Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1185)

John McGuinness

Question:

1185. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a felling and planting licence will be issued to a person (details supplied); if the matter will be expedited; and the reason for the delay to date. [19408/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application for both afforestation and tree felling licences were received on behalf of the person named in October, 2018 and forwarded to my Department’s Forestry District Inspector for his review.

All applications are carefully assessed for their impact on certain aspects of the proposed site including ecological features. This site is within the referral area for the Rivers Barrow and Nore SAC, which is designated for the Fresh Water Pearl Mussel. It is important therefore that the site is properly reviewed for its effect on the SAC.

A Natura Impact Statement was requested and supplied by the applicant and this must be carefully assessed by my Department’s Ecologist. This assessment will ensure that any possible implications for the pearl mussel are identified and characterised over the whole forest rotation, in consideration of the conservation objectives for the species.

Once the assessment by the Ecologist is complete, the applications will be returned to the District Inspector for their recommendations. These recommendations will form the basis of the decision which will be issued to the applicant and their Registered Forester, when available.