Dáil Éireann - Volume 423 - 07 October, 1992
Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Areas Appeals.
Mr. Flanagan Mr. Flanagan
394. Mr. Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when it is expected that the appeal in respect of the disadvantaged area survey will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Yates Mr. Yates
399. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will clarify the time-frame for decision in relation to the disadvantaged areas appeal process; if secretaries of the different areas who have lodged appeals will be furnished with the survey data of their own areas; if he will outline the soil classification procedure in terms of deeming the eligibility of applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh) Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh)
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 399 together.
All data from the survey of some 10,000 townlands have been punched and are being validated at present. When the validation process is completed the panel will commence its analysis of the results. After its assessment, the panel will make recommendations to the Department as to the new areas to be classified. When the Department has examined the panel's recommendations I will seek Government approval to submit to the EC a formal request to extend the present disadvantaged areas in Ireland. The EC  Commission will in turn scrutinise the submission in detail and if satisfied prepare a proposal listing the townlands to be classified as disadvantaged for approval by the EC Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. When approved the list will be published by the Commission.
Because of the size and complexity of the task it is not easy to predict when it will be completed. However, both my Department and the appeals panel are anxious to complete the entire appeals process as soon as possible. Information obtained from the survey is confidential and cannot be made available outside the panel and the Department.
All townlands in the appeal areas have been assessed and given an average land potential index by Land Commission Inspectors. This grading is available for use by the panel in identifying homogeneous areas with permanent handicaps for designation purposes.
Dáil Éireann 423 Written Answers. Disadvantaged Areas Appeals.