Plans, from private business owner Phil Kerry, will see the establishment of an alpaca farm on land off Turlowfields Lane in Hognaston, near Carsington Water. Kerry ran a rabbit breeding business from the site until last year, but is now seeking the change to breeding alpaca and wool sales.
Documents provided with details of the request: “Due to a strange and unfortunate combination of circumstances, including the retirement of the site manager due to ill health and animal rights protests, Mr.
He has applied to Derbyshire Dells County Council for permission to build a house on the site so that the worker can look after the alpacas at all times. Council officials have recommended that the plans be approved at a meeting on Tuesday, November 8.
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Documents provided by Mr. Kerry detail: “Mr. Kerry has always been interested in setting up an alpaca farming operation and attended a training course in Fowberry Alpacas, Yorkshire, as long ago as July 2010. Closing the rabbit farm has allowed these people for a long time – holding plans to be realized.”
The business will include 25 to 30 female alpacas, along with a male stud and a ‘small stock’, generating a net profit of £34,000 by the third year of business through alpaca sales and the sale of yarn and other wool products.
Explaining the need for “rural worker housing” on the site, Mr. Kerry said: “Alpacas are notorious for masking symptoms of disease and extreme vigilance is required to detect subtle changes in behaviour. Specific issues are known to include mating, childbirth, rearing, abortion, stillbirth and day-to-day management to ensure any health or care issues are monitored Immediately healthy and manageable.”
A total of 13,162 people signed a petition from the animal rights campaign group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) opposing the proposed alpaca farm.
“Alpacas are predators that can be very painful to mow,” the group said. She continued, “The animals in this facility will be kept in arid conditions before being sold, separating them from their friends and family members. In addition to causing stress for the animals, the planned farm will have many negative effects on the local area, including compromising the magnificent landscape through the construction of Buildings on the site, increased traffic from heavy goods vehicles, large amounts of manure and the environment.Contaminants, such as methane, that it may generate.The proposed facility would also be a potential breeding ground for bovine tuberculosis.
The board has appointed an independent agricultural consultant, Kernon Countryside Consultants, to assess the application. These consultants say a worker is needed to live on the site but are concerned about the amount of space available for the planned farm. A three-year temporary permission is seen as a suitable way to test business operations. Council officials say the authority has received 25 letters of objection, but only five are from Derbyshire Dales residents.
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