Planning and Development Act 2000

Supplemental provisions relating to oral hearings.

135

135.F575[(1) The Board or an employee of the Board duly authorised by the Board may assign a person to conduct an oral hearing of an appeal, referral or application on behalf of the Board.

(2) The person conducting an oral hearing of an appeal, referral or application shall have discretion as to the conduct of the hearing and shall conduct the hearing expeditiously and without undue formality (but subject to any direction F576[given by the Board under subsection (2A) or (2AB))].

(2A) The Board may give a direction to the person conducting an oral hearing that he or she shall require persons intending to appear at the hearing to submit to him or her, in writing and in advance of the hearing, the points or a summary of the arguments they propose to make at the hearing; where such a direction is given that person shall comply with it (and, accordingly, is enabled to make such a requirement).

F577[(2AB) The Board may in its absolute discretion, following a recommendation in relation to the matter from a person assigned to make a written report under section 146, give a direction to a person assigned to conduct an oral hearing that he or she shall allow points or arguments in relation to specified matters only during the oral hearing.

(2AC) Where a direction is given by the Board under subsection (2AB) the person to whom it is given shall comply with the direction unless that person forms the opinion that it is necessary, in the interests of observing fair procedures, to allow a point or an argument to be made during the oral hearing in relation to matters not specified in the direction.

(2AD) The Board shall give a notice of its direction under subsection (2AB) to

(a) each party, in the case of an appeal or referral,

(b) the applicant and planning authority in the case of an application

(i) under this Act,

(ii) for a railway order under the Act of 2001, or

(iii) for approval under section 51 of the Roads Act 1993, and

(c) each person who has made objections, submissions or observations to the Board in the case of an appeal, referral or application.

(2AE) The points or summary of the arguments that a person intending to appear at the oral hearing shall submit to the person conducting the hearing, where a direction has been given under subsection (2A) or (2AB), shall be limited to points or arguments in relation to matters specified in the direction under subsection (2AB).]

(2B) Subject to the foregoing provisions, the person conducting the oral hearing

(a) shall decide the order of appearance of persons at the hearing,

(b) shall permit any person to appear in person or to be represented by another person,

(c) may limit the time within which each person may make points or arguments (including arguments in refutation of arguments made by others at the hearing), or question the evidence of others, at the hearing,

(d) may refuse to allow the making of a point or an argument if

(i) the point or a summary of the argument has not been submitted in advance to the person in accordance with a requirement made pursuant to a direction given under subsection (2A),

(ii) the point or argument is not relevant to the subject matter of the hearing, or

(iii) it is considered necessary so as to avoid undue repetition of the same point or argument,

F577[(dd) may refuse to allow the making of a point or an argument in relation to any matter where

(i) a direction has been given under subsection (2AB) and the matter is not specified in the direction, and

(ii) he or she has not formed the opinion referred to in subsection (2AC).]

(e) may hear a person other than a person who has made submissions or observations to the Board in relation to the subject matter of the hearing if it is considered appropriate in the interests of justice to allow the person to be heard.

(3) A person conducting an oral hearing of any appeal, application or referral may require any officer of a planning authority or a local authority to give to him or her any information in relation to the appeal, application or referral which he or she reasonably requires for the purposes of the appeal, application or referral, and it shall be the duty of the officer to comply with the requirement.]

(4) A person conducting an oral hearing of any F575[appeal, referral or application] may take evidence on oath or affirmation and for that purpose may administer oaths or affirmations, and a person giving evidence at any such hearing shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he or she were a witness before the High Court.

(5) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the Board in relation to an oral hearing of any F575[appeal, referral or application] may, by giving notice in that behalf in writing to any person, require that person to do either or both of the following:

(i) to attend at such time and place as is specified in the notice to give evidence in relation to any matter in question at the hearing;

(ii) to produce any books, deeds, contracts, accounts, vouchers, maps, plans, documents or other information in his or her possession, custody or control which relate to any such matter.

(b) Where a person is given a notice under paragraph (a):

(i) the Board shall pay or tender to any person whose attendance is required such reasonable subsistence and travelling expenses to be determined by the Board in accordance with the rates for the time being applicable to senior planning authority officials;

(ii) any person who in compliance with a notice has attended at any place shall, save in so far as the reasonable and necessary expenses of the attendance have already been paid to him or her, be paid those expenses by the Board, and those expenses shall, in default of being so paid, be recoverable as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(6) Every person to whom a notice under subsection (5) has been given who refuses or wilfully neglects to attend in accordance with the notice or who wilfully alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys any document or other information to which the notice relates or who, having so attended, refuses to give evidence or refuses or wilfully fails to produce any document or other information to which the notice relates shall be guilty of an offence.

(7) Where any person—

(a) wilfully gives evidence which is material to the oral hearing and which he or she knows to be false or does not believe to be true,

(b) by act or omission, obstructs or hinders the person conducting the oral hearing in the performance of his or her functions,

(c) refuses to take an oath or to make an affirmation when legally required to do so by a person holding the oral hearing.

(d) refuses to answer any question to which the person conducting an oral hearing may legally require an answer, or

(e) does or omits to do any other thing which, if the inquiry had been by the High Court, would have been contempt of that court,

the person shall be guilty of an offence.

(8) (a) An oral hearing may be conducted through the medium of the Irish or the English language.

(b) Where an oral hearing relates to development within the Gaeltacht, the hearing shall be conducted through the medium of the Irish language, unless the parties to the F575[appeal, referral or application] to which the hearing relates agree that the hearing should be conducted in English.

(c) Where an oral hearing relates to development outside the Gaeltacht, the hearing shall be conducted through the medium of the English language, unless the parties to the F575[appeal, referral or application] to which the hearing relates agree that the hearing should be conducted in the Irish language.

Annotations

Amendments:

F575

Substituted (31.01.2007) by Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 (27/2006), s. 23, S.I. No. 684 of 2006.

F576

Substituted (21.09.2011) by Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (20/2011), s. 26(a), S.I. No. 474 of 2011.

F577

Inserted (21.09.2011) by Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (20/2011), s. 26(b) and (c), S.I. No. 474 of 2011.

Editorial Notes:

E286

Previous affecting provision: section amended by Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 (30/2010), s. 43, not commenced; repealed (21.09.2011) by Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (20/2011), s. 42, S.I. No. 474 of 2011.

E287

Previous affecting provision: original version of subs. (2) substituted (31.01.2007) by Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 (27/2006), s. 23, S.I. No. 684 of 2006; substituted as per F-note above.