The requirement for farmers to get planning approval for fencing was one of the main issues discussed by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association in a recent meeting with Minister for Arts Heritage & An Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys.
Speaking after the meeting National Chair Vincent Roddy outlined the extra costs being imposed on farmers with Designated (Natura) land through what are known as Actions Requiring Consent.” These actions are impacting on farmers ability to farm their land and adding unnecessary costs as some such as fencing also require full planning permission,” said Roddy
Presently there are 39 Actions Requiring Consent with farmers expected to get consent for activities such as the spreading of fertiliser or lime, topping, controlled burning and changing agricultural use the stocking rates or type of stock. Full planning permission is required for activities such as the construction of roadways, land reclamation and new fencing.
The INHFA team used the meeting opportunity with Minister Humphreys to present her with costs incurred by a number of farmers in relation to planning applications for fencing. These costs ranged from €2,000 to €4500. In requesting that her Department reimburse these farmers Roddy stated how “farmers with designated land should not be discriminated against which is why these actions requiring consent needs to be repealed,”