Recent figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a dramatic jump in planning applications granted in the third quarter of 2023 when compared with the same period last year.

In 2022, planning permissions granted between July and September for agricultural buildings stood at 236, while for 2023 this figure rose by 32% to 313.

The largest rise was seen in the south, where the 2022 figure stood at 136 applications granted, with 189 applications successful for the same period this year; an increase of 39%.

Figures for the west/northwest and the eastern/midland regions rose marginally from 52 to 71 and 48 to 53 respectively.

The rise in applications corresponds with farmers applying under TAMS III tranche two, with tranche two of the scheme still open some months later.

The majority of the applications granted in the third quarter were attributed to new builds in agriculture.

Some 164 applications were granted for the south, with the northwest/west and south/midlands accounting for 57 and 47 new construction planning applications granted respectively.

174ha of construction approved

Regarding total area of construction granted permission, the west/northwest encases 22,000m², or 22ha, of construction, with the east/midlands accounting for 37,000m².

The south, with its higher number of applications granted and expected larger developments, will be responsible for 104,000m², equating to 104ha or just over 250 acres.

Fears surrounding VAT reclaim

A recently new development in the building side has been the cessation of Revenue in paying the flat rate VAT back to unregistered farmers on certain items that are pertained to be mobile.

Milk bulk tanks, automatic scrapers, meal bins and calf feeders have been noted as some of the items that farmers have been refused a VAT reclaim on in recent weeks, despite farmers having freely reclaimed VAT on these in the past.

Revenue has told the Irish Farmers Journal that no changes to the flat rate VAT scheme have been undertaken, though practical examples of a change have been heard from farmers.