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1(1)Where it appears to the Minister to be expedient that any land should be prospected for the purpose of finding or proving a site for an underground gas storage the Minister may, on the application of a [F1public gas supplier]give a direction designating that land as land in relation to which the powers conferred by the next following paragraph are to be exercisable, subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the direction.E+W+S
(2)[F2The applicant]shall serve on the owners and occupiers of all the land to which the application relates notice of [F3his application], setting out the terms of the direction applied for and stating that representations with respect to the application may be made to the Minister within twenty-eight days from service of the notice.
(3)The Minister shall take into consideration all representations duly made within the said period of twenty-eight days and may, if he thinks fit, give the direction in the terms applied for, or in more restrictive terms.
(4)The direction shall remain in force for such period, being not more than two years, as may be specified in the direction and if within the period so specified [F2the applicant], or any other [F1public gas supplier], take proceedings under Schedule 2 to this Act for the making of a storage authorisation order which will include in its storage area any of the land designated in the direction, the direction shall continue in force until the Minister under paragraph 5(1) of the said Schedule refuses to allow [F2the applicant]to proceed with [F4his proposals], or under paragraph 10(1) of that Schedule refuses the application, or until the storage authorisation order comes into force.
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