Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (144)

Michael McNamara

Question:

144. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if previous participation in REP scheme, including a significant proportion of marginal land in their holding and resultant difficulties in continuing to adhere to the high environmental management practices required by REP scheme in the absence of support will be considered as factors in the assessment of a person (details supplied) for agri environment options scheme 3. [56080/12]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An Agri-environment Options Scheme application was received in my Department from the person named on 29th November 2012. About 10,000 applications have been received and all applications, including that of the person named, are now being processed with a view to issuing approvals to successful applicants as soon as possible.

In accordance with the terms and conditions of the scheme, the admission of applicants will be determined by the following priority selection criteria

- applicants within a targeted area of the Boora region of Co. Offaly who select Wild Bird Cover Option B (Grey Partridge) will get first access,

- Applicants with eligible Natura land will get access next,

- Applicants with at least 0.5 hectares of Utilisable Agricultural Non-Natura Commonage land rank next,

- Farm Partnerships,

- Previous Participation in REPS,

- Farm Size (Favouring smaller holding) based on the utilisable agricultural area,

- Location of farms in Less Favoured Areas.

On the basis of the application submitted, the person named has no commonage land, designated Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protections Areas and will not qualify for the priority consideration for access to the scheme under these criteria. The applicant’s previous participation in REPS is recognised and will form part of the application of the selection criteria.