§ Mr. Corrie
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy for no action to be taken in respect of destruction or damage to proposed sites of special scientific interest unless formal notification of the proposals has been made to the owners of the land prior to the alleged destruction or damage.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
The constraints and penalties provided for by section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 do not apply until a site is formally notified as a site of special scientific interest. However, the Secretary of State is empowered by section 29 of the Act to make orders in certain circumstances to protect nationally important sites which may be at risk, whether or not they have been formally notified as sites of special scientific interest. My right hon. Friend will continue to use these powers when appropriate.