PLANS to develop an Owslebury Alpaca farm have been dismissed after council chiefs branded them 'sketchy'.

Mrs Hazel Moore wanted to install a Norwegian-style log cabin at Alpaca Meadow, but council officers recommended the proposals be rejected.

City councillors sided with officers, arguing that the cabin was unsuitably large. At a planning committee meeting on Tuesday (November 27), Cllr Eileen Berry voted against allowing the application to go through.

She said: “I have a mind to think this lodge far outweighs what is necessary for the amount of animals on this land.

“I think it's an admirable venture but in this moment in time this enterprise is far from satisfactory and far from the size needed to warrant the dwelling you're applying for. It is too much for too little.”

In theory, the city's planning policy allows for the development of agricultural worker's dwellings. But a report compiled by officers said the Hensting Lane site was significantly smaller than the one hectare declared by the applicant, meaning it was therefore too small to sustain the number of livestock proposed.

Cllr Therese Evans said: “This is only here because of the petition. But it's quite obvious that there's no proven agricultural need for this and no proven business case. This building is intrusive in its position and in its size.”

It was also noted by planning chiefs that of the 29 supporters named on the petition, only two lived locally.

Councillors also expressed misgivings around drainage at the site. Cllr Michael Read said: “I think if anyone was to build something there, it would need to be an ark.”

The planning committee voted unanimously to reject the application.