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The Planning (Inquiry Procedure) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Proofs of evidence

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11.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person entitled to appear at an inquiry, who proposes to give, or to call another person to give evidence at the inquiry by reading a proof of evidence shall—

(a)send 2 copies, in the case of the Department and the applicant, or 3 copies in the case of any other person, of the proof of evidence together with any written summary, to the inspector or planning appeals commission; and

(b)simultaneously send copies of these to each statutory party,

and the inspector or planning appeals commission shall, as soon as practicable after receipt, send a copy of each proof of evidence together with any summary to the Department and the applicant.

(2) Paragraph (3) applies where the proof of evidence includes or refers to closed evidence.

(3) Where this paragraph applies a person entitled to appear at an inquiry, who proposes to give, or to call another person to give evidence at the inquiry by reading a proof of evidence, shall—

(a)send to the inspector or planning appeals commission 2 copies, in the case of the Department and the applicant, or 3 copies in the case of other persons, of—

(i)the proof of evidence including closed evidence together with any written summary of it; and

(ii)the proof of evidence excluding closed evidence (“the open proof”) together with any written summary of it; and

(b)simultaneously send copies of the open proof and any written summary of it to each statutory party,

and the inspector or planning appeals commission shall, as soon as practicable after receipt, send a copy of the proof of evidence including closed evidence together with any written summary of it to the Department and a copy of the open proof together with any written summary of it to the applicant.

(4) No written summary shall be required where the proof of evidence proposed to be read contains no more than 1500 words.

(5) The proof of evidence and any summary shall be served on the inspector or planning appeals commission no later than—

(a)4 weeks before the date fixed for the holding of the inquiry, or

(b)where a timetable has been arranged pursuant to rule 7 which specifies a date by which the proof of evidence and any summary shall be served on the inspector or planning appeals commission, that date.

(6) The inspector or planning appeals commission shall send to the appointed representative, as soon as practicable after receipt, each proof of evidence together with each summary sent to them in accordance with this rule and served on them, within the relevant period, if any specified in this rule.

(7) Where a written summary is provided in accordance with paragraph (1) or (3), only that summary shall be read at the inquiry, unless the inspector or planning appeals commission permit or require otherwise.

(8) A person required by this rule to send copies of a proof of evidence to the inspector or planning appeals commission, shall send with them the same number of copies of the whole, or the relevant part, of each document referred to in the proof of evidence, unless a copy of the document or part of the document in question is already available for inspection pursuant to rule 6(15).

(9) The Department shall afford to a person who so requests a reasonable opportunity to inspect and, where practicable, take copies of each document sent to or by that person in accordance with this rule.

(10) For the purposes of paragraph (9) an opportunity shall be taken to have been afforded to a person where the person is notified of—

(a)publication of the relevant document on a website,

(b)the address of the website, and

(c)the place on the website where the document may be accessed, and how it may be accessed.

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