As part of its submission to the draft Mayo County Development Plan 2014-2020 Sinn Féin has included a submission relating to a schedule of levies and a schedule of weight restrictions it wants imposed on the heavy harvesting of forestry.
The issue was raised at the Swinford electoral area committee meeting this week by chairman Cllr Joe Mellett who proposed that the council write to the larger forestry companies like Coillte, Greenbelt, and other companies in the process of taking out plantations, reminding them of their obligations in relation to the roads they are travelling when carrying out forestry work.
Cllr Gerry Murray said the situation was “crazy” where roads are tarred and then three to four months later “destroyed” by forestry lorries.
Cllr Jimmy Maloney made the point that a farmer building a shed has to apply for planning permission and a person building a house has to pay a levy of €2,000 which is not refunded if the road to the development is damaged. But he added that forestry trucks can “destroy” roads and cause flooding in places where drains are not maintained.
According to Cllr Murray forestry work should be classified as an extractive industry and he said companies like Coillte and Greenhand have the “resources to pay significant levies”.