A new bill brought before the Dáil last week could result in new forestry developments requiring planning permission.
The bill was drafted and introduced to the Dáil by Martin Kenny, TD for Sligo Leitrim, who has raised concerns that forestry can be planted without practically ever requiring planning permission. Through the bill, Kenny suggests planning permission be required for any block of forestry of more than 5 ha. Currently, planning permission is only required in order to plant more than 50 ha of forestry, and most proposed plantations are below this threshold
While accepting that forestry is positive and something that our society needs, Kenny also cited the visual, environmental and societal impacts of too much forestry in some parts of the country. According to Kenny, the way to address it is through the obtaining of planning permission in order that people will know what is going on in their community, that they will see a sign going up and that they can object to it if they believe there is a problem.