HC Deb 24 January 1995 vol 253 c187W
Mr. John Greenway

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what are the requirements for IACS applications in England and Wales in 1995.

Mr. Jack

I have consulted closely with the industry on the detail and the timing of the IACS arrangements for 1995 to ensure that they are kept as straightforward as possible.

I am pleased to be able to announce that, as a result of pressing strongly for a UK deadline later than 31 March 1995 to meet farmers' needs, we will be applying the latest possible date of 15 May.

The IACS explanatory booklet and forms will be issued in March. The documentation is designed to be as helpful and as easy to follow as possible given the complex nature of the rules.

I recognise that farmers will want to do as much as they can in advance to prepare for IACS. The mapping and field data requirements set out in the 1994 guidance note on mapping and field data requirements will continue to apply in 1995.

No maps will be required where applications relate only to forage area. Nor will they be required for arable area, provided the land was registered as eligible for future arable payments in 1993 or 1994 and has not changed significantly since then. Applicants will need to supply a single national grid reference number for each field and the Ordnance Survey map sheet reference in order to comply with the basic requirements of the IACS rules. Fields which have been permanently amalgamated, divided or which are on more than one map sheet must have a single field number for 1995.

Fields which are on more than one map sheet must, from 1995, be allocated a new number based on the centre point of the whole field. If farmers obtained new numbers on a different basis in 1994, they do not need to provide another number this year. Estimates of area will continue to be accepted, but if areas are found to be over-declared, we have no option but to apply the strict penalties set out in the rules.

I strongly urge farmers to obtain any necessary maps, field numbers and area measurements from the Ordnance Survey or other professional advisers as soon as possible and not leave this to the last minute, otherwise they risk missing the application deadline.

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