PLANS for a bungalow to house an alpaca farm on the green belt in Thelwall have been thrown out by a Government inspector.

Developers wanted to construct the single-storey dwelling on land at Barondale Grange on Stockport Road.

Those plans were thrown out last year by Warrington Borough Council on the grounds that they were inappropriate in the green belt.

The applicant, Mr Foden, appealed against that decision but a Government planning inspector has thrown out the objection saying that development in the green belt should only be approved in 'very special circumstances'.

The appeal heard that the alpaca farm was becoming so well used that a 24-hour presence was needed close to the site to provide surveillance for the welfare of the animals.

Hence a bungalow was suggested for a farmer.

However Government planning inspector Chris Baxter said: "I do not consider there to be sufficient evidence that this surveillance cannot be achieved by other means, with there being little indication on how the business would operate in the future and why Mr Foden would not be able to continue surveillance of the site, such that I attach only limited weight to that need."

He argued that while the farm will contribute to the rural economy, it would only do so in a 'modest way' and that therefore the development would not outweigh the harm to the green belt.

One neighbour, who objected to the application, said: "The applicant applied for a two storey 'alpaca house' on this land several years ago, but living opposite I can clearly see that there has been very little use of this land for alpacas apart from the occasional few days.

"There is therefore no logical reason for there to be a dwelling to house a farmer to look after these animals when they are rarely on the land.

"There is no safe entry and exit to the land – despite the current owner using it as such when no permission for regular entry/exit has been given."