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Financial guidelines for supporting the management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Natura 2000 sites

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Financial guidelines for supporting the management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest Natura 2000 sites

Section 4: Land Management Orders - Payments

4.1 Sections 29 to 37 of the 2004 Act make provision for Land Management Orders ("LMOs"). LMOs may be made only where it has proven impossible to enter into a management agreement, or where an existing agreement has broken down. LMOs may be made in relation to both SSSI land (under the 2004 Act) and Natura sites (under analogous provisions in the 1994 Regulations).

Entitlement to payments

4.2 Where the Scottish Ministers make an LMO requiring a land manager to take particular action over and above the requirements of good land management practice - in order to safeguard or enhance the special interest of an SSSI or Natura site - the land manager will be entitled to payment for the costs of the work which the Order requires him to carry out.

4.3 In applying to the Scottish Ministers for an LMO, SNH is obliged by section 29(7)(f) of the 2004 Act to specify the costs likely to be incurred in carrying out the required operation, together with the amounts which it should pay to persons carrying out the operation. A land manager affected by a proposed LMO is entitled to make representations to the Scottish Ministers in relation to the LMO application 19 and such representations may relate, amongst other matters, to the amount which SNH proposes to pay.

4.4 A land manager who is aggrieved by the terms and conditions of an LMO, including any provision for the making of payments, may appeal, under section 34 of the 2004 Act, to the Scottish Land Court within 28 days of the Order being made.

Effect of non-compliance

4.5 If the land manager fails to carry out the work required in the Order, or fails to arrange for the work to be carried out, he is in breach of the law and has forfeited any compensatory entitlement. He may also be liable to prosecution under section 36 of the 2004 Act. Similar considerations apply where the operation is carried out otherwise than in the manner specified in the LMO.

4.6 Under such circumstances, SNH is not required to make any payment to the land manager and may recover any payments already made. It is also empowered under section 37 of the 2004 Act to carry out the work itself, or to arrange for the work to be carried out on its behalf, and is further entitled to take legal action to recover from the land manager any additional expenses incurred by SNH in connection with the work specified in the LMO.