In England, there are over 4,100 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which cover more than 1.1 million hectares of land. As a result, some land that statutory undertakers wish to utilise as part of their infrastructure rollout will impact these special designations.

If Natural England is not consulted before the works start, companies can be fined up to £20,000 in a magistrate’s court or get an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.

Our team at Dalcour Maclaren encountered a unique challenge when tasked with installing fixed-line fibre broadband infrastructure on land designated as an SSSI. Here’s how we successfully navigated regulatory complexities to ensure compliance while delivering for our client.

Client Challenge

Our client sought to install a fixed-line fibre broadband cable on shared infrastructure situated within a parcel of land designated as an SSSI. However, the project faced a significant obstacle: obtaining consent from Natural England, the regulatory body responsible for safeguarding SSSIs.

Our Solution

Recognising the complexity of the regulatory landscape, our team swiftly engaged with the landowner and their agent to initiate discussions. While the landowner expressed willingness to cooperate, they emphasized the necessity of formal approval from Natural England.

Our Environment & Planning team navigated this intricate process. Conducting a comprehensive desktop review and on-site assessment, we gathered essential details about the proposed works, including construction methods, access routes, and environmental considerations.

Collaborating closely with Natural England, we prepared a meticulous report outlining the project’s scope, environmental safeguards, and adherence to regulatory requirements. Our proactive approach ensured transparency and compliance at every stage of the approval process.


Through our concerted efforts, we secured assent from Natural England, paving the way for the installation of the fibre broadband cable. This achievement was bolstered by a signed wayleave agreement from the landowner, underscoring their confidence in our ability to navigate regulatory complexities effectively.

While obtaining assent, we adhered to stipulated conditions, including conducting works within specified timeframes to mitigate ecological impact. By prioritising environmental conservation and regulatory compliance, we ensured a seamless and responsible deployment process.



Get in touch

Joanna Watters

Associate Director