Local authorities around the country have failed to remove farmers from the vacant site levy register.

As many as 15 county councils have failed to remove farmland owned and worked by active farmers from their registers, despite the climbdown by Kilkenny County Council’s planners. Local authorities have been advised by Department of Housing officials not to take any further action on the application of the levy on farmland for the time being. This followed unambiguous remarks from Minister John Paul Phelan that including farmers land was “an insult”. Kilkenny County Council, which had been the first to include farmers on their register, has removed the two farms it had included on its register.

Despite this, farmers around the country are reporting no retraction of the original notice they received to include their farmland on the register. It leaves farmers facing the stress of having this levy imposed, and incurring significant legal costs as they appeal.