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The Forestry Challenge Funds (Scotland) Regulations 2008

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Revocation or variation of approval and withholding or recovery of grant

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12.—(1) Paragraph (2) applies where the Forestry Commissioners have approved an application (in whole or in part) for grant under regulation 5(2) and they think–

(a)the applicant has given information on any matter relevant to the giving of approval or the making of payment of grant under these Regulations, which is false or misleading in a material particular;

(b)any condition subject to which the approval was given, or the grant has been paid, has not been complied with;

(c)the project in respect of which the approval was given, or the grant was paid, has not been carried out or has not been carried out in accordance with the application approved by the Forestry Commissioners;

(d)the applicant has failed to comply with any of the following compliance requirements–

(i)the statutory management requirements established by Article 4 of, and Annex III to, Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003(1);

(ii)the good agricultural and environmental conditions specified in regulation 4 of, and the Schedule to, the Common Agricultural Policy Schemes (Cross Compliance) (Scotland) Regulations 2004(2);

(iii)that damage or destruction of any historic or archaeological features or areas must be avoided and guidance approved by the Scottish Ministers must be followed for the protection of such features or areas;

(e)the project has been or is being unreasonably delayed beyond the time limits contained in any condition subject to which approval has been given, or grant paid, under these Regulations, or is unlikely to be completed;

(f)the project was commenced before the date on which the Forestry Commissioners gave written permission to do so;

(g)the European Commission has decided that the grant paid, or to be paid, does not comply with the Community legislation;

(h)public funds in excess of those permitted under these Regulations have been applied to the project; or

(i)the applicant or any employee, servant or agent of the applicant has–

(i)intentionally obstructed any authorised person in exercise of the powers under regulation 11; or

(ii)failed to comply with a requirement imposed under regulation 11(4)(b) or (d).

(2) Where this paragraph applies, the Forestry Commissioners may–

(a)revoke or vary (including any conditions subject to which it was given) the approval in respect of the whole or any part of the approved expenditure;

(b)inform the Scottish Ministers who may–

(i)apply a reduction to any payment made, or to be made to the applicant;

(ii)withhold payment of grant in whole or in part; and

(iii)recover as a debt the whole or any part of the grant which has been paid.

(3) Where paragraph (2) applies, and the Forestry Commissioners also think that the applicant acted recklessly or intentionally–

(a)the Scottish Ministers may require the applicant to pay an additional sum equal to 10% of the sums paid or payable to the applicant under these Regulations; and

(b)the Forestry Commissioners may prohibit the applicant from applying for grant under these Regulations for such period (not exceeding two years) from the date of the revocation of approval of any payment under these Regulations as the Forestry Commissioners may specify.

(4) Before the Forestry Commissioners or the Scottish Ministers do anything under paragraphs (2) or (3), they must–

(a)give the applicant in respect of whom such a step is proposed to be taken, written notification of that step, and if appropriate the amount by which it is proposed that the grant be reduced or the amount of such grant which it is proposed be withheld or recovered;

(b)give that applicant an opportunity to make representations about the proposed step, within such time and in such form as they think fit; and

(c)consider such representations.

(5) A reduction under paragraph (2)(b)(i) must be applied in accordance with the Control Regulation.

(1)

O.J. No. L 270, 21.10.2003, p.1.

(2)

S.S.I. 2004/518, as amended by S.S.I. 2005/143 and 2007/99.

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