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Legal requirements for forest road works

Brief overview of the legal requirements for forest road works

Forest road works licences – application procedure

From 7 February 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine acts as the single consent authority for applications for forest road works licences, where

  • the forest road provides access to a public road (other than a national road) or
  • there is material widening of an existing entrance.

This means that applicants will no longer require planning permission from the local authority for such developments as part of the forest road works licensing process.

Applications for forest roads that provide access to a public road received before 7 February 2020, will require planning permission from the relevant local authority or a formal letter stating planning permission is not required.

Please note: forest road projects that provide access to a national road, planning permission from the relevant Roads Authority will still be required.

Requirements for mandatory consultation

A person or company, who is planning to either construct a new forest entrance, or widen an existing entrance, must apply to DAFM for consent prior to commencing works.

The document Forest Entrances - Requirements for Mandatory Consultation (PDF) sets out the application process and required documents for an application for forest road works that involves an entrance from a public road. Particular attention must be paid to the mandatory requirements, consultation process and deadlines. The document also details the application assessment process.

The licensing process for such works will carry the standard public consultation and appeal processes (see below).

Site Notices

All forest road works licence applications submitted for approval, must have a Site Notice appropriately positioned on the site.

The Site Notice must be maintained in position for a period of not less than five weeks from date of receipt of the licence application by the Department. If the Notice is removed or becomes illegible it must be replaced within that period. The contract number (CN) must be included on the Site Notice.

Licence applications & public consultation

Forest road works applications are published on the Department's website. Applications may be inspected free of charge at the offices of the Forest Service, from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) or purchased for a reasonable fee, if requested in writing.  

A period of 30 days is allowed for public consultation during which a submission or observation in relation to the licence application may be made in writing (by post or email) to:

The Department may grant a licence with or without conditions, or may refuse to grant a licence.


Licence decisions are published on the Department's website.

Where a person is dissatisfied with a decision made by the Department, s/he may appeal to the Forestry Appeals Committee (FAC) against the decision. An appeal may be made to the FAC within 28 days from the date of the notification of the decision of the Department. The appeal must include the facts and contentions upon which the appellant intends to rely together with any documentary evidence submitted in support of the appeal. 

Appeals to the FAC must be made in writing to:

  • Forestry Appeals Committee, Kilminchy Court, Portlaoise, Co Laois, R32 DTW5. Tel. 057-8631900

Relevant publications

See also

Further information:

  • Contact your local Forestry Advisory Staff