Glamping site refused permission after locals complain of sex noises and parties

A glamping site has been refused planning permission after neighbours reported having to “awkwardly” listen to couples having sex in the thin tents as well as disturbance caused by karaoke parties.

Secret Garden Glamping in Lymington had applied for retrospective permission from New Forest District Council to continue running the site consisting of two five-metre tents in the garden of a semi-detached house in Shrubbs Avenue in the Hampshire town.

But after a number of neighbours complained about the level of noise during previous summers, the local authority has refused to grant permission to the applicant Liz Feay to run the site between May and September.

Dolly Parton
One camper’s attempts to channel Dolly Parton did not go down well with neighbours (Yui Mok/PA)

One resident wrote to the council: “I live directly behind this garden and see the tent top from my windows.

“I bought this house last year, thinking it was in a quiet cul de sac.

“That is until people come to stay there.

“The noise from this garden/field in the summer is too much often past midnight.

“There is music, loud chat, sex in the thin tents we all awkwardly hear and swearing.”

Another wrote: “All through the summer months the tents are right next to our gardens and the noise is constant, especially at night as the people glamping don’t always treat the site with the neighbours in mind.

“They are on holiday, right in our back gardens and making the kind of noise they want to on holiday, which is very disruptive for those living nearby.

“There is frequent noise from children and groups of adults late into the night.

“Also the glamp site supplies a bonfire or fire pit which is dangerously close to the trees that line that border between Shrubbs Avenue and May Avenue.

“This cannot be safe, and is very antisocial.”

Another stated: “Most upsetting perhaps is that on several occasions we have had to close the window to block out the sound of a couple engaging in acts of a sexual nature, which the fabric walls of a tent clearly did not, and do not contain.

“There was a karaoke machine there for a time and on one notable sunny afternoon whilst trying to enjoy our garden with friends, we had to instead listen to a couple blaring out Islands In The Stream over and over, deluded in thinking they were Dolly and Kenny.

“This same karaoke machine was used top volume at 6am by a child yelling into the microphone.”

The Secret Glamping Lymington website advertises the site as “perfect for romantic escapes and family adventures”.

It adds: “Located just out of view, at the end of our family’s garden, follow the path to discover an archway hidden amongst the hedgerow that will lead you to your very own glamping retreat – which offers utter peace and tranquillity and which really does feel like it’s a million miles from anywhere!”

Detailing the reasons for the council’s rejection of the application, David Norris, service manager for development management planning, wrote: “The proposed use of the site for ‘glamping’ would result in a material intensification in the use of a quiet rear garden area, which would result in a level of noise and disturbance that would significantly exceed what would typically be expected within a predominantly residential area.

“As such, the proposal would be harmful to the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers.”

He adds that it would “increase recreational pressures” on “sensitive European nature conservation sites” including the impact on air quality.

Ms Feay said in a statement to the PA news agency: “I have run Secret Garden Glamping as a peaceful retreat for families and couples for five years, and in that time have received no complaints from the residents of May Avenue.

“In May 2023 I had my 40th birthday party in a marquee in the garden shortly after Mel Simms moved in. It was late and it was loud, but it had nothing to do with my glamping business.

“Since then, every sound my family or my glamping guests make in the garden is recorded and reported to Environmental Health. We certainly do not have a sex-noise problem, there has only ever been one private party, and there is no karaoke machine available to glamping guests.

“I feel this is a vexatious attack from my neighbours. It has led to complete misrepresentation of my business, invasion of my privacy, damage to my reputation, and refusal of my planning application.”