Half-Way House for BPS

16th April 2018

As predicted by the professional team at H&H Land and Property, due to the latest mapping and eligibility changes, they are finding that in many instances, the Basic Payment Scheme applications are proving to be more complex than in previous years. So, with less than one month left until the closure of the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme applications, Tracey Jackson of H&H Land and Property urges those farmers who have not started the process to act immediately.

 The RPA has recently updated its mapping data in line with the EU requirements to maintain land data of no more than three years old.  This remapping exercise has used the latest Ordnance Survey (OS) MasterMap information and the most recent satellite imagery available.

Tracey Jackson, Chartered Surveyor and Associate with H&H Land and Property, says that all is not what it appears to be: “In many instances the OS maps do not necessarily accurately reflect the situation on the ground and aerial imagery is often misinterpreted by the RPA mapping team.”

“We have found in many cases that additional work has been required to rectify mapping changes made by the RPA and this has resulted in an increase in the time spent in completing 2018 claims compared to last year. As a result, it has been necessary to complete RLE1 forms to the RPA to amend mapping changes that have been made by the RPA incorrectly”

The main changes that Tracey and her colleagues at H&H Land and Property have come across are:

  • Splitting field parcels
  • Altering field sizes
  • Removing trees, tracks, hedges and other ‘ineligible’ features
  • Merging field parcels

“These changes can be complex and in some cases they have resulted in a reduction in the area eligible to claim.  They can also be detrimental to land entered into Environmental/Countryside Stewardships, delaying subsequent payments”, says Tracey.

The Basic Payment Scheme [BPS] remains the main rural payment for farmers in the EU. Farmers with at least 5 hectares of agricultural land and 5 ‘entitlements’ can apply. To avoid missing the 15th May deadline, Tracey advises anyone who has not started their 2018 BPS claim to start it as soon as possible, so that any unnecessary problems or penalties can be avoided.

With deadline date looking it important to remember that:

  1. Claimants with Countryside Stewardship agreements must make their Annual Claim by 15th May online through Rural Payments.
  2. Farmers wanting agents to submit claims on their behalf, both for BPS and Countryside Stewardship, need to authorise their agent on the Rural Payments system.
  3. Farmers with an Environmental Stewardship agreement need to submit a paper ‘Environmental Stewardship’ claim form for submission is 15th May 2018.
  4. May 15th is the final deadline for applications, entitlements transfer, and applications to the national reserve.
  5. May 31st is the deadline for making certain types of changes to submitted applications without a penalty.
  6. June 11th is the deadline for any late applications.

Tracey Jackson can be contacted at the Carlisle Office of H&H Land and Property Limited, Borderway, Rosehill, Carlisle, Cumbria CA1 2RS T: 01228 406260 E: info@hhland.co.uk