Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Challenges for the Forestry Sector: Discussion (Resumed)

Mr. Colm Hayes:

Regarding the referrals to State bodies, obviously they should go on the same day. We aim to do it that way. I would like to think the vast majority do. There are a lot of moving parts to an individual licence, between archaeology, ecology and other matters. It is possible that between the jigs and the reels there may be individual licences where they do not all go on the same day, but the policy at least is that where more than one external body is to be consulted on a licence, that they are consulted at the same time. Sometimes applications can come back from external bodies that require further work and information as well, but the baseline policy is clear on our part.

On the average length of time for a licence, if members look at the Department's website tomorrow morning they will see all the licences that we have issued since the start of the week. On that, they will see licences where the application came in two or three months ago but, equally, they will see licences where the application came in two years ago.