An application for compensation under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme was received by my Department from the individual referred to in the Deputy’s Question. With respect to 53 raised bog special areas of conservation sites, the qualifying criteria for the scheme are that:
- The applicant must have had a legal interest (ownership or a turbary right (right to cut turf)) in one of these sites on 25 May 2010 and must have had the right to cut and remove turf from the property on that date;
- The applicant must have been cutting turf on the land in question during the relevant five year period up to 25 May 2010;
- The turf resource on the site has not been exhausted; and
- No turf cutting or associated activity is ongoing on the property.
I am advised that the applicant, referred to in the Deputy’s Question was informed in 2017 that he did not fulfil the qualifying criteria of the scheme. This applicant was provided with the opportunity to seek a Departmental review of this decision and did so. The decision was upheld and the applicant was advised that he could appeal this decision to the Peatlands Council.
My Department has been advised that, to date, no appeal has been received by the Peatlands Council.