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Deregulation Act 2015

Preliminary assessment and notice of applications

625.Paragraph 2 of Schedule 13A makes provision for preliminary assessment and notice of applications. Sub-paragraph (1) provides that a surveying authority must, within 3 months of receiving an application, decide whether there is a reasonable basis for the applicant’s belief that the definitive map should be modified in consequence of the occurrence of one or more events falling within section 53(3)(b) or (c) of the Act. Sub-paragraph (2) provides that, in so deciding, the authority must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State. Under sub-paragraph (3) the authority must, if they decide there is no reasonable basis for the application, inform the applicant of their decision and their reasons for it.

626.Sub-paragraph (4) provides that, if they decide there is a reasonable basis, the authority must so inform the applicant and serve notice on every affected landowner and occupier, stating that an application has been made, which the authority are investigating further. (This replaces the requirement for the applicant to serve notice of the application on landowners and occupiers, currently in paragraph 2 of Schedule 14). There is provision, in sub-paragraph (5), for the authority to post notices on the land if they cannot reasonably ascertain who the owner or occupier is. The introduction of the new preliminary assessment procedure will reduce the administrative burden on, and cost to, local authorities of investigating and determining applications (under paragraph 3 of Schedule 14 to the 1981 Act) that are spurious or poorly founded (and reduce the burden on affected landowners of resisting such ill-founded applications).

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