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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 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.

Licence applications & public consultation

Forestry licence applications can be viewed using the Forestry Licence Viewer (external website).

The Forestry Licence Viewer (FLV) shows application information for forestry licences and provides members of the public with easy and direct online access to forestry licence applications and decisions.

Any person may make a submission or observation concerning such applications. Submissions or requests for further information must be made to:

The submission must include a name or names, postal address and phone number or email. Submissions received on forestry licence applications will be made available to view in the Forestry Licence Viewer (FLV). The name and address of the person that makes the submission will be available in the FLV (but not their phone number or email).

The fee for the making of a submission in respect of an application (by licence reference number) is €20. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Further information on making a submission or observation can be found on the website of the DAFM.

Appeals

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.

Appeals must be submitted by post and the fee of €200 must accompany the notice of appeal otherwise it will not be accepted. The postal address is

  • Forestry Appeals Committee, Agriculture Appeals Office, Kilminchy Court, Portlaoise, Co Laois, R32 DTW5 

The Notice of Appeal Form must be signed by the Appellant. Appeals and payments that are not received within the statutory 28-day deadline cannot be accepted.

Further information on making an appeal can be found on the website of the Agriculture Appeals Office.

Relevant publications

See also

Further information:

  • Contact your local Forestry Advisory Staff