Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Ceisteanna (485)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

485. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications received by the Forest Service for planting approval in 2017, 2018 and to the end of June 2019, by county in tabular form; the average amount of time to assess these applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37168/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme is a voluntary, demand-led scheme under the Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020.  It is open to land owners considering afforesting all or part of their land to apply.  Applications for afforestation are carefully assessed by officials of my Department.  The application process provides for 30 days for public consultation.  In addition to this, applications are referred to public bodies for their input.  Up to eight weeks is provided for a response from these referral bodies.  Responses and submissions are reviewed as part of the overall assessment of the application.  As such, a decision cannot be made within the first 30 days or where a response is awaited from the relevant public body.

While there is a national target for the amount of land to be afforested each year, there are no regional or county targets.  The table below shows the number of applications for the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme received in 2017, 2018 and to 30th June, 2019 for each county.  The average time taken to assess these applications is 18 weeks.

County

2017

2018

2019

Carlow

6

11

5

Cavan

101

68

28

Clare

158

91

60

Cork

116

93

43

Donegal

31

24

9

Dublin

5

2

0

Galway

102

104

35

Kerry

152

136

54

Kildare

15

10

6

Kilkenny

34

23

10

Laois

26

19

7

Leitrim

137

78

39

Limerick

65

40

8

Longford

58

36

17

Louth

6

4

7

Mayo

155

136

55

Meath

27

31

10

Monaghan

32

10

11

Offaly

49

26

13

Roscommon

154

139

60

Sligo

76

55

21

Tipperary

65

42

9

Waterford

24

13

13

Westmeath

91

51

37

Wexford

27

26

4

Wicklow

39

22

14