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Farmer wins payout after four-year Defra Basic Payment Scheme dispute

After an initial blip over the declaration number for outdoor pigs, Defra disputed the acreage of the farm Mr Hadley had supplied.

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Farmer wins payout after four-year Defra BPS dispute

A retired farmer has secured a major win in demanding a four-year back payment of the Basic Payment Scheme after Defra removed his entitlements over a dispute about acreage and outdoor pigs.

 

Jim Hadley, who farms in Newark, Nottinghamshire, requested the case to go to tribunal on January 6 but last week received a letter to say his outstanding funds would be paid back.

 

After an initial blip over the declaration number for outdoor pigs, Defra disputed the acreage of the farm Mr Hadley had supplied.


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It was not until Mr Hadley was expecting his payment that he realised there was an issue. As a result of the dispute he experienced additional inspections and said the lack of communication exacerbated the problem.

 

He said: “Nothing came back until the payment was supposed to come through but we got no payment.

 

Important

“We then got a letter reviewing our application, but then no more correspondence for 11 months before them then telling us our acreage was wrong.”

 

Defra recently wrote to Mr Hadley with his updated claims forms which confirmed the acreage he had originally supplied in 2015.

In total there were about five or six individual letters which took Defra ‘anywhere up to 10 months to reply’, and throughout the ordeal he received only three phone calls relating to the dispute to organise a spray records check, a visit from the vet and a check from Trading Standards.

 

Mr Hadley said his MP had been instrumental in helping him secure the cash.

 

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) said outside the EU it has an opportunity ‘to do things differently’ and it was working with farmers and land managers on how a future scheme could work better.

 

It confirmed a ‘record year’ for the BPS, with more than 99 per cent of BPS payments delivered to customers.

 

A spokesperson added: “We understand how important these payments are to farmers and land managers. That is why we are focused on getting money into bank accounts as soon as possible.”

 

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