Alpaca farmer ordered to clear national park site

News background

An alpaca farmer has been ordered to remove his mobile home from a sensitive site in the South Downs National Park after a protracted legal battle with our Planning Enforcement team. 

Sam and Jade Giles had planned to use land at Lone Barn Farm, Church Lane, in Greatham, to run a business importing and breeding alpacas. 

In 2021 they appealed against EHDC’s ruling to remove the mobile home they had installed on the land and the associated infrastructure they had built there without permission. 

The matter was settled by the Planning Inspectorate on 4 April, which sided with EHDC. The couple now has eight months to remove their mobile home, as well as a septic tank, a stable, the concrete hard-standing it rests on and any other domestic structures. 

The legal arguments rested on whether the business had a sound financial plan behind it and whether it was necessary for the couple to live on site all year round. 

The Planning Inspectorate ruled that neither of these questions were satisfactorily answered by the appellants. The land must now be returned to its former use as an agricultural site. 

Simon Jenkins, the Chief Operating Officer at East Hampshire District Council, said: “EHDC has reinforced its Planning Enforcement team to help it fight just these kinds of legal battles and protect our district’s most sensitive agricultural sites.  

“We have made it clear that we are going to be tough on developers who break the rules. This is a significant case which demonstrates how determined we are to see these fights through to the end. 

“Developers need to know that if they breach our planning regulations we have the expertise and resource to bring them to book.” 

  • This is the second planning enforcement case EHDC has won in the last month after a builder was ordered to pay £5,530 in fines and costs for storing a shipping container and other items on farmland near Alton

Failure to remove shipping container and building tools leads to £5,500 fine and costs