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The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007

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The screening decision

8.—(1) The Department must, in accordance with paragraph (2) and the selection criteria in Schedule 2, decide whether or not a project is likely to have significant effects on the environment.

(2) If the Department decides that a project is likely to have a significant effect on a European site (either alone or in combination with other projects), or Area of Special Scientific Interest, and the project is not directly connected with or necessary for the management of the site, the project shall be treated as being likely to have significant effects on the environment.

(3) Before making a screening decision, the Department may consult any of the consultation bodies.

(4) After making a screening decision, the Department shall—

(a)notify the applicant in writing of the decision, giving reasons for the decision;

(b)enter the decision in a register, to which the public shall have access at all reasonable times; and

(c)where it considers that any of the consultation bodies might wish to be informed of the screening decision, notify those bodies of it.

(5) The Department must make a screening decision, and notify the applicant of it, within 35 days, or such longer period as it may agree with the applicant, of either—

(a)the date referred to in regulation 7(3); or

(b)where applicable, the date the Department receives any additional information it has requested under regulation 7(2),

whichever is later.

(6) If the Department has failed to make or notify a screening decision within the period in paragraph (5), the applicant may notify the Department that he intends to treat that failure as a decision that the project is a significant project.

(7) Where the applicant has so notified the Department, the Department is deemed to have decided on the date of that notification that the project is a significant project.

(8) If, after the Department has made, or is deemed to have made a decision that the project is a significant project—

(a)the Department receives further information or representations; and

(b)as a result of that further information or those representations the Department decides that the project is not a significant project,

the Department must take all the steps in paragraph (4) in respect of that new decision.

(9) If the project to which a screening decision relates is not begun within a period of three years beginning with the date the screening decision is notified to the applicant, or is deemed to have been taken under paragraph (7), the screening decision shall cease to have effect.

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