Anyone thinking of planting more than 5ha of forestry must leave at least 60m of setback from dwellings and buildings, unless written permission is granted from neighbours.

In advance of the submission of an application, forestry developers are advised to consult with neighbouring owners where issues are likely to arise in relation to the proximity of the development, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the standard set back distance for forestry is 60m from dwellings and associated buildings, or 30m where the written consent of the owner is give before approval.

The Department has said that while the 60m setback is considered reasonable in the majority of cases, it may insist on greater setbacks, or the exclusion of areas from an application, where it considers that this is necessary for landscape reasons.

According to the Minister, the species selection as part of an application under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme is a matter for the landowner subject to it comprising a minimum of 10% broadleaves.

He said that the tree species proposed for planting must also have regard to its suitability to the site and soil conditions. The premiums payable under the Scheme are highest for broadleaves reflecting their longer maturity and reduced commercial potential in the short to medium term.