A provision that proposes to allow hedge-cutting on roadsides on a two year pilot period covering 26 counties during the month of August, has been moved forward this week, by political officials.
The new hedge-cutting amendments are being made in the Heritage Bill 2016, which states that it set out to make provision of the regulation of cutting and burning of vegetation.
The amendment will allow the Minister to permit the burning of vegetation during the month of March, a period that has normally been closed to burning.
Power is set to expire after twenty-four months.
Current legislation states that hedge-cutting is prohibited during a period from 1st March to 31st August.
The 2017-2018 hedge-cutting season started on September 1st and will finish on February 28th 2018.
The implementation of the new amendment would mean that land-owners could cut, grub or destroy vegetation in any hedge or ditch during August.
On Thursday 9th November, the Heritage Bill was passed to the next stage of Dáil Eireann.
The bill will now move to the committee stage, after strong approval from the majority of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TD’s.
The new proposed amendments have sparked much debate among political figures, with Heather Humphreys TD saying that the provision is to harmonise road safety and wildlife legislation according to RTE.
Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne said that it was “fraud” to make suggestions that the provision in question had anything to do with road safety, RTE reported.
Heather Humphreys, Minister of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht introduced the Heritage Bill in 2016.