The Rural Payments Agency has recently announced changes to its appeal and complaints process following a review.

Whilst the processes are similar to those currently in force, there have been considerable efforts made to streamline the way that complaints and / or appeals are dealt with, as well as give the ability to “fast-track” the matter towards judicial review.

Andrew Bays of BCM, specialists in rural property in southern England, said: “Whilst the overall review process in principal is similar to the current one it does seem the RPA have made effort to streamline and speed up the process.

“Effectively, all complaints are first dealt with by the RPA and if they cannot be resolved then move on the Complaints Resolution and Review Department.

“At this stage, if the complainant is still unhappy they can move forward to the parliamentary ombudsman (for complaints) or the independent panel review (for appeals).

“The entire process however relies upon the RPA's officers themselves dealing with these matters as expediently as they can. It is hoped that by having had this review the RPA have shown clear intent to make sure this happens.”