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As confirmed at the end of April the government have extended the deadline for Basic Payment Scheme Applications in 2020 to the 15th June to submit an application without penalty. The same deadline has also been given for submission of annual Environmental Stewardship or Countryside Stewardship claim forms. It should be noted however that the deadline to transfer entitlements was 15th May and these now cannot be transferred.
If you have already submitted an application you now have until 30th June to make certain amendments without penalty and late applications, which will be subject to penalties, will be accepted up to 10th July 2020 giving farmers and landowners more time to submit claims. Any corresponding paperwork including RLE1 forms to make land changes and evidence for a new or young farmer claim should also reach the RPA by 15th June to be valid. RLE1 forms can now be completed and submitted electronically for extra flexibility.
Stags Rural Professionals continue to submit claims on behalf of old and new clients with the majority of business being conducted successfully by phone or email. If you are yet to submit your 2020 claim and would like some assistance then do not hesitate to contact your local professional. Whilst doing this it is also worth asking about the Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier Scheme to see how this might benefit your business, the current application deadline is the 31st July. Application packs can be ordered online up to 30th June 2020 to be eligible to apply for a 1st January 2021 start date.
Following the wet winter of 2019/20 and inevitable delays to progress caused by the Coronavirus outbreaks many businesses have struggled to make progress with capital items granted under the Countryside Stewardship schemes. Generally each business has 2 years to complete these works from the agreement start date however the RPA have been granting extensions of up to 12 months if requested, something worth bearing in mind if you are struggling to organise these works.
For more information or expert advice please contact your local professional.