§ Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to modify the planning system in respect of protection of sites of special scientific interest. 
§ Ms Keeble
The Government are committed to ensuring that sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) receive a high level of protection through the planning system. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 included new and enhanced powers to improve the protection and management of SSSIs. We also intend to issue a revision of Planning Policy Guidance Note 9 (Nature Conservation) later this year for public consultation. In Wales, these matters are the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales.