Written answers

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Department of Agriculture and Food

Farm Waste Management

10:00 am

Photo of Michael FinneranMichael Finneran (Longford-Roscommon, Fianna Fail)
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Question 128: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding developments under the farm waste management scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3686/07]

Photo of Peter KellyPeter Kelly (Longford-Roscommon, Fianna Fail)
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Question 195: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the progress under the farm waste management scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3693/07]

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Minister, Department of Agriculture and Food; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 195 together.

The revised Farm Waste Management Scheme, which was launched by my Department in March 2006, closed for applications at the end of December 2006. A total of 48,580 applications have been received by my Department under the Scheme and these applications are currently being processed. It is my intention to process these applications as soon as possible and I am currently examining various ways of speeding up the approval process.

In view of the short time-limit for receipt of applications, I also agreed that applications would be accepted by my Department under the Scheme up to the end of 2006 provided that, by end-March 2007—

(i) all required technical drawings etc. were submitted to my Department, and

(ii) where planning permission was required for the proposed works, confirmation was received by my Department from the agricultural planner that such planning permission had been applied for.

Of course, Departmental approval to proceed with the proposed works cannot issue until evidence of the grant of full planning permission has been lodged with my Department. I would take this opportunity to urge applicants and their consultants to ensure that this further deadline of end-March 2007 is respected.

My Department's Standard Costings used to calculate grants under the Scheme are being revised at present. In accordance with the commitments contained in the Charter of Rights for Farmers, the revised Costings will be applicable to all approvals to commence work issued by my Department under the Scheme since 1 January 2007.

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