Farm Ireland

Monday 24 July 2017

The lowdown on TAMS II

Substantial grants are available from the TAMS scheme for farms buildings such as slatted houses.
Substantial grants are available from the TAMS scheme for farms buildings such as slatted houses.

Theresa Murphy

Q. I am a young trained farmer, leasing a farm for the first time. I hope to take advantage of the funding available under TAMS. However, I have heard that I will need to have planning permission in place before I can even make my application. Is this the case and if so, what regulations apply to planning permission applications? I would like to build a new cubicle shed and also upgrade the slurry storage facilities on the farm. I am not in a farm partnership, but I have heard that they can access bigger grants, is that the case? Finally, what costs are involved in the process?

A. The TAMS scheme is topical for young farmers as applications for the current tranche close in March. Given the application requirements involved, if you haven't submitted your application by now it's unlikely that you will be able to enter the scheme under this tranche.

However, the scheme will not close for the final time until December 31, 2020. The various schemes will open and close in tranches which will generally run for 3 months at a time.

As with any construction or major works you will be obliged to consider the planning laws as they relate to farm buildings and other constructions.

Applicants are not obliged to employ an agent - you can apply online by yourself, once you are sure you have everything in order for the application.

To make an application for TAMS II, you must have prior access to the Department's online services.

I note that you are a young trained farmer and may not necessarily have made an Single Payment Scheme or Basic Payment Scheme application last year. Although this is not a bar to application for TAMS II, you will have to submit your BPS application this year before you can apply to TAMS.

Grant rates

For the Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme, a grant of 60pc is payable on eligible investments.

If the educational qualification is not met within three years of applying the grant rate will be paid at 40pc.

For all other schemes the grant rate is paid at 40pc. The minimum approval per application under all Schemes is €2,000.

In the case of an individual applicant or company, the maximum grant amount payable is 60pc on costs up to the ceiling of €80,000.

For Department of Agriculture-registered partnerships, where one partner qualifies as an eligible young farmer and the other partner does not, the maximum grant amount payable is 60pc on costs up to ceiling of €80,000 and 40pc on any remaining balance over €80,000 up to a ceiling of €160,000.

With the Low Emission Slurry Spreading Scheme, the maximum grant amount payable is 40pc on costs up to the ceiling of €40,000.

In the case of a registered partnership, the maximum grant amount payable for two or more eligible partners is 40pc up to the ceiling of €60,000.

It is important to note that these schemes are contracted to be maintained for a five-year period from the date of payment. The commitment can be taken over by the successor to the farm holding.

However, if the successor does not take over the commitment, the original applicant may be liable for reimbursement of the grant aid paid/clawback. Commitments that are taken over or terminated are considered on a case by case basis.

If you have an approval under TAMS I which you do not wish to proceed with, you can simply withdraw/cancel the application through your local Department office and reapply to a later tranche if you wish.

If you are farming with another person and are not recorded on their herd number you are not eligible to apply for the Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme.

Applications may only be accepted from individuals farming in their own right, companies or from groups of persons that have formed a partnership recorded on this Department's Register of Farm Partnerships. Applications may be made by joint herd owners under the other TAMS II.

Planning permission and costs

Applicants with livestock who apply for animal housing and or nutrient storage must be in compliance EU statutory farm waste and farm nutrient storage requirements.

You must have the required 16/18/20/22 weeks storage in place. Applicants found to be in non-compliance will not be eligible for grant aid for investment relating to Farm Nutrient Storage and will be reported to the Cross Compliance Section of the Department.

Planning permission must be in place for all developments proposed under the TAMS scheme at the time of application or a letter of exemption from the local authority if the proposed development is exempt from planning permission.

Notification of a decision to grant planning permission will not be sufficient for this purpose. A full grant of planning permission is required.


The guiding regulations for farm developments are the Planning and Development Regulations 2001.

Most of the common animal-related farmyard structures are defined under Class 6 (roofed structures for housing cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, horses of all kinds, deer and rabbits) and Class 8 (roofless cubicles, self-feed silos and silage areas, structures for the making or storage of silage, feeding aprons, assembly yards and milking parlours).

The exemption limit for any one new structure in either class is 200 square metres.

There is also an aggregate limit of 300 square metres for all such structures in the same class.

This means that where an individual wants to build a slatted cattle shed, for example with a gross floor space of 120 square metres alongside other buildings totalling 220 square metres, planning permission is required.

This is because the total area of the Class 6 buildings, including the proposed slatted shed will exceed 300 square metres.

Effluent tanks

Effluent tanks are not listed for calculation purposes.

This means that all manure, slurry and effluent storage facilities are ancillary to the buildings they serve and as such are not included in the calculations for planning exemption.

This will facilitate the provision of additional storage without having to seek planning permission. However, for the purposes of TAMS you will have to get a letter of exemption.

There is, however, a proviso that the capacity of all such effluent stores be determined and constructed in line with Government (DAFRD and DOELG) requirements and must take account of the need to control water pollution.

These requirements are taken to include any storage periods and capacities set out in by-laws, the Nitrate Code of Practice (1996) and impending new statutory rules.

The exemption limits for dry stores, barns, sheds and glass-houses (new Class 9) are 300 square metres for individual structures and 900 square metres on aggregate.

A new condition for exempted development status precludes the use of unpainted metal sheeting for the roofs and external cladding of structures in Classes 6, 7, 8 and 9.


The fees for planning permission applications for agricultural buildings are €80 for each building or €1.00 for each square meter of gross floor area in excess of 200 square metres whichever is the greater, subject to a maximum of €300. The gross floor area comprises the total roofed area and includes external feed passages with roof overhang.

A newspaper notice must be placed two weeks prior to making the planning application.

The full page of the newspaper showing the notice must be submitted with the application.

The site notice must also be erected two weeks before the application is made and must now be retained on the site for a minimum period of five weeks from the date a valid application is received by the Planning Authority. A copy must be submitted with the application.

Although there are further and sometimes significant costs associated with planning permission applications, for those who wish to carry out major farm developments and improvements, now is certainly the time.

Theresa Murphy is a barrister based in Ardrahan, Co Galway

Indo Farming