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The Access to the Countryside (Northern Ireland) Order 1983

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Provisions for securing safe and sufficient accessN.I.

32.—(1) An access agreement or order may make such provision as appears expedient for the purposes of the agreement or order for securing that safe and sufficient access will be available for the public on the land comprised in the agreement or order.

(2) An access agreement or order may by virtue of paragraph (1) include provision for—

(a)the improvement or repair of any means of access to the land in existence at the time when the agreement or order is made;

(b)the construction of new means of access to the land;

(c)the carrying out of work to protect persons who are on land comprised in the agreement or order from injury or damage due to the state of the land or anything done or omitted to be done on it;

(d)the imposition of restrictions on the destruction, removal, alteration or closure of any means of access to the land or of any works provided under sub-paragraph (c), or the doing of anything whereby the use of any such means of access by the public would be impeded or the safety of the public would be endangered; and

(e)the maintenance of any such means of access to the land as are mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) or of any works carried out in accordance with sub-paragraph (c).

(3) No provision made by an access order by virtue of this Article shall—

(a)apply to land which is for the time being excepted land, or authorise or require anything to be done in relation to such land or any means of access thereto;

(b)affect the doing of anything whereby any land becomes excepted land; or

(c)require, or authorise any person to require, any work to be carried out at the expense of any person interested in the land except as provided by paragraph (4) or (5).

(4) A district council may agree with the owner and occupier of the land as to the carrying out of any work required to give effect to any provision by virtue of paragraph (1) and where it is agreed that the work shall be carried out otherwise than by the district council, the district council may defray the cost of the work or may contribute such part of the cost as may be specified in the agreement.

(5) If—

(a)the district council is unable to make an agreement under paragraph (4), or

(b)the owner or occupier fails to carry out within a reasonable period any work which he has agreed to carry out,

the district council may, after giving the owner and the occupier not less than fourteen days' notice, take all necessary steps for carrying out the work; and where, in a case to which sub-paragraph (b) applies, the agreement provided that the district council should contribute part of the cost of carrying out the work, the district council may recover the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred by it in carrying out the work, reduced by the district council's contribution under the agreement, from the person by whom under the agreement the cost (apart from the district council's contribution) of carrying out the work would fall to be borne.

(6) In paragraph (2) “means of access”, in relation to land, means any opening in a wall, fence or hedge bounding the land, with or without a stile, gate or other similar structure for regulating passage through the opening, any stairs or steps for enabling persons to enter on the land, or any bridge, stepping stone or other works for crossing a water-course, sheugh or bog, on, or adjoining the boundary of, the land.

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