Protection of SSSIs
Liaison, casework and cross compliance
If the conservation of special features on SSSIs is to be
achieved, then legal designation of sites is only the
beginning. CCW must also build long-term relationships with
landowners, occupiers, other agencies and the public to ensure that
deliberate or accidental damage does not occur on the site.
Liaison with Owners and Occupiers
Records show that CCW spent approximately 1,300 days of staff
time during 2005-6 liaising with SSSI owners and occupiers to give
advice, information and support. This may have been via a site
visit, group meeting or by phone, email or letter. Staff can help
guide the owner through the process of seeking consent to carry out
operations or developments as well as giving advice on grant aid
and practical conservation management.
CCW is formally consulted on a wide range of planning
applications and other proposed developments and activities that
may affect SSSIs. CCW will recommend ways in which the development
may be altered to ensure that there is no harm to the site’s
special features. In extreme cases, if harm is unavoidable, CCW may
lodge an objection to the proposal. In 2005-6 CCW dealt with an
estimated 16,570 items of casework in Wales both large and small,
affecting both SSSIs and the wider countryside.
‘Cross compliance’ is a condition of receiving agricultural
support (under the Single Payment Scheme). It requires that farmers
keep the land in ‘Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition’,
meeting statutory management requirements which include compliance
with SSSI legislation and agreements. CCW staff spent approximately
61 days during 2005-6 liaising with SSSI owners regarding cross
compliance issues. 23 breaches were reported to the National
Assembly of Wales in the year, 6 of which related to SSSIs.