Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food
I recently made a statement about the Technical Review Process put in place to allow farmers to make the case for land which they think should be reclassified for the new Basic Payment Scheme. The Process is running smoothly and enjoys the support of industry bodies.
The majority of cases submitted to the process have been seeking reclassification of moorland but a claimant may seek reclassification of land in the other payment regions too. A small number have asked for land classified as Severely Disadvantaged Area to be reclassified as Other Land, the highest paying payment region. Judgment of whether these cases should be agreed depends on evaluating the land’s potential to produce. For this reason the Welsh Government will require reports seeking reclassification of SDA submitted for stage 2 of the Technical Review Process, to be prepared by a member of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Members of these bodies have the appropriate skills and knowledge to prepare reports for claimants. The farming unions and stakeholder bodies support this approach.
I recognise that claimants seeking reclassification of SDA are being invited to stage 2 later than claimants who have asked for Moorland to be reclassified. It is fair that all claimants have the same opportunity to submit a case and so I am setting a later deadline of 31 December 2014 for stage 2 reports for SDA cases, so that all claimants will have had the same length of time to prepare for stage 2. Cases submitted for reclassification of moorland are not affected and must be submitted for stage 2 by 28 November 2014 as already advised.