Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (1033)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1033. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 949 of 3 February 2021, the financial cost for the person to withdraw from the scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7317/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The contract for this applicant expired in 2007 when the final premium was issued to the applicant so premiums paid will not be recouped.

However, the applicant submitted a Felling application which was granted in November 2018. One of the conditions of a felling licence is that the area must be replanted.

The Forestry Act 2014, which replaced the Forestry Act 1946, requires forest owners to replant clearfelled areas. This includes areas clearfelled under a felling licence or excessively thinned areas or for un-licenced clearfell operations. This requirement which was also contained in the Forestry 1946 Act is to prevent deforestation.

The Department issues a Replanting Order under Section 26 of the Forestry Act 2014 if the landowner does not replant within the time period specified in the felling licence.

Failure to comply with a Replanting Order will result in legal action to enforce it and, if convicted, a person can be subject to a Class D fine or to a fine not exceeding €5,000 for every period of 30 days during which such failure continues.

If the applicant does not wish to replant this particular site, he may apply to the Department to replant an alternative site. However, he must receive prior approval and he will not be entitled to grants or premiums for the alternative site.