The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has decided that common land should have been allocated differently under SPS, so that the full eligible area was allocated every year. Read more about this policy change here.
Following this, and the remapping of common land which has taken place in 2015, RPA has now published a list of commons which have more eligible area to allocate.
This means that some farmers should have received larger allocations of common land. These farmers may now be able to receive entitlements they should have been given in 2005, as well as extra payments for:
- Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
- Hill Farm Allowance (HFA) 2010
- Uplands Transitional Payment (UTP)
- Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
Who can claim
Farmers (including common owners who claimed ‘owner’s surplus’) can apply if they did any of the following on one (or more) of the commons which have more eligible area to allocate:
established SPS entitlements in 2005 and then claimed SPS continuously until at least 2009 (these farmers can apply for SPS entitlements and associated payments)
submitted a valid SPS application in any of the year(s) from 2009 to 2014 and held ‘spare’ SPS entitlements which they couldn’t get paid for that year because they didn’t have enough land to activate them (these farmers can use any new allocation of common land they receive to apply for payments for those spare entitlements)
claimed HFA 2010 or UTP payments
For RPA to consider claims in any other circumstances, farmers must show that they suffered a financial loss as a direct result of the incorrect method RPA used to allocate common land under SPS. They may want to take professional advice before they apply in these circumstances.
How to claim
To apply, farmers should fill in the form which is attached to this page. They only need to fill in one claim form, even if they’re claiming for more than one common or for more than one scheme.
At Part B, farmers need to tick the boxes that apply to the commons they want to claim for (they can tick more than one box). They should tick:
- B1 to apply for SPS entitlements that they should have received in 2005 and any payments associated with them
- B2 to apply to receive payment(s) for ‘spare’ SPS entitlements they weren’t able to activate in any of the years from 2009 to 2014
- B3 to apply to receive HFA 2010 and/or UTP payments which they should have received
- B4 if they want to claim on a common under any other circumstances. They must give more information at Part C of the form explaining how they suffered a financial loss as a direct result of the incorrect allocation
Farmers don’t need to list the commons that they have an allocation for (RPA has this information already).
When to claim
There is no deadline, but if farmers can return their form by 31 December 2015 it will give RPA the best possible chance to consider it before the opening of the BPS 2016 application period.
RPA will make payments only for the last 6 scheme years (this is the normal time limit for claims in the civil court). To claim for the SPS 2009 scheme year, they should return their form no later than 30 June 2016. If they want to claim for HFA 2010, they should return their form no later than 6 years after the date of their HFA 2010 payment. If they want to claim for both SPS 2009 and HFA 2010, they should return their form by the earlier of these two deadlines.
Where to send your form
Once you’ve filled in the form, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to:
PO Box 352
What happens next?
RPA will send farmers a receipt within 14 days of receiving their form. Once they have assessed the applications they receive, RPA will let farmers know:
- whether or not their application has been successful
- what, if anything, they’re eligible to receive
- when they’re likely to receive it
RPA can make payments only for the years a valid SPS, HFA, UTP, or BPS scheme application was submitted. Any payments due for any of the schemes will be made separately and are likely to be paid after any BPS 2015 payment that a farmer may receive.
If a farmer receives entitlements, they will be able to use them to claim payment for the Basic Payment Scheme, as long as they are still valid.
If a farmer is not successful
If a farmer is not eligible, RPA will contact them to explain why. They will also explain how farmers can appeal the decision if they want to do so.
Rural payments helpline: 03000 200 301