Applying for consent

If you decide to apply for consent to begin work, the information below will help you understand the stages of the process.

Getting information from others

Contact us to help you to decide which countryside organisations are relevant to the issues you need to deal with, so that you can get useful information from them to help you prepare the Environmental Statement. Some useful organisations include:

Hold a scoping meeting

It is essential that all the relevant parties meet to develop a clear understanding of the issues involved and also how they might be taken account of within the project work. This is a standard procedure and is referred to as the "scoping" meeting. Representatives of the Forestry Commission, countryside organisations, consultees and interested parties will help you to identify the particular issues that the Environmental Statement must address.

Taking part in a Scoping Meeting (PDF 584k) provides information about setting up and attending the meeting.

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. Download a copy of the Forestry Practice Guide Undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment and Preparing an Environmental Statement (PDF 1.3Mb) for more information.

Prepare the application

  • Draw the boundary of the proposed work on a map or plan (a clear Ordnance Survey map at a scale of 1:10,000 or 1:2,500)
  • Provide a brief description of the proposed work and the possible or potential effects on the environment (this could be a written summary or given as part of a grant scheme or felling licence application)
  • Prepare an ES for the work to include the issues raised at the scoping meeting
  • Gather any other information that might be relevant e.g. species maps, plans, surveys, photographs etc.

Send the application

Send the documents to the local Conservancy office. We may ask for multiple copies of the application documents to send to appropriate consultees.

Publicise the Environmental Statement and consult

Once the we are 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. You are responsible for the cost of doing this. You can get details about the contents of the notice in the Environmental Impact Assessment of Forestry Projects (PDF 1.1Mb) guidance booklet. We can also advise you about the content.

You must also make copies of the application available in public places such as the local library, post office etc. We will help you decide suitable locations. We will also give details of the 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 28 days. Proposals to carry out new planting or felling will appear on the Register of New Planting and Felling.

Final decisions

We can decide one of the following about the application for consent:

  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.

Making our decision public

After notifying both you and other interested parties about the decision, we will advertise this in the same newspapers in which the notice of the application for consent was placed. We are responsible for the cost of this notice.