17. Land used to support separate claims under different schemes - 'dual use'
Under the regulations governing the Direct Payments regime, Basic Payment Scheme entitlements can only be allocated to the farmer who holds the decision-making power, benefits, and financial risks in relation to the agricultural activity taking place on the land in question. However, it's possible in certain circumstances for the same agricultural area to be used as support for a claim by the landowner of Rural Development support and by a tenant (as grazier or someone who grows crops). This scenario is called "dual use".
Advice from the European Commission is that this situation is allowed in principle but that paying agencies, like RPID, must consider the situation on a case-by-case basis taking into account the eligibility conditions and requirements under the respective schemes. The latter is a key consideration because the European Commission have also re-stated the principle that there should be no double-funding of similar activities under both pillars of the CAP. (Direct Payments are funded through Pillar 1, Rural Development support by Pillar 2.)
RPID will assess the admissibility of claims involving dual use as part of the assessment of eligibility. It's up to the landowner and tenant to follow our standing advice on determining who has the land 'at their disposal' for support under each Pillar. This means that the lessor and lessee need to reach a workable agreement that takes into account their respective obligations to ensure that claims likely to result in double-funding are avoided. It also means that the parties must have written evidence of their respective rights, responsibilities and land at their disposal as at 15 May. This evidence could be a tenancy agreement, grazing licence or letter.
Please note - 'dual use' is not permitted where the Basic Payment and Less Favoured Area Support Schemes ( LFASS) are involved because both schemes rely on the applicant meeting the same 'farmer' / 'Active Farmer' obligations.
The information in this booklet describes the principles. If you need further advice, please contact your local RPID area office. If you need specific guidance about your own potential claims, you should contact a professional adviser.