Written Answers - Afforestation Programme.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 627 No. 1

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  255.  Mr. J. Breen  Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will increase the premium [296]paid to farmers currently involved in forest plantation in view of the fact that there has not been an increase in this premium over the past six years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36805/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Following the successful conclusion of the recent Partnership talks, I announced my intention on October 19 to increase the rates of premium paid to landowners participating in the afforestation scheme by 15%. The increase must be formally approved by the European Commission. When this approval is received my Department will take steps to implement the increased premium rates.

  256.  Mr. J. Breen  Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will provide grant aid for machinery to harvest wood fuel thus ensuring better timber quality in crops which might increase the wood energy sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36807/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  My Department is currently examining the possibility of such a scheme, as part of forestry support under the New Rural Development Programme.

  257.  Mr. P. Breen  Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   when a forestry application appeal will be processed for a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36808/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  An appeal against a decision of my Department in respect of a refusal to approve afforestation grant aid on lands owned by the person in question was received on 1 September 2006. The appeal was fully processed but was not successful. The original decision to refuse approval was upheld on the grounds of landscape environment considerations.


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