Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (1029, 1032)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

1029. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the proposed timeline for the online portal for forestry appeals and information regarding its form; the information fields available; and the legacy and historical information available. [27121/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

1032. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the proposed timeline for the online portal for forestry appeals; the information fields that will be available; and the legacy and historical information that will be available. [27206/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1029 and 1032 together.

The Deputy has asked for information on an online portal for forestry appeals.  The Forestry Appeals Committee (FAC) deals with appeals against decisions on forestry licences and is operationally independent of my Department.  They maintain their own website as part of the website of the Agriculture Appeals Office.  I understand the FAC began publishing documents online, earlier this year, in relation to forestry appeals.

Separately, my Department will shortly open a public online portal, the Forestry Licence Viewer (FLV), to make available forestry licence application information available to the public.  The FLV will include licence applications for afforestation, forest road works, tree felling and aerial fertilisation.  Those interested will be able to gain information on the operation proposed, the plot size, townland and county.  For afforestation the proposed species will be available.  Documents will be uploaded to the FLV, which will provide in-depth application information, including maps etc. Submissions received on applications will be made available through the FLV and other supporting documents such as assessments, Natura Impact Statements, and other reports where required.  Summary information on legacy cases will be available for decisions made since 1 January, 2018.

The Forestry Licence Viewer is intended to enhance public participation in the decision-making process by making much more information available to citizens during the 30 days, which is provided for public consultation in the licensing process, and to provide information for those who wish to appeal licensing decisions.