Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (281)

Niall Collins

Question:

281. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an application by a person (details supplied) to plant forestry in Kilrush, County Clare will be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26003/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application for the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme, on behalf of the person named, was received in January this year.

Every application must be assessed to ensure any effect the proposed operations may have on the surrounding landscape and environment are carefully considered. The site was assessed by my Department’s Archaeologist and their report has been received.

The proposed site is close to seven designated sites, including the Rivers Shannon and Fergus estuaries and the Clare coast SPA. Therefore, the application has been referred to my Department’s Ecology Unit.

The person named may wish to have a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) prepared by a suitably qualified person and at their own expense. A NIS can greatly reduce the time it takes to assess and application. If the applicant, having discussed the matter with their Registered Forester, decides to supply a NIS, they may contact my Department for guidance. This guidance will outline the areas upon which the NIS must focus.