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The Drainage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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Determination of whether proposed drainage works should be approved

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16.—(1) On expiry of the period referred to in regulation 12(2)(b), the Department shall provide to the Drainage Council, the information set out in sub-paragraph (a) and within a reasonable timeframe, the Drainage Council shall—

(a)examine the information presented in the environmental statement and any supplementary information provided, where necessary, in accordance with regulation 12 and any relevant information received through the consultations under regulations 12 and 15, to assess the direct and indirect effects of the proposed drainage works on the environmental factors specified in Schedule 2C to the Drainage Order;

(b)reach a reasoned conclusion on the significant effects of the project on the environment, taking into account the results of the examination referred to in sub-paragraph (a) (and where appropriate, its own supplementary examination); and

(c)include that reasoned conclusion in the decision as to whether the proposed drainage works are to be approved or not to be approved.

(2) The reasoned conclusion referred to in paragraph (1)(b) must be still valid at the time that the decision is taken as to whether approval for the proposed drainage works is or is not to be granted.

(3) The Drainage Council must ensure that it has, or has access as necessary to, sufficient expertise to examine the environmental statement.

(4) Where—

(a)the Drainage Council is satisfied that the reasoned conclusion, or any decisions made on the proposed drainage works are still valid; and

(b)no objection in relation to the likely environmental effects of the proposed drainage works has been made; or

(c)any such objection has been withdrawn,

and the Drainage Council having undertaken the assessment required by paragraph (1) considers that the drainage works should proceed (unconditionally or subject to conditions) or should not proceed, it may so determine.

(5) Where the Drainage Council has determined—

(a)in accordance with paragraph (4), that the proposed drainage works should be approved or that the drainage works should be approved subject to conditions, or

(b)that the works should not be approved,

it shall provide the Department with its determination and the Department shall determine if the drainage works will or will not proceed and the Department shall publish a general and local advertisement, in accordance with paragraph (6).

(6) Each of the advertisements referred to in paragraph (5) shall—

(a)inform the public of the determination, and

(b)give details of the places where and the times at which the public may inspect a statement of—

(i)the reasoned conclusion of the Drainage Council on the significant effects of the proposed drainage works on the environment, taking into account the results of the examination referred to in paragraph (1);

(ii)any conditions to which the decision is subject which relate to the likely significant environmental effects of the proposed drainage works on the environment;

(iii)a description of any features of the proposed drainage works and any measures envisaged in order to avoid, prevent, reduce and, if possible, offset the likely significant adverse effects on the environment;

(iv)information about the public participation process and the results of the consultations; and

(v)any monitoring measures considered appropriate by the Drainage Council.

(7) At the same time as the notice in the Belfast Gazette is published under paragraph (5), the Department shall send a copy of the Drainage Council’s determination along with the details referred to in paragraph (6)(b)(i) to (v) to each consultation body and any person who made representations under regulations 12 or 13, to proposed drainage works.

(8) Where the Drainage Council, having considered the examination specified in paragraph (1), considers that the proposed drainage works should be approved but objections to these works made in relation to their likely environmental effects have not been withdrawn, it shall send the proposal for the drainage works together with the environmental statement, any additional information and any representations on it to the Commission for determination in accordance with paragraphs (9) to (12).

(9) Where the Commission considers that the proposal, environmental statement, additional information and representations sent to it in accordance with paragraph (8) do not provide sufficient information to enable a determination to be made in relation to any proposed drainage works in pursuance of this regulation, the Commission shall notify the Department, and the Drainage Council, in writing, of the matters on which further information is required and may make a written request to the Department and the Drainage Council for such information as it may be able to provide on the matters raised within a specified timeframe.

(10) Where, in accordance with paragraph (9), the Commission requests further information in relation to any proposed drainage works, the Department shall co-ordinate the information from the Drainage Council, and no later than the time when it provides that information to the Commission, it shall—

(a)by general and local advertisement—

(i)state that the further information is available in relation to the works and give details of the places where and times at which a copy may be inspected; and

(ii)state that any person who wishes to make representations on the likely environmental effects of the drainage works to which the further information relates may make them in writing to the Commission at the address specified in the advertisement within 30 days of the date of the publication of the notice in the Belfast Gazette;

(b)on or before the date of the publication of the notice in the Belfast Gazette supply a copy of the further information and notice to each of the consultation bodies so that they have an opportunity to make representations to the Commission on the likely environmental effects of the proposed drainage works to which the further information relates before the expiry of the period specified in the notice.

(11) The Commission shall—

(a)assess, in the light of the environmental statement, any further information provided in response to a request under paragraph (9) and any representations referred to in regulations 12, 15, or paragraph (10), the direct and indirect effects of the proposed drainage works on the environmental factors specified in Schedule 2C to the Drainage Order;

(b)afford the Department, the Drainage Council, and any persons who made representations the opportunity of appearing before and being heard by the Commission;

(c)having regard to the assessment under sub-paragraph (a) and the representations made under sub-paragraph (b) and having examined the concerns and opinions expressed by the public and the main reasons and considerations upon which the determination under consideration was based, including information about the public participation process—

(i)consent to the drainage works in question unconditionally or subject to such conditions as the Commission considers appropriate; or

(ii)refuse to consent to the drainage works; and

(d)send to the Department, the Drainage Council, and any person who made representations under regulations 12, 15 or paragraph (10) a statement in writing of—

(i)the reasoned conclusion of the Commission on the significant effects of the proposed drainage works on the environment, taking into account the results of the examination referred to in this paragraph;

(ii)any conditions to which the decision is subject which relate to the likely significant environmental effects of the proposed drainage works on the environment;

(iii)a description of any features of the proposed drainage works and any measures envisaged in order to avoid, prevent, reduce and, if possible, offset the likely significant adverse effects on the environment;

(iv)information about the public participation process and the results of the consultations; and

(v)any monitoring measures considered appropriate by the Commission.

(12) The Department shall by general and local advertisement—

(a)inform the public of the Commission’s determination under paragraph (11)(c) within 30 days of receipt of such determination; and

(b)give details of the places where and times at which the public may inspect a copy of the statement sent to it under paragraph (11)(d).

(13) In relation to any determination made by the Drainage Council or by the Commission under this regulation or regulation 8, the Department shall maintain a record of, and make available to the public on request, the information referred to in paragraph (11)(d).

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