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

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Procedure at inquiry

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13.—(1) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, the inspector or planning appeals commission shall determine the procedure at an inquiry.

(2) At the start of the inquiry the inspector or planning appeals commission shall identify what are, in their opinion, the main issues to be considered at the inquiry and any matters on which they require further explanation from a person entitled or permitted to appear.

(3) Nothing in paragraph (2) shall preclude a person entitled or permitted to appear from referring to issues which he considers relevant to the consideration of the application but which were not issues identified by the inspector or planning appeals commission pursuant to that paragraph.

(4) Unless in any particular case the inspector or planning appeals commission otherwise determine, the Department shall begin and the applicant shall have the right of final reply; and the other persons entitled or permitted to appear shall be heard in such order as the inspector or planning appeals commission may determine.

(5) A person entitled to appear at an inquiry shall be entitled to call evidence and the applicant, the Department and each statutory party shall, subject to paragraph (6), be entitled to cross-examine persons giving evidence, but subject to the foregoing and paragraphs (6), (7) and (8), the calling of evidence and the cross-examination of persons giving evidence shall otherwise be at the discretion of the inspector or planning appeals commission.

(6) Nothing in paragraph (5) or paragraph (8)(b) shall permit a person other than—

(a)the inspector;

(b)the planning appeals commission;

(c)the Department;

(d)the appointed representative; or

(e)such other person or person of such description as is specified in the direction,

to hear or inspect closed evidence.

(7) The inspector or planning appeals commission may refuse to permit the—

(a)giving or production of evidence;

(b)cross-examination of persons giving evidence; or

(c)presentation of any other matter,

which they consider to be irrelevant or repetitious; but where they refuse to permit the giving of oral evidence, the person wishing to give the evidence may submit to them any evidence or other matter in writing before the close of the inquiry.

(8) Where a person gives evidence at an inquiry by reading a summary of his proof of evidence in accordance with rule 11(7)—

(a)the proof of evidence referred to in rule 11(1) shall be treated as tendered in evidence unless the person required to provide the summary notifies the inspector or planning appeals commission that he now wishes to rely on the contents of that summary alone; and

(b)the person whose evidence the proof of evidence contains shall, subject to paragraph (6), then be subject to cross-examination on it to the same extent as if it were evidence the person had given orally.

(9) The inspector or planning appeals commission may direct that facilities shall be afforded to a person appearing at an inquiry to take or obtain copies of documentary evidence open to public inspection.

(10) The inspector or planning appeals commission may—

(a)require a person appearing or present at an inquiry who, in their opinion, is behaving in a disruptive manner to leave; and

(b)refuse to permit that person to return ; or

(c)permit that person to return only on such conditions as they may specify,

but any such person may submit to them any evidence or other matter in writing before the close of the inquiry.

(11) The inspector or planning appeals commission may allow a person to alter or add to a statement of case served on them under rule 6 so far as may be necessary for the purposes of the inquiry; but they shall (if necessary by adjourning the inquiry) give every other person entitled to appear who is appearing at the inquiry an adequate opportunity of considering any fresh matter or document.

(12) The inspector or planning appeals commission may proceed with an inquiry in the absence of any person entitled to appear at it.

(13) The inspector or planning appeals commission may take into account any written representation or evidence or any other document served on them by any person before an inquiry opens or during the inquiry provided that they disclose it at the inquiry.

(14) The inspector or planning appeals commission may from time to time adjourn an inquiry and, if the date, time and place of the adjourned inquiry are announced at the inquiry before the adjournment, no further notice shall be required.

(15) A person who appears at an inquiry, that the inspector or planning appeals commission expects to last for 8 or more days, and makes a closing submission shall, by close of the inquiry, provide the inspector or planning appeals commission with a copy of his closing submission in writing.

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