asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the Forestry Commission's policy on retrospective applications for grant approval under the dedication and forestry grant schemes; and on how many occasions in the last 10 years such approval has been granted.
The rule in the Forestry Commission's grant schemes is that approval is not given retrospectively to planting applications. A very small number of exceptions have been made to this rule in circumstances where there has been a misunderstanding about planting approval, and where this has not been the fault of the applicant. Cases where applications had been approved retrospectively under the forestry grant scheme were listed in my reply of 17 June, at column 30, to the hon. Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson). Information on such cases under the commission's dedication schemes over the past 10 years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.