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Herds of alpacas to roam the West Lancashire countryside

West Lancashire Borough Council gives farm plan the green light

An alpaca at Akesmere Farm, Cheshire. Pic by Andrew Forgrave TRINITY MIRROR OWNED FC Daily Post (Wales) Farming

Herds of alpacas will soon be roaming Green Belt land after West Lancashire Borough Council gave the green light to a new breeding farm.

Applicants MJF Pension Trustees Ltd and Graham Wright are hoping to make land south of the water pumping station on Wiggins Lane, Holmeswood, home to the domesticated species of South American animal, which is related to the camel.

They hope to farm the alpacas to produce wool and breeding stock to sell.

Mr Wright, the director of West Lancashire Alpacas Ltd, said: “The business model is effectively the sale of fibre, produced on an annual basis, and ultimate sale of breeding stock.

“Both aspects are a long-term venture and require a number of years before any significant income levels are attained.

“For this reason, I am currently continuing to carry out the activity alongside my full-time employment to generate cash flow to support the company.”

The land, which is currently being used for grazing, is separated from the surrounding rural area by a large drainage ditch with a strip of mature alder and sycamore woodland to the south.

Significantly smaller than llamas, alpacas are usually kept in herds that graze on the level heights in places such as the Andes of southern Peru.

There are believed to be around 10,000 alpacas in the UK.

West Lancashire’s planning chiefs said that the alpaca farm plan would have little impact on the Green Belt.

In the case officers report they said: “I consider that the development is acceptable, given that the proposed building has been kept as small as possible has been sited close to the road frontage to where other development exists.

“The proposed materials of the building which will comprise of green box cladding walls and cement fibre sheets and roof lights on roof will ensure the building does not appear incongruous within the landscape.

“I do not foresee any loss of amenity to occupants of neighbouring properties.

“I consider that the proposal satisfactorily meets the requirements and should be recommended for approval.”

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