DCAN 12: Planning Control for Hazardous Substances
Determination of applications by the Department
32. Under regulation 12 of the Regulations, the Department (Planning Service) has 8 weeks from receipt of a valid application to determine it, unless the applicant agrees to an extended period or the Department notifies the applicant that the application is one to which Article 56 of the 1991 Order applies. If no decision has been given by the end of the 8 week period, or any agreed extended period, the applicant will have a right to appeal to the Planning Appeals Commission against the Department’s failure to determine the application.
33. Before determining an application, the Department (Planning Service) is required by regulation 10 to consult the District Council and HSENI . It will also consult the Environment and Heritage Service in respect of COMAH sites, and any other bodies it thinks relevant. The Department must give consultees not less than 28 days to comment (regulation 11).
34. The role of HSENI and the Environment and Heritage Service is to advise the Planning Service on the risks arising from the presence of hazardous substances. HSENI has the expertise to assess the risks arising to persons in the vicinity from the presence of a hazardous substance; the Environment and Heritage Service has the expertise to assess and advise upon the likely risks arising to the environment.
35. Where an application relates to more than one substance, the Department (Planning Service) may make different determinations in relation to each substance (Article 55(3) of the 1991 Order).
36. When granting consent the Department is required to describe the land to which the consent relates and the substance(s) to which it relates; and to state, in relation to each substance, the maximum quantity of each that may be present at any one time (Article 55(4) of the 1991 Order). Without prejudice to the Department’s general power to impose conditions (Article 55(1)), particular provision is made about the conditions that may be imposed (Article 55(5)). It should be noted that any condition relating to how a hazardous substance is to be kept or used may be imposed only if HSENI have advised that any consent should be subject to such condition(s).