These changes have been welcomed by the IFA and its Flood Project Chairman, Padraic Joyce.
The IFA raised the issue a fair time ago and now the changes are finally going to be implemented.
Mr. Joyce said that 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. He added that this did not account for the agricultural losses resulting from flooding.
The main changes are that the upper financial threshold has been increased from €500,000 to €750,000 per project Along with this for the first-time farm yards/buildings will be included as commercial premises in all categories.
Padraic Joyce commented that 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.
Mr. Joyce also added that members from IFA will be meeting the OPW over the coming days. In this meeting they will seek further clarification on the issues involved and hope to ensure that projects previously turned down will now get the thumbs up and receive funding.
Padraic Joyce also took time to acknowledged the work that Sean Canney, of the OPW, has done in his year-long tenure and said IFA looks forward to working with the new Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.