Dorset alpaca business loses planning appeal

Dorset alpaca business loses planning appeal

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:30am 19th September 2019.

A West Dorset smallholder has lost a planning appeal over buildings to support an alpaca business at Higher Kingston Russell.

The 6.5 hectare site is already used for horse riding lessons on up to three days a week and as a temporary camp site for up to 28 days each year. 


At the time of the appeal hearing there were 25 alpacas and ten horses on the site.

Local planners decided that having an alpaca business did not justify also having a three-bed mobile home and other buildings and rejected the temporary application for three years from Tina Hardiman.

She appealed the ruling but that has now been rejected by a planning inspector.


Council planning officers originally recommended approval for the business and the mobile home, together with a barn and field shelter.

They told councillors that on the evidence from an agricultural consultant the business could be viable and there was a security and welfare need to live on the site.

But several councillors questioned the claims and in July the area planning committee unanimously rejected the application.

They were told at the time that some of the buildings being applied for had already been completed.



Neighbours and the parish council had also objected to the application – expressing concerns about extra traffic on the narrow lane; the water supply from a private borehole, and the effect of having a temporary home in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The planning inspector’s finding acknowledges a conflict in planning policy between ‘appropriate developments’ in rural areas and the need for some businesses to have housing for a worker, but said that the business did not meet the test of being ‘substantive’.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter