DCAN 12: Planning Control for Hazardous Substances
Purpose of New Controls
10. The controls are designed to regulate the presence of hazardous substances so that they cannot be kept or used above specified quantities until the Competent Authorities have had the opportunity to assess the risk of an accident and its consequences for people in the surrounding area and for the environment. They complement, but do not override or duplicate, the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 19781 and its relevant statutory provisions (defined at section 63 of the 1991 Order) which are enforced by the HSENI. Even after all reasonably practicable measures have been taken to ensure compliance with the requirements of the 1978 Order, there will remain a residual risk of an accident which cannot entirely be eliminated. These controls will ensure that this residual risk to persons in the surrounding area and to the environment is properly addressed by the land-use planning system.
11. The Department is able to exercise a degree of control over the presence of hazardous substances through the development control system, where such presence is directly associated with a proposed development. But there are situations in which hazardous substances may be introduced onto a site, or used differently within it, without there being any associated development requiring planning permission. These provisions enable specific controls to be exercised over the presence of hazardous substances whether or not associated development is involved. The Department will be able to decide whether, in the light of the residual risk, and having regard to existing and prospective uses of a site and its surrounding environment, the proposed presence of a hazardous substance is an appropriate land use of that site.