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Applying for consent

The Forestry Commission is required to provide formal consent for certain “relevant projects” under the EIA Regulations. The process for getting our consent is outlined below. More detailed guidance is available.

In the vast majority of cases, the Forestry Commission would strongly advise applicants to proceed with the Notification or application for opinion, whichever is relevant, prior to submitting an application for consent. Nonetheless, where you are certain that an application for consent is required, it is possible to apply for consent without completing the previous steps.

1. Make preliminary enquiries

Get assistance from the Forestry Commission to decide which countryside organisations may need to be involved with providing information that might help the preparation of the Environmental Statement.

2. Hold a scoping meeting

This meeting between you, the Forestry Commission, countryside organisations, consultees and interested parties will help to identify the particular issues that the environmental statement must address.

A guidance leaflet about the scoping process is available.

3. Prepare an Environmental Statement (ES)

The purpose of an ES is to provide the Forestry Commission and other interested parties with as full an understanding of the consequences of the proposals as possible.

The booklet Preparing an Environmental Statement will assist the applicant with preparing an ES.

4. Prepare the application

  1. a map showing the area where the project is proposed, and the extent of any planting, regeneration, constructions, works or operations (This should be a clear Ordnance Survey map at a scale of 1:10 000 or 1:2 500)
  2. a description of the nature of the relevant project
  3. any other information that might be relevant e.g. species maps, plans, photographs etc.

    (You may already have supplied sufficient information for the above if you have asked for our opinion under the EIA regulations)

  4. an Environmental Statement for the work
  5. a copy of the publicity notice that you must place in newspapers (this should only be done once the ES has been finalised with the Forestry Commission)

5. Send the application

Send the documents to the local regional office. The Forestry Commission may ask for multiple copies of the application documents to send to appropriate consultees.

6. Publicise the ES and consult

  • Once the Forestry Commission is satisfied that the ES addresses all the issues of concern as agreed at the scoping meeting then a public notice must be made
  • A Public Notice (advertisement) must be placed in two local newspapers and advertised electronically. You are responsible for the cost of this Notice. 
  • Full details about the contents of the notice are given in The Environmental Impact Assessment of Forestry Projects.
  • You must make copies of the application available in public places such as the local library, post office etc. The Forestry Commission will advise you about suitable locations. 
  • The Forestry Commission will give details of your application to the appropriate consultees and statutory bodies as well as the local authority with an interest in the application.  They are required to give us their comments within 30 days. 
  • Proposals to carry out new planting or felling will appear on the Register of New Planting and Felling

7. The Forestry Commission decides one of the following:

  1. Grant consent subject to the standard conditions (that the work must be started within 5 years from the date of consent and finished no later than 10 years from the date of consent)
  2. Grant consent subject to the standard conditions plus other conditions
  3. Refuse consent

8. The Forestry Commission publicises the decision

After notifying you and other interested parties about their decision, the Forestry Commission will advertise their decision in the same newspapers in which the notice of the application for consent was placed and will be responsible for the cost of this Notice.


Last updated: 31st January 2018