Farmers who have received their 2015 payment and Claim Statement should scrutinise their Claim Statement very carefully as we are finding errors to be common over a large number of claimants, says chartered surveyor Charlotte Rogerson.
Claimants finding discrepancies on the 2015 Claim Statement will need to submit an investigation request with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) immediately by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including the name of the business and SBI (Single Business Identifier).
These discrepancies are unlikely to be resolved by the 2016 claim deadline, so farmers should still proceed with their 2016 applications. Make the application using the land areas that you believe to be correct and support that application with a detailed covering letter explaining why you have used those figures, which might be contrary to what the RPA has deemed eligible.
If you need to add land to the 2016 claim, the easiest way to do so is to get the previous occupier to transfer the parcel online. If this is not possible, you can separately submit a paper BP5 continuation booklet for that land only.
You will also need to complete the ‘active farmer’ declaration and the young farmer payment/organic/ cross border payments section, if you are claiming that. Once you have checked through the forms online you can print out a revised application summary and when you are happy with that, press submit.
Remember that any changes requiring an RLE1 or a Part C/Part D continuation booklet should be supported with a covering letter explaining the changes.
Charlotte Rogerson is a chartered surveyor with Berrys at Shrewsbury.