ABSTRACT

The key to the implementation of the sssi provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act is the duty laid on the n c c to notify owners and occupiers, plus the Secretary of State and planning authorities, of the nature of the site’s special interest. Until the 1981 Act there was no legal need for the n c c to inform owners or occupiers, although of course in many cases they did so. There is a slight confusion over the different procedures involved with sssis already scheduled under the provisions of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act and new sites being included in the sssi series for the first time. The Act called for a clean sweep of the whole system, and whatever relations were with the owner or occupier, every existing sssi had to be properly notified: in the terminology of the n c c , each site was to be renotified. New sites, however, are said simply to be notified. The two procedures of renotification and notification are somewhat different (the latter being more complicated), but are confusingly, and inelegantly known jointly as ‘(re)notification’.