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The Planning Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

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Commencement Orders

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National securityN.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

22.—(1) After Article 123 of the principal Order insert—

Inquiries to be held in public subject to certain exceptions

123A.(1) Subject to paragraph (2), at any public local inquiry or independent examination held under this Order oral evidence shall be heard in public and documentary evidence shall be open to public inspection.

(2) If the Secretary of State is satisfied in the case of any such inquiry or examination—

(a)that giving evidence of a particular description or, as the case may be, making it available for inspection would be likely to result in the disclosure of information as to any of the matters mentioned in paragraph (3); and

(b)that the public disclosure of that information would be contrary to the national interest,

he may direct that evidence of the description indicated in the direction shall only be heard or, as the case may be, open to inspection at that inquiry or examination by such persons or persons of such descriptions as he may specify in the direction.

(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (2)(a) are—

(a)national security; and

(b)the measures taken or to be taken to ensure the security of any premises or property.

(4) If the Secretary of State is considering giving a direction under paragraph (2) the Advocate General for Northern Ireland may appoint a person to represent the interests of any person who will be prevented from hearing or inspecting any evidence at an inquiry or examination if the direction is given.

(5) If before the Secretary of State gives a direction under paragraph (2) no person is appointed under paragraph (4), the Advocate General for Northern Ireland may at any time appoint a person as mentioned in paragraph (4) for the purposes of the inquiry or examination.

(6) The Lord Chancellor may by rules make provision—

(a)as to the procedure to be followed by the Secretary of State before he gives a direction under paragraph (2) in a case where a person has been appointed under paragraph (4);

(b)as to the functions of a person appointed under paragraph (4) or (5).

(7) Rules made under paragraph (6) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament in like manner as a statutory instrument and section 5 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply accordingly.

(8) If a person is appointed under paragraph (4) or (5) (the appointed representative) the Secretary of State may direct any person who he thinks is interested in the inquiry or examination in relation to a matter mentioned in paragraph (3) (the responsible person) to pay the fees and expenses of the appointed representative.

(9) If the appointed representative and the responsible person are unable to agree the amount of the fees and expenses, the amount shall be determined by the Secretary of State.

(10) The Secretary of State shall cause the amount agreed between the appointed representative and the responsible person or determined by him to be certified.

(11) An amount so certified is recoverable from the responsible person as a civil debt.

(12) In relation to any time before the coming into force of section 27(1) of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002, the reference in paragraphs (4) and (5) to the Advocate General for Northern Ireland is to be read as a reference to the Attorney General.

National security

123B.(1) Where, in relation to an application for planning permission or an application for any consent, certificate, approval or determination under this Order or a development order, the Secretary of State is of the opinion—

(a)that the consideration by the Department of the application or of any representations or objections made in respect of the application raises matters relating to—

(i)national security; or

(ii)the measures taken or to be taken to ensure the security of any premises or property; and

(b)that the public disclosure of information as to any of those matters would be contrary to the national interest,

he may certify that the application is one to which this Article applies.

(2) The Department shall, subject to any provision contained in rules under paragraph (3), cause a public local inquiry to be held for the purpose of determining any application to which this Article applies.

(3) The Secretary of State may by rules make provision—

(a)for the procedure to be followed in relation to the issue of a certificate under paragraph (1);

(b)enabling the Department to dispense with an inquiry where the Department has not received any objections or representations in respect of an application to which this Article applies or where every objection or representation made in respect of such an application is withdrawn.

(4) Articles 31, 32(1), 33, 56, 57(1), 83E, 123(1), paragraphs 7(1) and 8 of Schedule 1, paragraphs 6(11) and (12), 11 and 13 of Schedule 1A and paragraphs 9 and 10 of Schedule 1B do not apply in relation to an application to which this Article applies.

(5) Rules made under paragraph (3) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament in like manner as a statutory instrument and section 5 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply accordingly.

(6) Section 23 of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 shall apply to an inquiry under paragraph (2) as if that inquiry were an inquiry referred to in that section..

(2) In Article 123 of the principal Order (local inquiries), in paragraph (2) after “procedure” insert “ (except the procedure in relation to any matter for which rules under paragraph (6) of Article 123A or paragraph (3) of Article 123B may make provision) ”.

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