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Planning Issues

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 23 October 2018

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Questions (700)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

700. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if legislation can be amended to ensure that future planting of commercial forestry throughout Ireland is required to have local authority planning permission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43772/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Planning and Development Regulations 2001 were amended in September 2011 by the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2011 to provide that initial afforestation shall be exempted development, i.e. exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission.

The justification for exempting this form of activity from the requirement to obtain planning permission is because such activity was subject to a separate statutory development consent system under the European Communities (Forest Consent and Assessment) Regulations 2010, administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  The 2010 Regulations were subsequently revoked and have been replaced by the Forestry Regulations 2017, following the commencement of the Forestry Act 2014. 

Similar to the 2010 Regulations, the 2017 Regulations make specific provision for public consultation in the application and approval processes relating to afforestation developments. As part of the statutory public consultation process, site notices must be erected at all entrances (to the proposed site) onto the public road in respect of forestry licence applications.  Further, notice of applications are published on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s website, under public consultation.

I have no proposals to further amend the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 in this regard. However, taking account of wider planning and development considerations, my Department will continue to monitor and keep under review general development activity, in consultation with local authorities, relevant Departments and Agencies and other stakeholders.

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