Forest Roads Scheme
This scheme provides funding for the construction of forest roads and associated infrastructure.
A rate of €40 per linear metre to a maximum of 20 metres per hectare is available where 50% or greater of the area is due for harvesting in the next three years. In the case of joint applications this can be extended to a five year period.
Special construction works may be funded on environmentally sensitive sites up to a maximum of €5000 per application or 50% of costs whichever is lower. This provision is primarily aimed at facilitating the construction of forest roads in environmentally sensitive sites to limit any potential adverse impacts from harvesting activities.
Additional funding is available where significant additional stone is required to build a bell mouth where it is at least 2 metres below the surface of the existing public road. This is an additional equivalent length of 30 metres per entrance.
Forest roads connecting to an existing forest road network in a public, state or private forest may be supported including the portion of the road outside the property where there is an agreement between the owners.
The first instalment amounts to 90% of the total grant while 20% of the forest must be thinned within three years of receiving the first instalment.
During construction all Forestry and the Environment Guidelines must be strictly adhered to thereby minimising the impact on the local environment.
A List of Registered Foresters (PDF) is required to prepare applications where the total road lengths specified in the application is less than 500 metres. A qualified Civil Engineer or Engineering Surveyor must prepare specifications and carry out appropriate works supervision where the road application contains grant aided special construction works, lengths in excess of 500 metres, or sections of roads due to site conditions or difficult constructions design.
A standard management plan must be provided at the time of application for areas of five hectares or greater. This should include an estimate of the proposed timber harvest volume.
Harvest roads should ideally be built well in advance of the first thinning operation to allow the road to dry and so cope better with the extensive wear and tear of harvesting and timber haulage. COFORD has published a Forest Road Manual which outlines the guidelines for the design and construction and maintenance of forest roads.
Grant Rates (€/ha)
The fixed grant rate available for roads is as follows:
€ / linear metre (excl VAT)
|Harvesting Upgrade or Extension as defined||40||20*|
|Special Construction Works||50% of costs up to a maximum of €5,000 per application|
Please note: * 13m applies where the applicant previously received a management road grant for 7m per ha or 10m applies where the applicant previously received a management road grant for 10 m per ha under a previous road scheme.
Roads and Planning
Please note that Section 17 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2011 stipulates that the creation of an access from the forest road to a public road must be approved by the relevant Planning Authority. As a consequence, applications under the Forest Roads (Grant) Scheme must be accompanied by:
- written confirmation from the local authority certifying that the development does not require planning permission; or
- confirmation that planning permission has been obtained, a copy of which must be submitted with the application; or
- evidence of application for planning permission e.g. planning application number or other confirmation from the local authority that an application has been submitted.