IFA president Joe Healy complains about treatment of Kilkenny farmers
Attempts by Kilkenny County Council to hit farmland with the ‘vacant’ site levy are completely unacceptable, the country's largest farm organisation has warned.
IFA president Joe Healy said it was not in line with the intention of the legislation and it was clear that land being used for agricultural purposes is neither ‘vacant nor idle’ on the edge of Kilkenny city or towns around the country.
He said the council was responding to a circular issued by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government which unilaterally decreed that agricultural land zoned for another purpose is ‘vacant or idle’.
It has seen some farmers with land on the edge of the city and towns that have been re-zoned without them requesting it facing the levies.
Mr Healy said this should be withdrawn and a new circular issued, making it clear that farmland is not included as ‘vacant or idle’.
“IFA will not accept a situation where farmers whose land has been zoned are effectively forced to sell or develop it to avoid this punitive tax,” he said.