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10.—(1) The Department shall compile and maintain in such form as it thinks fit, a register of European sites in Northern Ireland.
(2) The Department shall include in the register—
(a)special areas of conservation as soon as they are designated;
(b)sites of Community importance as soon as they are placed on the list referred to in the third sub-paragraph of Article 4(2) of the Habitats Directive, until they are designated as special areas of conservation;
(c)any site hosting a priority natural habitat type or priority species in respect of which consultation is initiated under Article 5(1) of the Habitats Directive, during the consultation period or pending a Council decision under Article 5(3); and
(d)an area classified by the Department pursuant to Article 4(1) or (2) of the Wild Birds Directive, as soon as they are so classified or, if they have been classified before the commencement of these Regulations as soon as practicable after commencement.
(3) The Department may, if appropriate, amend the entry in the register relating to a European site.
(4) The Department shall remove the relevant entry—
(a)if a special area of conservation is declassified by the European Commission under Article 9 of the Habitats Directive; or
(b)if a site otherwise ceases to fall within any of the categories listed in paragraph (2).
(5) A copy of the register shall be available for inspection by the public at all reasonable hours and free of charge.
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