Section 4 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, provides for the general provisions in respect of exempted development, being development works not requiring planning permission. Supplementary detailed provisions in relation to exempted development are provided for in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended.
Currently, the construction of forest roads and ancillary works is exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission except where such works involve the provision of an entrance from a public road, in which circumstances, planning permission is required. Section 8 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018, which is not yet commenced, amends section 4 of the Act of 2000 to provide that the construction of forest roads and ancillary works are exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission, except where such works involves the provision of a forest entrance on a national road.
When this section is commenced, new forest entrances on public roads, other than national roads, will no longer require planning permission, but will be subject to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s statutory consent system for the control of forestry activities as provided for in the Forestry Act 2014. The commencement of this section is dependent on necessary supporting regulations, including a minor amendment to the exempted development provisions in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001. In addition, relevant amendments to the Forestry Regulations 2017 need to be made by my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which I understand are at an advanced stage. It is intended to commence this new provision once the necessary amending regulations have been finalised.