IFA SAC Project Chairman Tom Turley, has called on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, to clarify her position in relation to imposing a burden on the land folios for areas that are designated SAC or SPA.
Tom Turley said that any such move would be resisted by farmers who already have to face severe restrictions on their designated land. Land which is designated is being devalued as its uses are limited and development is being restricted.
The IFA man said that it is up to the Minister to put farmers and land-owners minds at rest by shelving any plans she may have to impose such burdens on designated land.
Continuing, Tom Turley said that the Minister must also come clean in relation to compensation mechanisms that need to be put in place for farmers who are restricted with designated land. Depending solely on the GLAS scheme is unacceptable as the compensation in many instances is limited and does not take into account the full losses incurred in such areas.
IFA has already raised these issues with Minister Humphreys at the end of 2014 and is now seeking an urgent meeting to resolve many of the issues surrounding designated land.