Mobile home for alpaca rearing business unsubstantiated

A mobile home for residential use to support a proposed alpaca rearing business in the north Yorkshire countryside was refused, and the enforcement notice for its removal upheld, for unsubstantiated need and viability, and harm to the appearance and character of the area of outstanding natural beauty in which the site was located.

The inspector held the main issues were whether the mobile home was needed to accommodate a rural worker on the site, whether the appellant’s alpaca rearing business proposals were financially viable and what impact the existing mobile home and proposed business had on the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside and highway safety matters. The appellant proposed to run an alpaca rearing business on the site involving the sale of manure and offering accompanied walks with the alpacas in the local area. However, the inspector considered that as the site was within walking distance of the nearest village and properties to rent were available there, an essential functional need for the mobile home had not been established. Equally, he felt there was insufficient financial evidence to substantiate that the manure sales and tourist walking elements of the business were viable and weakened the case for residential occupation of the site. 

The site was located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, down a single-track lane and was visible from the nearby village. The inspector held the mobile home and associated paraphernalia appeared an incongruous feature in the landscape which could not be easily screened and indeed should not be as similar situations could be repeated too often in the open countryside. He concluded harm was caused to the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB in conflict with local and national policies for its conservation. Finally, the inspector could not be certain that there were no highway safety impacts arising from the alpaca walking aspects of the scheme due to the insufficient route detail provided.

Inspector: Roy Merrett; Written representations

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