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36.—(1) On expiry of the period referred to in regulation 32(2)(b) the Department shall assess, in the light of the environmental statement, any additional information and any representations made in accordance with regulations 32 or 35, the direct and indirect effects of the proposed project on the environmental factors specified in Schedule 4.
(a)no objection in relation to the likely environmental effects of the proposed project has been made; or
(b)any such objection has been withdrawn, and
the Department, having undertaken the assessment required by paragraph (1) considers that the project should proceed, it may so determine (or may so determine subject to conditions).
(3) Where the Department has determined—
(a)in accordance with paragraph (2), that it should proceed with the project or that it should proceed subject to conditions, or
(b)that it should not so proceed,
it shall publish a general and local advertisement in accordance with paragraph (4).
(4) Each of the advertisements referred to in paragraph (3) shall—
(a)inform the public of the determination, and
(b)give details of the places where and the times at which the public may inspect a statement of—
(i)the Department’s determination and any conditions to which the project in question is subject;
(ii)the main reasons and considerations upon which its determination was based; and
(iii)where necessary, a description of the main measures to avoid, reduce and if possible, offset the adverse effects of the proposed project.
(5) Where the Department, having undertaken the assessment specified in paragraph (1), considers that the proposed project should proceed but objections to the project made in relation to their likely environmental effects have not been withdrawn, it shall—
(a)appoint a person (in this Part referred to as an “appointed person”) to exercise, with or without payment, the functions he is given under this Part in relation to any matter sent to him under this regulation and Schedule 5 shall have effect with respect to such an appointment; and
(b)send the proposal for the project together with the environmental statement, any additional information and any representations on it to the appointed person for determination in accordance with paragraphs (6) to (9).
(6) Where the appointed person considers that the proposal, environmental statement, additional information and representations sent to it in accordance with paragraph (5) do not provide sufficient information to enable a determination to be made in relation to any proposed project in pursuance of this regulation, he shall notify the Department in writing of the matters on which further information is required and may make a written request to the Department for such information as it may be able to provide on the matters raised.
(7) Where in accordance with paragraph (6), the appointed person requests further information from the Department in relation to any proposed project, the Department shall, no later than the time when it provides that information to the appointed person—
(a)by general and local advertisement, at least 28 days before a determination as to whether the proposed project should proceed—
(i)state that the further information is available in relation to the project and give details of the places where and times at which a copy may be inspected; and
(ii)state that any person who wishes to make representations on the likely environmental effects of the project to which the further information relates may make them in writing to the appointed person at the address specified in the advertisement within 28 days of the date of the publication of the notice in the Belfast Gazette;
(b)on or before the date of the publication of the notice in the Belfast Gazette supply a copy of the further information and notice to each of the consultation bodies so that they have an opportunity to make representations to the appointed person on the likely environmental effects of the proposed project to which the further information relates before the expiry of the period specified in the notice.
(8) The appointed person shall—
(a)assess, in the light of the environmental statement, any further information provided in response to a request under paragraph (6) and any representations referred to in regulations 32, 35 or paragraph (7), the direct and indirect effects of the proposed project on the environmental factors specified in Schedule 4;
(b)afford the Department and any persons who made representations the opportunity of appearing before and being heard by him;
(c)having regard to the assessment under sub-paragraph (a) and the representations made under sub-paragraph (b) and having examined the concerns and opinions expressed by the public and the main reasons and considerations upon which the determination under consideration was based, including information about the public participation process—
(i)consent to the project in question unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the appointed person considers appropriate; or—
(ii)refuse to consent to the project; and
(d)send to the Department and any person who made representations under regulations 32, 35 or paragraph (7) a statement in writing of—
(i)his determination under sub–paragraph (c) and any conditions attached to the project in question;
(ii)the main reasons and considerations upon which it was based; and
(iii)where necessary, a description of the main measures to avoid, reduce and, if possible, offset the adverse effects of the proposed project.
(9) The Department shall by general and local advertisement—
(a)inform the public of the appointed person’s determination under paragraph (8)(c); and
(b)give details of the places where and times at which the public may inspect a copy of the statement sent to it under paragraph (8)(d).
(10) In relation to any determination made by itself or by an appointed person under this regulation , the Department shall maintain a record of, and make available to the public on request the following—
(a)the content of the determination and any conditions attached to the project in question;
(b)the main reasons and considerations on which the decision is based, including information about the public participation process; and
(c)a description, where necessary, of the main measures proposed to avoid or mitigate any major adverse effects on the environment of the project.
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