Written answers

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Felling Licences Applications

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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181. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a decision will be issued on a felling licence application by a person (details supplied); the reason no decision has been given on the application to date; if details of the Natura impact statement required in this case have been conveyed to the person; if such a statement has been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45912/19]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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An application for a tree felling licence for the person named, was received in May, 2018.

The site concerned is very sensitive as there are two Natura sites nearby, the Maamturks and Twelve Bens. For this reason, a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) will be required. A formal request for a NIS is currently being prepared by officials and will be issued to the person named and their registered forester shortly.

All forestry licence applications, including tree felling licences, must be carefully assessed by my Department to ensure that any potential impact on the surrounding environment is carefully considered. In view of appropriate assessment requirements for sensitive sites and ECJ judgments in relation to same, an increasing number of files are being referred for ecological input. As a result, additional ecologists are being recruited by my Department and we are also availing of the assistance of external ecological expertise. These actions will improve the application process and will make for more timely decision-making in the future.

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