Farmers are “at breaking point” with the delays and additional costs associated with getting forestry grants or licences approved, the IFA has claimed.
IFA Farm Forestry chairman Vincent Nally said the system is not working for farmers. It is unacceptable some are waiting over 12 months for a decision on their application.
He said the Department of Agriculture must address the reasons behind the delays, which are predominantly related to lack of personnel in archaeology and ecology.
Mr Nally said the IFA is calling on the department to allocate additional resources to address the backlog in the short term so that farmers’ applications are dealt with in a timely fashion. “Communication with farmers must also be improved, particularly when applications are delayed, so they have indicative timelines to manage operations.”
Mr Nally urged all farmers with forestry to attend a 2pm information meeting in the Irish Farm Centre, Dublin, on June 27 to get an update on the application process.
Changes to the appropriate assessment procedures and Natura impact assessment requirements will also be outlined.