Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (111)

Claire Kerrane

Question:

111. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if any persons in receipt of moneys from the cessation of the turf cutting compensation scheme have been offered a lump sum payment of remaining moneys owed to them under the scheme instead of the annual payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7650/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme was established in 2011 for turf cutters affected by the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog special areas of conservation and was extended in 2014 to include those affected from raised bog natural heritage areas. It is comprised of a payment of €1,500 per annum, index-linked, for 15 years, or relocation, where feasible, to a non-designated bog, together with a once-off payment of €500 on the signing of a legal agreement under the scheme.

Relocating domestic turf cutters to non-designated bogs is a complex process. For certain raised bog designated sites, where a suitable relocation site could not be identified or where the identified relocation site could not accommodate all who had opted to relocate there, the 15 years of annual payments under the scheme (less any annual payments or the value of turf deliveries received) has been made available to qualifying applicants, who had opted for relocation, in the form of a lump sum payment.

To date, 95 turf cutters have availed of this option from 15 special area of conservation bogs and 2 natural heritage area bogs.