Wednesday, 8 May 2019
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
1159. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the new procedure to be followed by private forestry owners when applying for felling licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18958/19]
1160. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the detail of the recent changes in the felling licence application process; the rationale for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18960/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1159 and 1160 together.
The Forestry Act, 2014 was commenced on 24thMay, 2014 and at the same time, I signed the Forestry Regulations, 2017. The Act and Regulations set out the provisions for licensing (consent) for afforestation and forest road applications, aerial fertilisation licensing and felling licences.
Changes to the tree felling licence process introduced on commencement of the Act were:-
- A single licence process for tree felling;
- An extension to the list of exempted trees to allow felling without a tree felling licence for trees outside of the forest in certain circumstances;
- Provision for felling licences of up to 10 years in duration, which may be extended for one or more further periods, not exceeding a total of 5 years;
- The introduction of timelines for processing felling licences;
- The advertising of applications for tree felling licences when received, on my Department’s website. Any person may make a submission or observation to my Department within 30 days from the date of the notice.
There have been no changes to the tree felling licence process since 24thMay, 2017.