Oireachtas to grill civil servants over ‘dismal’ rate of forestry licence processing

There was an average of just 46 forestry licences issued per week during the month of July, and an average of 44 a week during August

The department’s forestry licence section has given permission for just 2,839 hectares of new tree planting up to the end of last month, meaning that the state is set to again miss its target of 8,000 hectares of new woodland planting this year

Senior civil servants are set to be quizzed by an Oireachtas committee over the “dismal” rate of forestry licence processing this summer.

The senior officials in the Department of Agriculture promised to process more than 100 forestry licences per week to resolve the long-running backlog in permits to cut down and plant new trees.

But the completion rate for forestry licences plunged over the summer months at a time of a national timber shortage, putting ...