Dáil Éireann - Volume 524 - 25 October, 2000

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

136. Mr. U. Burke asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the reason for the delay in payment of REPS to a sixth year participant in the scheme (details supplied) who applied in May 2000 and has neither received payment nor any communication from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22933/00]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): A revised agri-environmental plan was submitted on 2 July 1997. The plan declared a specific plot as natural heritage area and application for the enhanced rate of payment applicable to NHA land was made. The enhanced rate of payment has issued to the applicant.

My Department is not satisfied, based on a recent examination of the file, that the portion of lands claimed to be in a NHA are in fact in a NHA. My Department has written to the planner asking for confirmation from Dúchas that the lands in question are in a NHA. A final decision with regard to payment will be made when a reply is received to this correspondence.