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The Water Environment (Floods Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

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Flood risk management plans: public participation

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19.—(1) The Department shall, in respect of the preparation of a flood risk management plan—

(a)not less than three years before the beginning of the period to which the plan is to relate, publish a timetable and work programme for the preparation of the plan, including a statement of the consultation measures to be taken; and

(b)not less than one year before the beginning of the period to which the plan is to relate, publish a draft of the plan.

(2) The Department shall publish the documents referred to in paragraph (1) in a manner calculated to bring them to the attention of persons and bodies likely to be affected by them and, in particular, shall—

(a)make copies of each document accessible to the public free of charge at Rivers Agency Headquarters, Hydebank, 4 Hospital Road, Belfast, BT8 8JP and through the Department’s website;

(b)publish a notice—

(i)stating the fact of publication;

(ii)specifying the arrangements made for making copies of the documents available for public inspection; and

(iii)stating that any person may make representations to the Department in relation to the documents published within a period specified in the notice;

(c)consult the persons and bodies referred to in paragraph (4);

(d)take such steps as it considers appropriate to provide opportunities for the general public and the persons and bodies referred to in paragraph (4) to participate in discussion and the exchange of information or views in relation to the preparation of the plan and, in particular, shall give access to background documents and information used in such preparation; and

(e)invite the public and the persons and bodies referred to in paragraph (4) to make representations in relation to the draft plan.

(3) A notice required by paragraph (2)(b) shall be published—

(a)in the Belfast Gazette;

(b)at least once in each of two successive weeks in one or more newspapers circulating in the river basin district; and

(c)on the Department’s website.

(4) The persons and bodies to be consulted are—

(a)the Drainage Council;

(b)each district council any part of whose area is within the river basin district;

(c)the harbour authority for each harbour in the river basin district;

(d)the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure;

(e)the Department of the Environment;

(f)the Department for Regional Development;

(g)each water undertaker and each sewerage undertaker;

(h)Waterways Ireland;

(i)the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission;

(j)the relevant competent authority in the Republic of Ireland (in the case of a plan affecting an international river basin district);

(k)such persons or bodies as appear to the Department in relation to the river basin district—

(i)to be representative of the interests of those carrying on any business which relies upon flood risk management; or

(ii)to have an interest in flood risk management; and

(l)such other persons or bodies as the Department considers appropriate.

(5) The Department shall take into account any representations relating to each of the documents referred to in paragraph (1) which are received by the Department within a period of six months beginning with the date of publication of the document or such longer period as the Department may allow.

(6) In this regulation—

(a)“harbour” and “harbour authority” have the meanings given by section 38 of the Harbours Act (Northern Ireland) 1970(1); and

(b)“the river basin district” includes an international river basin district or, as the case may be, the part of an international river basin district lying within Northern Ireland.

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