Last edited 02 Dec 2020

Special Nature Conservation Order SNCO

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Contents

[edit] Introduction

In England and Wales, Special Nature Conservation Orders (SNCOs) are made to prevent damage to the natural features and species associated with specific areas of land. The Orders detail prohibited operations, including possible actions taken by the landowner. In Scotland, these measures are referred to as Nature Conservation Orders (NCOs).

[edit] Where SNCOs apply

An NCO may apply in or around designated areas, including:

[edit] Complying with SNCOs

Natural England or Natural Resources Wales provide oversight in situations where an SNCO has been put in place. These bodies can issue stop notices to prevent activity that could possibly violate the terms of the SNCO.

Individuals who object to the restrictions put in place by an SNCO can try to remove the stop notice by:

  • Objecting to the SNCO within the first six weeks with the High Court (if the activity does not have a negative impact on the environment). Should the High Court Minister make the objection the subject of further inquiry, a planning inspectorate will be assigned to the task and will report back whatever findings are discovered. The Minister will then issue a decision.
  • Requesting written consent from Natural England or Natural Resources Wales for the activity if there is a way to minimise the possibility of damage or if there is ‘overriding public interest’ in the activity. Overriding public interest would mean public interest in the matter (predominantly based on human health, public safety or other socio-economic reasons) that would be considered more beneficial than the environmental consequences. If consent is refused, it is possible to override this by bringing the case to the Minister, who will evaluate the circumstances and issue a decision.

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