Forestry Commission logo

Growth Duty

As a regulator identified in the Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) Order 2017, the Forestry Commission has a duty under the Deregulation Act 2015 to “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth” whilst carrying out its regulatory functions. This is known at the Growth Duty.

The Growth Duty is a statutory measure that supports improvements in the implementation and delivery of regulation. It requires regulators to take economic growth into account when making and implementing regulatory decisions. In doing so, regulators will seek, wherever possible, to minimise costs to businesses and promote economic growth within their respective sectors.

Some of the regulatory functions that the Forestry Commission exercises that are covered by the Growth Duty include the issuing of felling licences, statutory plant health notices, restocking notices, environmental impact assessments and enforcement notices. While the Duty does not extend to grant schemes, this will not diminish our resolve to continue to make these schemes as accessible to the sector as possible.

The Growth Duty does not legitimise regulatory non-compliance and its purpose is not to achieve or pursue economic growth at the expense of necessary protections. Non-compliant behaviour undermines protections to the detriment of consumers, employees and the environment and will continue to be appropriately dealt with by the Forestry Commission. As such, we will continue to act to protect, improve and expand our nation’s woodlands as a priority.

The Forestry Commission has always sought to support the businesses that it regulates and welcomes this statutory underpinning to our commitment to best practice and good customer service. Under the Growth Duty, businesses can continue to expect informed and timely responses to inquiries and applications. We will also seek to continually improve our understanding of the business environment of which we are a part, to use this understanding to minimise the burdens that are placed on businesses and to ensure that our decision making and asks of businesses are proportionate to any given situation

Last updated: 31st January 2018