Guidance

Assess the environmental impact of work on roads or quarries in forests

Find out if you need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before you start work on roads or quarries to be used for forestry purposes.

The thresholds of projects for forestry roads and quarries are affected by the scale of the project and the sensitivity of the location for the road or quarry. Use the tables below to see which threshold your project falls into. You must apply for our opinion where your project requires EIA screening.

You may need to repair, improve or create new infrastructure through your woodland or across open land to reach your woodland, and you may need to quarry for materials to build that infrastructure.

You must check with your local planning authority to see if they will grant you permitted development rights for your infrastructure proposal. If they don’t grant permitted development, you may need to apply for planning permission. The local planning authority should assess all your infrastructure proposals when considering your planning application, and you shouldn’t need to ask the Forestry Commission for its opinion under the EIA Forestry regulations.

If they do grant permitted development, you need to check the thresholds table below to see if you’ll need the Forestry Commission’s opinion under the EIA Forestry regulations.

Forest road/quarries thresholds table

Land type Proposed project area Action
The land, or part of the land, is in a sensitive area Area of any size Application for EIA opinion required
No part of the land is in a sensitive area 1 hectare or less No EIA required
No part of the land is in a sensitive area More than 1 hectare Application for EIA opinion required

Use the Land Information Search (LIS) and other online map browsers, such as MAGIC.gov.uk to identify any designations or sensitivities that may be affected by the project. The sensitivities will determine the particular area threshold that must be used.

If you do not qualify for an exemption or notification then you must apply to the Forestry Commission for our opinion. Your afforestation project may have impacts on the environment which, when seeking our opinion, will highlight the need for our consent to be given before the project can commence.

See the overview guidance on EIAs for general information about EIAs, or find out more about getting our opinion and consent.

Send your form to your local Administrative Hub.

EIAs grant applications for forest roads and or quarries

If you’re applying for a grant to enable forestry roads or quarries, you should not start any work until you have received an EIA determination on your deforestation proposal.

Further information

You can find more information about EIAs for work on roads and quarries in forests in the Supplementary guidance for a forest road and/or quarry project seeking an EIA Opinion in England (PDF, 426KB, 16 pages)

You can find out more about the process with the:

Appeals

You can make a complaint or appeal against a Forestry Commission decision.

Published 9 July 2018