The RPA have recently announced details of the Lump Sum Exit Scheme details for England, as part of the Agricultural Transition Plan and phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
The Lump Sum will be available for those who claimed Basic Payment in 2018 or earlier, and any claimants who have inherited land or succeeded to an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy after May 2018. To be eligible the applicant must transfer out all of the English land claimed on their 2021 BPS claim before the 31st May 2024. However, they can retain 5 hectares (12.36 acres) of land, plus any woodland, buildings and farmhouse(s).
The land being transferred out must be either sold, gifted, or rented out (for a minimum five-year term); an current agricultural tenancy to be surrendered or terminated; or the land planted with trees under a woodland grant scheme. All held entitlements are also to be surrendered to the RPA.
Lump Sum claimants will then be excluded from future BPS and delinked payments, schemes under the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), and some options under Local Nature Recovery (LNR) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) schemes. Claimants will still be eligible for Productivity Grants, and farming other land acquired since 2021 un-subsidised.
The Lump Sum payment will be based on the average of three years of their Basic Payment Scheme claim value for 2019, 2020 and 2021 and then multiplied by 2.35; however, there is a maximum Lump Sum value applied which may affect larger value claimants.
If a claimant continues to claim BPS in 2022 and 2023 these values will be taken ‘on account’ towards the Lump Sum payment.
BPS claimants will need to apply for the Lump Sum payment between April 2022 and 30th September 2022. There will be one opportunity to apply, and the scheme is not competitive.
Once the applicant has provided evidence that the scheme rules have been met, payments will start from November 2022.
To summarise, those who are eligible to apply and meet the criteria – to transfer out all (except 5 hectares) of the land at their disposal in 2021, and surrender their entitlements - should be accepted.
The RPA will be writing to all BPS applicants shortly to outline the Lump Sum Exit Scheme, and advising how to request a Forecast Statement.
If you would like any further information on the Lump Sum Exit Scheme, and to discuss matters of the scheme please do not hesitate to contact Laura Negus. 01285 883740 firstname.lastname@example.org