Backlog in felling licences needs to be cleared – Chambers

Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers is calling for the backlog in tree felling licenses to be cleared.   

Senator Chambers commented, “We need to clear the backlog in felling licenses as quickly as possible. The limited number of licenses has led to an increase in the price of timber due to the shortage of supply.  Some operators are waiting in excess of two years for a licence which is not justifiable by any stretch. There is an assumption that if you’ve been given permission to plant that you will be given a licence to fell, otherwise there is an unfairness in the system for operators.” 

“I have anecdotal evidence that the bigger operators such as Coilte are being prioritised in the backlog to try and release as much timber as possible but this is totally unfair to the smaller operators who are equally entitled to be process by the department. Legislation was passed last year in the hope it would solve the issue but it has not been successful. The need for specialist ecological reports is a big part of the delay and a lack of professionals to carry out this work.” 

“This is having a direct impact on the cost of building a house at a time when we are facing a housing crisis. 35% of homes in Ireland are timber frame and there has been more than a 30% increase in the cost of timber since the start of the year. We need to clear the backlog urgently and a response from government is needed without delay.”