Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (186)

Michael Ring


186 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when details of the SAC national compensation scheme will be published; and when farmers will be able to apply. [6481/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I expect that full details of the scheme to be operated by my Department will be available by mid-2004, and farmers will be able to apply for a farm plan under the scheme from that time. The scheme, which will be available to those farmers who do not choose to join REPS, will be applicable to lands in Natura 2000 sites — special areas of conservation and special protection areas — and commonages, and will reflect the same habitat and species management requirements as apply in REPS measure A. Compensation under this scheme, however, will be assessed on the basis of actual losses derived from the farm plan, as distinct from the area based calculation in REPS.