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The Access to the Countryside (Northern Ireland) Order 1983

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Provisions as to land used for agricultural purposes, etc.N.I.

30.—(1) If, on the submission of an access order to the Department for confirmation, a representation is duly made as respects any land—

(a)that the land is used or being brought into use for agriculture or forestry and that the application of the provisions of Article 26 (rights of public where access agreement or order is in force) would prejudice that use or proposed use of the land; or

(b)that the land is used for the growing of trees so as to be of value for the amenity of the neighbourhood and that the application of the provisions of Article 26 would prejudice the growth or regeneration of the trees,

then, subject to paragraph (6), if the Department is satisfied that the conditions specified in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) are fulfilled and outweigh the benefit arising from the increased facilities for public access, the Department shall not confirm the order so as to apply the provisions of Article 26 to the land.

(2) Where, as respects land comprised in an access agreement, it is represented to the Department that the conditions specified in paragraph (1) (a) or (b) are fulfilled, and the Department is satisfied as stated in that paragraph, then, subject to paragraphs (5) and (6), the Department shall notify the district council and the district council shall vary the agreement so as to exclude the land.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)—

(a)the fact that an access agreement is expressed to be irrevocable shall not prevent its variation so as to exclude the land; and

(b)if the concurrence of any party to the agreement other than the district council, or his successor in title, cannot be obtained to the variation of the agreement, the district council may by order made with the approval of the Department vary the agreement.

(4) Where, as respects land comprised in an access order, it is represented to the Department that the conditions specified in paragraph (1) (a) or (b) are fulfilled, and the Department is satisfied as stated in that paragraph, then, subject to paragraphs (5) and (6), the Department shall make an order varying the access order so as to exclude the land.

(5) Before coming to a conclusion on any such representation as is mentioned in paragraph (2) or (4), the Department shall either—

(a)cause a local inquiry to be held, or

(b)afford to the person by whom the representation was made and to the district council an opportunity of being heard by a person appointed by the Department for the purpose,

and shall consider the report of the person by whom the inquiry was held or the person appointed as mentioned in sub-paragraph (b).

(6) In determining whether the conditions specified in paragraph (1) (a) or (b) are fulfilled in the case of any proposed access order, the Department shall have regard to Article 26 (3) (restrictions on right of access); and references in this Article to varying an agreement or order so as to exclude land include references to varying an agreement or order by the imposition of such restrictions under Article 26(3) as may be specified by the Department as requisite for the purpose of this Article.

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