asked Her Majesty's Government:
Which section of the Wildlife and Countryside (Amendment) Act 1991 prevents a planning inspector from considering evidence on the impact on the environment when determining a definitive map and public path order through a site of special scientific interest. [HL2108]
The rights of way legislation in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides only for the recording, on the definitive map and statement, of public rights of way that already exist and that consequently the public may already use. Therefore, when making a decision under this Act, a local highway authority, or the Secretary of State, would be beyond their jurisdiction to consider anything other than the existence of the public right of way in law. There are provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that enable local authorities to manage any impact from a public right of way through a site of special scientific interest.