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26.—(1) A local authority which prepares, reviews or revises a plan pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) of regulation 25 may charge a fee, determined in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (4), to the operator of the pipeline to which the plan relates.
(2) A fee shall not exceed the sum of the costs reasonably incurred by the local authority in preparing, reviewing or revising the plan and, where the plan covers pipelines of which there are more than one operator, the fee charged to each operator shall not exceed the proportion of such sum attributable to the part or parts of the plan relating to his pipelines.
(3) In determining the fee no account shall be taken of costs other than the costs of discharging functions in relation to those parts of the plan which relate to the protection of health or safety of persons and which were costs incurred after the coming into force of these Regulations.
(4) The local authority may determine the cost of employing a graded officer for any period on work appropriate to his grade by reference to the average cost to it of employing officers of his grade for that period.
(5) When requiring payment the local authority shall send or give to the operator of the pipeline a detailed statement of the work done and costs incurred including the date of any visit to any place and the period to which the statement relates; and the fee, which shall be recoverable only as a civil debt, shall become payable one month after the statement has been sent or given.