Norfolk 'forest school' with alpaca herd approved by council
A new "forest school" with its own alpacas, outdoor classrooms and compost toilets has been given the go-ahead.
The 30-pupil outdoor school, including include yurts and forest shelters, will be set up in 20 acres (8.1 hectares) of south Norfolk woodland.
A planning application said it would provide courses for children, adults with learning difficulties and others at risk of social isolation.
Council officers had recommended the plans for approval, despite opposition.
South Norfolk Council's planning committee approved the application on Wednesday.
The school has no plans for electricity on site, will draw its water from a borehole and proposes to cook on an open fire when possible.
Lynn Armes, case officer for the scheme, said the project would "provide overriding benefits from the provision of a forest school" without impacting the character of the area or neighbouring properties. She added that residents' concerns over effective sanitation and a safe learning environment did not fall under planning criteria.
Planning documents say it would encourage children to learn through hands-on experiences in a natural environment.
"The focus is on physical development for strong mental health and keeping active while being at one with nature," they add.