Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
246. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of forestry licences processed for the months of August, September and October 2021, in tabular form; the breakdown including felling, road access and afforestation applications; the percentage that have licences processed to the public and private sector owners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59615/21]
The Department has issued a total of 3,603 forestry licences so far this year, which is 55% more than was issued for all of 2020 (2,592) albeit last year was a low output year. The table below represents the output for the months requested broken down by tree felling, afforestation and forest road works licences.
The Deputy will note the smaller number of licences issued in August, which was due to an interruption to outputs caused by the requirement to go to a second 30-day public consultation for cases subject to Appropriate Assessment. However, licence output has now returned to expected levels with an average of 116 licences issuing per week over the last 13 weeks to 26th November.
Finally, my Department has issued 813 private forestry licences in the months August to 26thNovember*, compared to 866 Coillte felling licences. The breakdown of licences issued each month to private/Coillte is in the table below and the percentage of Coillte licences issued of the total.
The Deputy may be aware that my Department publishes the Forestry Licensing Dashboard weekly, which is available on the Department’s website.
My Department received an application for a tree felling licence for the person named in April this year. The application has been referred to my Department’s Ecology Unit in order to assess possible effects on surrounding designated sites. A Harvest Plan has been received and once the environmental report is completed, the application will be opened for a 30-day public consultation period. When that consultation has closed, it will be referred back to my Department for further processing.
Subject to all of the above proceeding as standard, I expect that a decision will issue in approximately two to three months.