy payouts.
Do you know the difference between these key legal terms?
The government has issued advice for building owners about external wall systems that do not incorporate ACM cladding.
Choosing the right engineering path is a 'daunting process' - BSRIA launch a new publication Inspiring Tomorrow's Engineers.
Memorial service held marking six months since the tragedy, as government faces criticism over rehousing progress.
A case study of Streamline House, the winner of the 2016 Alan King Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology.
At their annual conference, Constructing Excellence call for a radical digital transformation in construction.
Do you know your bulldozer from your roller? Find out about the different types of construction plant here.
Watch this video of construction CEOs explaining what they expect the role of humans in the future of construction will be.
Work is underway on Mjøstårnet in Norway, which could become the world's tallest timber building.