An application for compensation under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme has been received by my Department from the individual referred to in the Deputy’s question. With respect to 53 raised bog special areas of conservation, 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 in respect of the 29 raised bog special areas of conservation nominated for designation between 1997 and 1999);
- The turf resource on the site has not been exhausted; and
- No turf cutting or associated activity is ongoing on the property. Following processing of the application and various correspondence with the applicant and the Deputy, an annual payment under the scheme issued for the year 2019. Applicants are advised when payments issue that my Department continues to check that all of the qualifying criteria of the scheme have been met and further payments are subject to verification by my Department of the relevant details.
Information was requested from Bord na Móna in relation to this application and has now been received. My Department has written to the applicant informing him of his position under the scheme.