Over 30,000 completed Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications have now been received by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) - but with 3 weeks remaining farmers are urged to submit their BPS 2015 applications as soon as possible.
Any farmer who has not received their BP5 application form should contact the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301. If an agent has permission to act on their behalf farmers should check if forms have been sent to them first.
Over the past week RPA mobile support units have visited auction markets in North Yorkshire, Devon, Herefordshire as well as the NFU’s Isle of Wight office.
This week, mobile units will be in Cheshire, North Yorkshire, Shropshire and Somerset.
The RPA is also attending the Royal Bath & West Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset from 27-30 May. Farmers can hand in their forms, which will receive a basic check and receipt, at stand 229.
Justin Chamberlain, RPA Customer Director said:
The RPA is continuing to support farmers by sending mobile support units to various locations across the country.
We have also extended the opening hours of most of our drop-in centres to give more farmers the opportunity to get their forms in before the deadline.
The feedback from those using our mobile units and drop-in centres has been very positive and I would urge farmers to make the most of the BPS 2015 support available from the RPA in their region.
All the locations of the mobile support units and drop-in centres can be found on GOV.UK.
Reprinting BP5 forms
The RPA helpline now has an automated service to request BPS application forms. This is available 24/7 and means customers can request a BP5 form at any time and without the need to speak to an adviser on 03000 200 301.
Forms will be sent out first class within three working days of a request being made. Farmers can also request for BP5 forms to be emailed but they will need to speak to the helpline and pass security.
If you submit your forms at a drop-in centre you will be given a receipt immediately. If you send us your 2015 BPS claim by post, a paper receipt should arrive within 10 days of the RPA receiving it. Receipts for all claims received before 1 May have been sent out.
Remember the deadline is also 15 June for those farmers and land managers who are claiming under existing agri-environment or woodland grant schemes.
They are being urged to submit their claims as early as possible and to contact Natural England or the Forestry Commission if they need any help.
Reminder that farmers must let RPA know of permanent ineligible features on their BP5 forms as well as on RLE1 forms
Last week RPA announced an extension to the deadline for farmers to submit RLE1 forms for permanent ineligible features (PIFs) which have not previously been mapped.
The RPA wants to remind farmers that although the deadline for this type of RLE1 has been extended, it is important that they still notify RPA of previously unmapped PIFs on their BP5 forms. They should do this by taking the PIF area away from their maximum eligible area in column C4 and C8 using the appropriate land use code. This information must be included on farmers’ BP5 forms due by 15 June.
An update to the how to apply guidance has been issued with more detail on how farmers should account for PIFs on their BPS forms.
The new deadline for RLE1s for previously unmapped PIFs is 30 September 2015. The deadline for RPA to receive RLE1s for any other purpose, and to receive BP5 forms, remains 15 June 2015.
Common mistakes to avoid in applications:
- Active farmer box not ticked.
- Incomplete field data submitted.
- Forms not signed.