Farmers applying to TAMS who are nearly 40 years of age or who are about to exceed the five-year rule will be given 14 weeks to secure planning permission if they need it, from the time of application, according to the IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy.

At a meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Johnstown Castle last week, Flor McCarthy said this concession was necessary as otherwise some young farmers would not have been eligible for 60% TAMS scheme where planning permission for the investment was required.

All other farmers must have planning permission at time of application, he said.

McCarthy said he also raised with the Department the need to include additional items of grant aid including sheep fencing, silage slabs and walls, grain storage, underpasses and slurry and litter storage for grain farms.

In the 2014-2020 RDP, €395m is allocated for the TAMS scheme. According to the IFA, it is vital that the scheme is flexible and that changes are made over the period to ensure that the full allocation is utilised.

McCarthy said that the investment requirements of Irish farmers must be catered for in the new TAMS so that the industry can meet the challenges ahead.