Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
517. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason there has not been a significant increase in the issuing of private licences for the weeks ending 16 April, 23 April, 30 April and 7 May 2021 when over this same period Coillte has only issued seven felling licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27451/21]
518. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide a definition of Coillte felling and private felling based on the forestry licensing dashboard, as presented by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27452/21]
519. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine where Coillte submits a licence application and it is not the landowner but acts as an agent for the landowner, if the data get presented as Coillte or private on the weekly dashboard when the licence is issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27453/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 517 to 519, inclusive, together.
While there was a decrease in Coillte licences issued in the period mentioned by the Deputy, work continued on a batch of 1,864 applications received from Coillte on 15 March 2021.
There is a significant amount of background work involved in the licensing process long before a licence issues and this work is currently ongoing. Pre-licensing work on these new applications began immediately with applications advertised and referrals made to District Forestry Inspectors and third parties such as County Councils.
Some preliminary screening also took place for Appropriate Assessment and all applications were successfully uploaded to the Forestry Licence Viewer, making them accessible to the public. We also used the opportunity to issue new licences that were remitted to the Department by FAC for a new decision. These are not counted as new licences in the weekly output to avoid double-counting.
“Coillte felling” is defined as all tree felling licence applications received in the name of Coillte CGA, while “private felling” is defined as all tree felling licence applications received from any other applicant. Coillte CGA makes applications for forest road works and non-grant aided afforestation licences on their own behalf and as an agent on behalf of other landowners. Where an application is made by Coillte as an agent on behalf of other landowners, the landowner is given as the applicant name. All Coillte felling files identified on the weekly dashboard are applications where Coillte is both the landowner and the applicant.
520. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of licences issued with ecology input from June 2020 to date in 2021, by month; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27454/21]
The numbers of forestry licences issued each month from June 2020 to 21st May 2021, with ecology input, are outlined in the table below: