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10. (1) Before determining an appeal, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit–
(a)cause the appeal to take or continue in the form of a hearing (which may, if the person hearing the appeal so decides, be held, or held to any extent, in private); or
(b)cause a local inquiry to be held,
and the Secretary of State shall act as mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) above if a request is made by either the appellant or the Environment Agency to be heard with respect to the appeal.
(2) The persons entitled to be heard at a hearing are–
(b)the Environment Agency; and
(c)any person (other than the Agency) on whom the appellant was required to serve a copy of the notice of appeal.
(3) Nothing in paragraph (2) above shall prevent the person appointed to conduct the hearing of the appeal from permitting any other person to be heard at the hearing and such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(4) After the conclusion of a hearing, the person appointed to conduct the hearing shall, unless he has been appointed under section 114(1)(a) of the Environment Act 1995 (power of Secretary of State to delegate his functions of determining appeals) to determine the appeal, make a report in writing to the Secretary of State which shall include his conclusions and his recommendations or his reasons for not making any recommendations.
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