Plan to open alpaca trekking business on Baildon Moor refused over traffic concerns

Plans to open a new alpaca trekking business in Baildon have been refused due to concerns it would bring traffic to a quiet residential estate.

The alpacas would have been walked around Baildon Moor

Earlier this year an application for the new centre, which would allow visitors to walk the animals around Baildon Moor, was submitted to Bradford Council.

Submitted by Danielle Smith of Altreka, the plans said the site would be accessed through an opening off Luis Court, a housing estate backing onto the green fields around Baildon Moor that was built in 2004.

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Guests would be encouraged to meet in Baildon Town Centre, where a minibus would pick them up and take them to the site.

When the application went before the Council’s Bradford District Planning Panel on Wednesday, members were told that this park and ride system would not be enforceable.

The application has received a mixed response. Over 370 people have written in support of the plans, claiming it would be a good attraction for the area.

But 82 people had objected, with many raising concerns that it would bring extra traffic to Luis Court and disrupt the lives of residents.

One objector was Councillor Mike Pollard (Cons, Baildon), who had asked for any decision to be made by a planning panel, rather then delegated to planning officers.

Baildon Parish Council had also raised concerns about the proposals.

The application said the business would involve up to six people at a time pairing up with an alpaca and walking around Baildon Moor.

An animal shelter and reception office would be based on the site.

The park and ride system would likely involve the car park at Ian Clough Hall in the town centre.

At Wednesday’s meeting planning officer Simon Eades said: “The principle of the development is acceptable, the main issues are highway safety and impact on residential amenity.

“The applicant has proposed a park and ride system. This would not be enforceable – there would be no way we could control this. Further to this there could be speculative customers that drive to the site, and we could not prevent this from happening.

“Unfortunately the park and ride system is not a realistic proposal, and the plans would lead to staff and customers parking on the highway.”

Amanda Foster-Wall, a local resident, spoke against the plans. She said: “Traffic congestion on the road is a major concern at the moment. Visitors are already coming to view the alpacas. They are parking at various locations, blocking driveways.

“It is not clear where staff will park, and there is no mention of a toilet. There is already noise and disturbance of people’s views.”

A report to the panel said: “It is certainly acknowledged that this applicant has come up with a very novel and enterprising idea for the use of this land and that it is a proposal with potential economic benefits.

“However, there are particular difficulties introducing such a use to a site that relies on access via a restricted residential road through a particularly tight-knit residential development.”

Officers recommended the plans be refused, and members of the panel voted to turn the application down.