Bid to build eco-friendly house with a pool at alpaca farm in Fife

Pic: Michael Gillen
Pic: Michael Gillen

The owners of an alpaca farm in fight have won their bid to build an eco-friendly house with a swimming pool.

They successfully overturned a decision to refuse permission at a Planning Review committee meeting.

The decision will see a house built adjacent to an alpaca farm in Glenduckie, just north of Cupar.

Mr Robin Falconer submitted the original application to create an eco-friendly house which would have a garage and indoor swimming pool.

There is currently already a large house on the grounds, which he and his wife occupy.

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The application was originally refused in order to “safeguard the countryside from unjustified sporadic development”.

But he argued that the area was already partially developed.

Mr Falconer, who keeps a herd of 13 alpacas, said they needed to remain close to the estate as the animals needed fed every morning and checked every evening.

In his review application, said that he his wife live in Higham House, a large traditional property, and are seeking to downsize to a smaller and more ecologically sound home.

It added: “They propose to erect a well-designed contemporary house, embracing the highest of environmental and accessibility standards. It is intended that the house be modestly sized and easily managed and maintained, enabling them to continue to live within and contribute to the community life of the area.”

Councillors rejected the argument that the surrounding area was built up, but agreed that the ability to downsize was essential to the existing business.

Councillor Alice McGarry said: “We do have to be sympathetic that as people grow older, their needs change. What was suitable at one stage, is not suitable at another. Does that mean they should have to leave the land and the animals because of that?”

Councillor David Barratt, convener of the committee said : “It’s not the strongest argument, but I would propose that we move to accept on the basis that they will be downsizing and the scale of the new development would be more acceptable. It should be noted that there were no objections to the development.”

 In the additional conditions, they added that the design and scale of the building should be sympathetic to the overall landscape.