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Tree Felling Licences and Planning Permissions

Tree Felling Licences and Planning Permissions - Under Section 37 of the Forestry Act, 1946, with certain exceptions, it is illegal to uproot a tree over ten years of age or cut down a tree of any age unless notice of intention to do so has been given in accordance with the Act.

If the planning permission issued is in respect of an area located within the boundaries of a town, borough, or city council area, then a felling licence is not required.  However, with very few exceptions, if it is proposed to fell trees anywhere else a licence is required, irrespective of whether planning permission is held or not.  Failure to obtain a Tree Felling Licence can result in a criminal conviction.  In cases where a landowner is convicted of illegal felling, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food makes a legally binding order to replant the trees that have been felled. 

Where planning permission has been granted in respect of such a site, a replanting order may be in direct conflict with the planning permission.  A replanting order may affect the landowners right to proceed with the building development, or may cause the owner to suffer the substantial extra cost of having to buy alternative planting land.  Not obtaining a Tree Felling Licence when required can have serious consequences.

With certain exception it is an offence, under the Forestry Act 1946, to fell trees without a felling licence having been granted by the Forest Service.  Failure to obtain a felling licence when necessary, may result in a criminal prosecution.  Developers are advised to contact: the Felling Section, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Food, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co Wexford Tel: (053) 9163400 before undertaking any tree felling.