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

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Notification of decision

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16.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the Department shall, as soon as practicable, notify its decision on an application, and the reasons for it in writing to—

(a)all persons entitled to appear at the inquiry who did appear; and

(b)a person who, having appeared at the inquiry, has asked to be notified of the decision.

(2) Notification in writing of a decision and reasons shall be taken to have been given to a person for the purposes of this rule where—

(a)the Department and the person have agreed that decisions and reasons required under this rule to be given in writing may instead be accessed by that person on a website;

(b)the decision and reasons are a decision and reasons to which that agreement applies;

(c)the Department has published the decision and reasons on a website;

(d)the person is notified, in a manner for the time being agreed between him and the Department, of—

(i)the publication of the decision and reasons on a website;

(ii)the address of the website;

(iii)the place on the website where the decision and reasons may be accessed, and how they may be accessed.

(3) Where the Department’s reasons for a decision relate to matters in respect of which closed evidence has been given, nothing in paragraph (1) requires the Department to notify those reasons to a person other than—

(a)the appointed representative; or

(b)a person specified, or of any description specified, in the direction.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), where a copy of the inspector’s or planning appeal commission’s report is not sent with the notification of the decision, the notification shall be accompanied by a statement of their conclusion and of any recommendation made by them, and if a person entitled to be notified of the decision has not received a copy of that report, he shall be supplied with a copy of it on written application to the Department.

(5) Nothing in paragraph (4) requires the disclosure of the closed part of the inspector’s or planning appeal commission’s report referred to in rule 15(2) to a person other than—

(a)the appointed representative; or

(b)a person specified, or of any description specified, in the direction.

(6) In this rule “report” does not include any other documents so appended; but a person who has received a copy of the report may apply to the Department in writing, within 6 weeks of the date of the Department’s decision, for an opportunity of inspecting any such documents and the Department shall afford the person that opportunity.

(7) For the purposes of paragraph (6) an opportunity shall be taken to have been afforded to a person where that person is notified of—

(a)publication of the relevant documents on a website;

(b)the address of the website;

(c)the place on the website where the documents may be accessed, and how they may be accessed.

(8) A person applying to the Department under paragraph (4) shall ensure that his application is served on the Department within 4 weeks of its determination.

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