Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
521. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the Department was consulted during the drafting or at any point prior to the introduction of SI No. 45 of 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27455/21]
Between 2002 and 2008, pursuant the Planning and Development Act 2000, the construction, maintenance, and improvement of non-public roads serving forests and woodlands and works ancillary to that development was classed as “exempted development” for the purposes of planning permission.
The requirement to obtain a statutory consent from the Department for forest road works was first introduced in late 2010, through the European Communities (Forest Consent and Assessment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 558 of 2010). Subsequently, in late 2011, further amendments to the Planning and Development Acts were commenced, which removed the exemption from obtaining planning permission. Therefore, a dual consent system existed whereby consent was required from the Department to build a forest road and grant of planning was also required from the local authority to open an entrance from that forest road onto a public road (other than a national road).
Officials of the Department worked closely with their counterparts in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to re-establish the exemption from the requirement to obtain a grant of planning. This culminated in the introduction of the “Single Consent System” and the coming into force of Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 45 of 2020) on 7th February 2020.