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Victory for Malmesbury alpaca farmers
5:00pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
Alpaca farm owners Phil and Debbie Neal have been granted long-awaited permission to build themselves a home on their land.
Abbey View Farm in Malmesbury is home to 32 alpacas, ten llamas and various other animals over nearly 11 acres.
Mr and Mrs Neal submitted a planning application in May 2011 to create a permanent agricultural workers’ dwelling and agricultural building, which was refused by Wiltshire Council in June last year.
An appeal was lodged on November 28 last year, but was withdrawn in January to allow the couple’s planning consultant Mark Willis to strengthen the application.
Mr and Mrs Neal were determined not to give up on their dream and then resubmitted their application.
Mr Neal said: “We’re happy, but they shouldn’t have turned it down in the first place.”
Planning permission for the buildings was granted on August 9, provided work begins within three years.
Occupation of the house must be limited to a person working on the farm.
Wiltshire Council received 30 letters in favour of the application and three against.
Sheila Daley wrote: “This couple are devoted to the animals they care for and everything they do is for the welfare of these animals, and it seems so sad that whatever they try to do to improve their situation, doors are closed on them.
“It would seem obvious to me that to continue their good work, Mr and Mrs Neal need to be permanently in situ on Abbey Farm and to that end should be given permission to erect a suitable dwelling on that site.”
Mr Neal said work should start next year. He said: “It’s been a long battle, but we’ve got it. We’d like to thank everyone who has written in to the council in support of us, it’s been reassuring that people know we put a lot of hard work and effort in.”
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