Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Legal requirements for forest road works

Brief overview of the legal requirements for forest road works

Forest road works licences – application procedure

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 securely erected at the entrance from the public road to the land to which the licence application relates or, where no entrance exists, at the point where it is proposed to create an entrance, so as to be easily visible and legible by persons using the public road, and shall not be obscured or concealed at any time.

The Site Notice must be clearly legible, affixed on rigid, durable material and secured against damage from bad weather and other causes and adequately inform the public.

The Site Notice must be maintained in position for a period of not less than five weeks from date of receipt of a completed licence application by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and must be renewed or replaced if it is removed or becomes defaced or illegible within that period. 

Consultation procedures

  1. A 30-day consultation period on receipt of the licence application. Applications are free to view on the DAFM Forestry Licence Viewer. Any member of the public can make a submission within 30 days of publication of the licence application. A fee of €20 for a submission on any application will apply.
  2. A second 30-day consultation period will commence after receipt of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) or after an Appropriate Assessment Report is produced by the Department, and relevant documentation will be published on the DAFM Forestry Licence Viewer. If a NIS is submitted with the initial application only one public consultation period is required. It applies to files which are screened-in for Appropriate Assessment.
  3. Lists of these Appropriate Assessment cases open for consultation will be published on the forestry pages of the Department’s website. Submissions on these applications will be accepted on payment of the fee of €20 per submission, although no fee shall apply where a person has already made and paid for a submission on the same file. 
  4. On publication of a licence decision from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, any member of the public can submit an appeal to the Forestry Appeals Committee. The timeframe for lodging an appeal will be within 14 days of decisions issued. A fee of €200 for making an appeal applies.

Further information:

Relevant publications

See also