Purpose of Public inquiry
The purpose of a Public inquiry into a road proposal is to enable objectors and supporters to present their evidence before an independent Inspector. The inquiry procedure is subject to the rules of natural justice. These rules, developed by the Courts, provide that there must be fairness in the conduct of an administrative process and, in particular, each side must have a fair opportunity to be heard and to hear and question the case against them.
DfI Roads presents its case first by way of an opening statement, followed by the calling of witnesses to give evidence. The DfI Roads witnesses may then be questioned by objectors ('cross-examination') and by the Inspector. The same process is followed by each objector. By this process, the case for and against the scheme is tested.
After the close of the inquiry, the Inspector will produce a report clearly setting out his or her conclusions; he or she does not make a decision, but recommends a course of action.
September 2015 Public inquiry
A Public inquiry was held on 29 September 2015 in Christ Church Parish Hall, 10 Station Road, Castledawson.