DC Casebook: Agricultural development - Alpaca rearing risks justify caravan home

The owner of a smallholding in the Cheshire green belt has secured permission for a four-bedroom caravan despite council claims that he has not demonstrated a sound farm business model.

The appellant claimed that he had made a considerable investment in buying the holding and improving boundaries and an access road. He had purchased ten alpacas and gained experience of animal husbandry. His business plan indicated his aim to achieve 50 alpacas and 100 breeding ewes.

He claimed that the difficulty of breeding and rearing alpacas justified one full-time worker. The inspector accepted this, noting that the loss of just one animal could affect the viability of the business. The appellant's dwelling 8km away could not ensure adequate supervision, she agreed.

Projections suggested that the business would become viable after five years and evidence indicated that it was planned on a sound financial basis. Although the caravan would affect openness, the inspector noted that it was of modest size and would only be in place for three years.

DCS Number 100-069-435

Inspector Sarah Colebourne; Hearing

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