IFA President Eddie Downey has called on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys to take action on the impact that land designations are having on farmers as a result of the imposition of what he called 'unnecessary' restrictions.
Mr Downey pointed out to the Minister at a recent meeting that farmers who plan to plant forestry on their land or develop their land for farming purposes are being restricted and are not being properly compensated. Examples of this include the hen harrier areas where land is being sterilised, he said.
The IFA President reminded the Minister of agreements that had been reached with landowners when designations were imposed that where restrictions were imposed compensation would be paid. IFA is still insisting that where restrictions apply, compensation has got to be paid and that the Minister must step up to the mark on this issue. At the same meeting, IFA SAC Project Chairman Tom Turley said there is an opportunity for the Minister through the NPWS farm plant scheme to pay farmers for restrictions.