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Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

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Planning applicationsN.I.

Form and content of applicationsN.I.

40  (1)  Any application for planning permission—

(a)must be made in such form and in such manner as may be specified by a development order;

(b)must include such particulars, and be verified by such evidence, as may be required by a development order or by any directions given by a council or the Department under such an order.

(2) A direction under subsection (1)(b) must not be inconsistent with the development order.

(3) A development order must require an application for planning permission of such description as is specified in the order to be accompanied by such of the following as is so specified—

(a)a statement about the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development;

(b)a statement about how issues relating to access to the development have been dealt with.

(4) The form and content of a statement mentioned in subsection (3) is such as is required by the development order.

(5) Subsection (1) shall apply to applications to a council or the Department for any consent, agreement or approval of the council or, as the case may be, the Department required by a condition imposed on a grant of planning permission as that subsection applies to applications for planning permission.

Notice, etc., of applications for planning permissionN.I.

41  (1)  A development order may make provision requiring notice to be given of any application for planning permission and provide for publicising such applications and for the form, content and service of such notices.

(2) A development order may require an applicant for planning permission to provide evidence that any requirements of the order have been satisfied.

(3) An application for planning permission must not be entertained by a council or the Department unless any requirements imposed by virtue of this section have been satisfied.

Notification of applications to certain personsN.I.

42  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), a council or, as the case may be, the Department must not entertain an application for planning permission in relation to any land (in this section and in section 43 referred to as “the designated land”) unless it is accompanied by one or other of the following certificates, that is to say—

(a)a certificate stating that the application is made by or on behalf of a person who at the date of the application is in the actual possession of all the designated land, being a person entitled to one of the following estates in that land, namely—

(i)a legal or equitable fee simple absolute, a legal or equitable fee tail or a legal or equitable life estate;

(ii)a tenancy of which not less than 40 years of the term thereof remain unexpired;

(b)a certificate stating that the application is made by or on behalf of the trustees of a trust or settlement which affects all the designated land and that, at the date of the application—

(i)a beneficiary under the trust or settlement is in the actual possession of the designated land; and

(ii)no person other than a beneficiary under the trust or settlement is entitled to enter into the actual possession of the designated land within a period of 40 years;

(c)a certificate stating that the requisite notice of the application has been given by or on behalf of the applicant to each person who at the beginning of the period of 21 days ending with the date of the application, in relation to the designated land or any part thereof, fell into any of the following classes, namely—

(i)that that person was such a person as is described in paragraph (a) or (b);

(ii)that (not being such a person as is described in paragraph (a) or (b)) that person was in the actual possession of the designated land;

(iii)that (not being a person falling under sub-paragraph (i) or (ii)) that person was entitled to enter into the actual possession of the designated land within a period of 40 years;

(d)a certificate stating—

(i)that the applicant is unable to issue a certificate in accordance with paragraph (a) or (b); and

(ii)that the applicant has made due inquiries and is of the opinion, for the reasons specified in the certificate, that he or she is unable to issue a certificate which would satisfy the requirements of paragraph (c); and

(iii)that the applicant has given the requisite notice of the application to any person who, at the beginning of the period of 21 days ending with the date of the application, was in the actual possession of any part of the designated land.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an application for planning permission made—

(a)by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in pursuance of a redevelopment scheme approved by the Department for Social Development or proposed by the Executive;

(b)by an electricity undertaker to place an electricity line above or below ground across any land;

(c)by a gas undertaker to lay pipes for the conveyance or supply of gas;

(d)by a water or sewerage undertaker to lay a main, sewer or pipe for the purposes of its functions under the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (NI 21).

(3) A certificate for the purposes of paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (1) shall set out the names and postal addresses of the persons to whom the requisite notice was given in accordance with that paragraph and the date of service of the notice.

(4) Where an application for planning permission is accompanied by such a certificate as is mentioned in subsection (1)(c) or (d), the council or, as the case may be, the Department, must not determine the application before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the date appearing from the certificate to be the latest of the dates of service of notices as mentioned in the certificate.

(5) Where a tenancy subsists in any land, and—

(a)it is necessary, for the purposes of this section, to determine whether a person is entitled to enter into the actual possession of that land; and

(b)by reason of any option or other contractual right with respect to the determination, renewal or continuance of the tenancy the date of expiry of the tenancy is not ascertainable with certainty;

that date shall be taken to be such as appears reasonable and probable having regard to the interests of the party by whom the option is exercisable, or in whose favour the right operates, and to any other material consideration.

(6) If any person—

(a)issues a certificate which purports to comply with the requirements of this section and which contains a statement which that person knows to be false or misleading in a material particular; or

(b)recklessly issues a certificate which purports to comply with those requirements and which contains a statement which is false or misleading in a material particular;

that person shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(7) Any certificate issued for the purposes of this section shall be in such form as may be specified in a development order; and any reference in this section to the requisite notice is a reference to a notice in the form so specified.

Notice requiring planning application to be madeN.I.

43  (1)  Where it appears to a council that development has been carried out—

(a)without the grant of the planning permission required in that behalf in accordance with this Part; or

(b)without the grant of any approval of the council required in that behalf under a development order;

the council may issue a notice under this section requiring the making of an application for such planning permission or approval to the council within 28 days from the service of the notice.

(2) A notice under this section may be issued only within the period of 5 years from the date on which the development to which it relates was begun, and the provisions of section 63(2) apply in determining for the purpose of this section when development shall be taken to be begun.

(3) A notice under this section must specify the matters alleged to constitute the development to which the notice relates.

(4) A copy of a notice under this section must be served on the owner and on the occupier of the land to which it relates.

(5) Where a copy of a notice under this section has been served on any person referred to in subsection (4), then if the application referred to in the notice is not made to the council within the period allowed for compliance with the notice, that person shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(6) If a person against whom proceedings are brought under subsection (5)—

(a)was, at the time when the copy of the notice under this section was served on that person, the owner of the land to which the notice relates; but

(b)has, at some time before the end of the period allowed for compliance with the notice, ceased to be the owner of that land,

that person shall, upon duly making a complaint and on giving to the prosecution not less than 3 days' notice of his or her intention, be entitled to have the person who then became the owner of the land (in subsection (7) referred to as the “subsequent owner”) brought before the court in the proceedings.

(7) If after it has been proved, in a case to which subsection (6) applies, that the application referred to in the notice under this section has not been made within the period allowed for compliance with the notice, the original defendant proves that the failure to make that application was attributable, in whole or in part, to the default of the subsequent owner—

(a)the subsequent owner may be convicted of the offence; and

(b)the original defendant, if that person further proves that all reasonable steps were taken to secure compliance with the notice, shall be acquitted of the offence.

(8) If, after a person has been convicted under subsections (5) to (7), the application referred to in the notice under this section is not made to the council, that person shall be guilty of a further offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 3 on the standard scale for each day following the first conviction on which the offence continues.

(9) The council may, at any time before the end of the period allowed for compliance with a notice under this section, withdraw the notice.

(10) If it does so the council must as soon as is reasonably possible give notice of the withdrawal to every person who was served with a copy of the notice.

(11) Any reference in this section and section 44 to the period allowed for compliance with a notice under this section is a reference to the period mentioned in subsection (1) or such extended period as may be allowed by the council for compliance with the notice.

(12) For the purposes of this section an application to the council for any planning permission or approval shall not be taken to be made unless it is accompanied by the fee prescribed under section 223 in relation to that application.

Appeal against notice under section 43N.I.

44  (1)  A person on whom a copy of a notice has been served under section 43 may, at any time before the end of the period allowed for compliance with that notice, appeal to the planning appeals commission against the notice.

(2) An appeal may be brought on any of the following grounds—

(a)that the matters alleged in the notice do not constitute development;

(b)that the development alleged in the notice has not taken place;

(c)that the period of 5 years referred to in section 43(2) had elapsed at the date when the notice was issued.

(3) An appeal under this section must be made by notice in writing to the planning appeals commission and such notice shall indicate the grounds of the appeal and state the facts on which it is based.

(4) Before determining an appeal under this section, the planning appeals commission must, if either the appellant or the council so desires, afford to each of them an opportunity of appearing before and being heard by the commission.

(5) Where an appeal is brought under this section the notice shall be of no effect pending the final determination or the withdrawal of the appeal.

(6) On an appeal under this section the planning appeals commission—

(a)must quash the notice, vary the terms of the notice or uphold the notice;

(b)may correct any informality, defect or error in the notice, or vary its terms, if it is satisfied that the correction or variation can be made without injustice to the appellant or to the council.

(7) The validity of a notice under section 43 shall not, except by way of an appeal under this section, be questioned in any proceedings whatsoever on any of the grounds on which such an appeal may be brought.

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