More recognition for farming losses in flood protection scheme
Farm losses will now be included in the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection funding scheme, according to the IFA.
It says farmers and farmland had been discriminated against in the cost-benefit analysis as the calculation of benefits to determine whether funding was made available for flood defence works, or measures to alleviate flooding, did not account for the agricultural losses resulting from flooding.
The main changes of relevance are that the upper financial threshold has been increased from €500,000 to €750,000 per project, and for the first time farm yards/buildings will be included as commercial premises in all categories.
IFA Flood Project Chairman Padraic Joyce has welcomed changes and said it is important that the cost-benefit analysis recognises agricultural losses as projects were being turned down on the basis that they did not meet the old criteria.
IFA will be meeting the OPW over the coming days for further clarification on the issues involved and to ensure that projects previously turned down will now get the go-ahead.
Meanwhile, former Minister for State Sean Canney said prior to his replacement by incoming Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran that the Homeowners Voluntary Relocation Scheme will not be available to farm business.
Last April, the Government agreed the administrative arrangements for a once-off Homeowners Voluntary Relocation Scheme for those primary residential properties that flooded during Winter 2015/2016.
This is a national scheme of humanitarian assistance, targeting aid at those worst affected properties, for which there are no alternative feasible measures.