Information Leaflet 11: Applications raising matters relating to National Security
The Planning (National Security Directions and Appointed Representatives) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2006 (the NSD&AR Rules)
The NSD&AR Rules made under Article 123A (6) of the 1991 Order provide for the procedure to be followed by the Secretary of State before he gives a direction and for the functions of ‘appointed representatives’. By virtue of Article 123A (1) they might relate to any public local inquiry or independent examination held under the 1991 Order but are particularly relevant where an inquiry is held as required under Article 123B (2) following issue of a certificate under Article 123B (1).
It is anticipated that where a certificate is issued under Article 123B (1) and there are objections or representations in respect of the application which have not been withdrawn, the applicant or an objector, as the case may be, will request the Secretary of State (SoS) to direct under Article 123A (2) of the 1991 Order that at the inquiry, “evidence of the description indicated in the direction shall only be heard or, as the case may be, be open to inspection at that inquiry or examination by such persons or persons of such descriptions as he may specify in the direction”.
The SoS may give the direction under Articles 123A (2) and (3) where he is satisfied that giving evidence or making it available for inspection would be likely to result in the disclosure of information as to matters related to national security and the measures taken or to be taken to ensure the security of any premises or property and that public disclosure of that information would be contrary to the national interest.
Where the Secretary of State is considering giving or has given a direction the Attorney General for Northern Ireland may appoint a person to represent the interests of any person who will be prevented from hearing or inspecting any evidence at an inquiry or examination if the direction is given.