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Countryside Management Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001

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Withholding and recovery of grant

11.—(1) Where any person, with a view to obtaining the payment of grant under these Regulations to himself or any other person, makes any statement or furnishes any information which is false or misleading, the Department may withhold the whole or any part of any payments of grant payable thereunder to that person or to such other person and may, subject to the provisions of Article 48 of Commission Regulation 1750/1999, recover the whole or any part of any sums already paid by way of grant thereunder to that person or such other person.

(2) Where an applicant—

(a)has failed to do something which he undertook to do if the grant was made, or

(b)is in breach of any conditions subject to which the grant was made,

the Department may withhold the whole or any part of any grant payable to that applicant under these Regulations and may recover the whole or any part of any grant already paid to him.

(3) Where the Department withholds or recovers grant under paragraph (2), it may also, insofar as it is consequent upon Article 48.2 of Commission Regulation 1750/1999 (which requires Member States to determine a system of penalties which are effective, commensurate with their purpose and of adequate deterrent effect to be imposed for breaches of undertakings), require the applicant to pay to the Department a sum equal to no more than 10% of the grant paid or payable to the applicant under these Regulations.

(4) Where the Department takes any step specified in paragraph (1), (2) or (3) it may also treat as terminated the undertaking given by the applicant under these Regulations.

(5) Where under paragraph (4) the Department treats the undertaking given by the applicant as terminated, it may also by notice in writing to the applicant prohibit him from providing a new undertaking or entering a new agreement under an agri-environment scheme for such period from the date of termination as is specified in the notice which period shall not exceed the period beginning with the date of termination and ending with the last day of the calendar year following that in which the termination occurs.

(6) Any dispute between the Department and an applicant in relation to a matter arising under these Regulations shall be referred to and determined by a single arbitrator to be agreed between the parties or in default of such agreement to be appointed by the Chairman for the time being of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996(1) or any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof for the time being in force.

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