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 EIA Report. 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 likely significant effects that the EIA Report must address.

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

Prepare an EIA Report

The purpose of an EIA Report is to provide Forestry Commission Scotland 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.

For more detail on what is required in the EIA Report refer to Schedule 3 – Information for Inclusion in Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (PDF 94KB).

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 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 EIA Report 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 EIA Report and consult

Once we are satisfied that the EIA Report 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 a local newspaper, The Edinburgh Gazette, and on the EIA Projects page of our website. 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 30 days. Proposals to carry out new planting or felling will appear on the Register of New Planting and Felling and on the EIA Register.

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 and webpages in which the notice of the application for consent was placed. We are responsible for the cost of this notice.