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Countryside Management Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

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Agreements

7.—(1) An agreement shall, in particular, include such commitments by the applicant as the Department considers—

(a)appropriate to ensure compliance with the whole farm management requirements set out in the Rural Development Programme;

(b)appropriate to ensure the achievement of a minimum level of environmental benefit in accordance with the Rural Development Programme, by—

(i)where one or more farmland habitats are present on the eligible land, carrying out works specified by the Department to enhance at least one of those farmland habitats, to an extent to be specified by the Department; or

(ii)where no farmland habitats are present, carrying out works to enhance biodiversity or water quality on the farm, using habitat enhancement options specified by the Department to an extent to be specified by the Department; and

(c)appropriate to all farmland habitats present on the eligible land, bearing in mind the requirements of the Rural Development Programme.

(2) An agreement for the purposes of paragraph (1)(c) may also include—

(i)commitments for carrying out a special environmental project

(ii)commitments relating to habitat enhancement options to be undertaken by the applicant; and

(iii)commitments relating to the carrying out of operations in respect of capital enhancement items.

(3) Where two or more persons make commitments in relation to a special environmental project and—

(a)each owns or occupies contiguous land; or

(b)each owns or occupies land which falls wholly or mainly within a single area—

(i)designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest under the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002;

(ii)designated as a Special Area of Conservation under Council Directive 92/43/EEC; or

(iii)designated as a Special Protection Area under Council Directive 79/409/EEC,

and the operations relating to the special environmental project are, in the opinion of the Department, likely to improve the quality or condition of any habitat, species or features in respect of which the area is designated; or

(c)each owns or occupies land which falls wholly or mainly within a single river catchment area and the operations which comprise the special environmental project are, in the opinion of the Department, likely to maintain or improve the water quality of the waterways within that river catchment area,

then without prejudice to the generality of regulation 4(1) assistance payable under that paragraph shall include for each such person an additional amount equal to 20% of the expenditure incurred by that person on operations comprising the project, to represent the costs incurred by that person as a result of any collaboration between them on the project.

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