Chinese businessman’s plan to turn manor into a holiday let will destroy sleepy hamlet, say locals

Mason Boycott-Owen
The picturesque hamlet of Canonteign is nestled in the Dartmoor National Park. - Getty Images Contributor

A chinese businessman’s plan to turn an Elizabethan manor into a holiday let will see the sleepy hamlet destroyed by ‘rowdy’ guests, locals have said.

Residents in the small and picturesque community of Canonteign in Devon are outraged that Liqun Peng wants to make the £4 million family home into a bustling holiday attraction.

The 10-bedroom Canonteign Manor, which is nestled on the edge of Dartmoor, is famed for being where the Charles I fled during the civil war in 1642.

The Grade I listed building has formal gardens, its own park, orchard and swimming pool, overlooking the river Teign.

The application, which is expected to be reviewed in the coming weeks by Dartmoor National Park Authority, has spurred locals into action, vowing to make sure things stay in keeping with the area’s rural aesthetic.

One objector said: "We will endeavour to go to all lengths to protect not only our home and way of life - but our largest asset."

Another wrote: "We very strongly feel that it is inappropriate to run the manor as a business venture as it is located within very close proximity to residential properties in a very peaceful hamlet.

"The impact on us and others in the vicinity would be significant and unacceptable."

Another resident complained of rowdy visitors playing football in the grounds late into the evening, pool users splashing about till 4am and 'general drunken revelry until the early hours.'

A previous application for a similar change of use was rejected by the planning committee, along with the appeal that followed, but several residents are not expecting this case to be a foregone conclusion.

"The park authority will see from the contents of many of the objections that the operation of a letting venue in the middle of the residential hamlet would indeed be a nightmare for all the neighbours," one person said.