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Changes to the Forestry Commission’s consultation process

Announced in September 2023, the first phase of the Forestry Commission’s new approach to consultation has been implemented. The changes hope to reduce the complexity and length of time it takes to apply for and get approval to plant and fell trees, with a more simplified approach to evidence gathering for forestry proposals without duplication in the consultation requirements.

What are the changes?

  •  From Monday 26 February 2024, the Forestry Commission will undertake consultation only when there is a statutory or mandatory requirement to do so. The Forestry Commission will engage with other stakeholders when they identify the need for it, for example, to gather more information, advice, or clarity 
  • There is no change to the underlying protections, constraints, and interests across England, or to any of the organisations responsible for them. For those sites or features where there is a statutory requirement to consult, the Forestry Commission will still do so, in line with relevant legislation 
  • All consultation undertaken after 26 February 2024 (regardless of when the application was received) will adopt the new approach whereby the Forestry Commission will only seek advice and information from non-statutory consultees where necessary 
  • For proposals where consultation commenced before 26 February 2024, the Forestry Commission will continue using the old approach
  • All proposals that were listed on the consultation public register before 26 February 2024 will run for 28 days. Any proposals input on the public register after 26 February will run for 21 days


For more information, visit this page.

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