BEWDLEY residents have voiced their fears over a rural conservation area that could be turned into a permanent caravan site.

They say an alpaca farm has now been set up on land along Heightington Road, as well as a temporary home with outbuildings.

However, they believe development work on the site is taking place without planning permission and are now begging the council to act against it.

Around 15 alpacas have been seen on the land, with residents also saying a water bore hole has been dug and pipe work has been installed.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There is significant concern from residents in the Ribbesford and Heightington area over a development that is taking place, without planning consent.

“Concern is that this development is fundamentally illegal in a rural conservation area, and that it will be turned into a permanent traveller or caravan site.

“A temporary mobile home has arrived on site and several outbuildings erected to house alpacas which are now also on site.

“All this work has been completed without the correct planning consent or relevant licenses for the animals.

“This is exactly the same scenario that happened with the Blackstone Meadows development which was refused and has now progressed to a protracted legal argument which has been ongoing since 2018, costing the council many thousands of pounds.”

“Local communities in the area feel that this issue - and their concerns - are not being taken seriously, and that a rural community is being destroyed by illegal development that will fundamentally and permanently impact people, roads and the local environment.”

Another resident said: “The site has no utilities or sewerage connection. The levels of traffic and large vehicles that have been accessing the site make the lane very dangerous for local people as it is not designed for this kind of traffic or development.”

Wyre Forest District Council highlighted that the travellers are not on council land, so an enforcement team has not been involved. However, a spokesman said investigations by the planning team are ongoing.