Hampshire glamping site told to close after complaints about loud sex and bad singing

<span>The garden glamping site backed on to other properties.</span><span>Photograph: David Clarke/Solent News & Photo Agency</span>
The garden glamping site backed on to other properties.Photograph: David Clarke/Solent News & Photo Agency

It was billed as a peaceful glamping retreat designed to provide visitors to the New Forest with a taste of life’s simple pleasures, perfect for romantic getaways or family breaks.

But Secret Garden Glamping in Lymington, Hampshire, has been ordered to close after neighbours complained about late-night parties, noisy sex and blaring karaoke sessions that featured “delusional” versions of the song Islands in the Stream.

Planning officers ruled that the garden glamping site, which backs on to other properties, caused a harmful level of disturbance to neighbours.

Liz Feay, the owner of Secret Garden Glamping, set up two tents – named Flora and Belle – in the garden of her three-bedroom semi-detached house without planning permission. Visitors who came were impressed, one describing it as a “little gem in the heart of Lymington”.

After four years, she applied for retrospective planning permission to New Forest district council, but neighbours expressed concerns about the site.

Mel Sims, 51, said: “I live directly behind this garden. I bought this house last year, thinking it was in a quiet cul-de-sac. 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 neighbour, Daniel Wells, said: “Socialising continues through the working week, disturbing sleep for myself, my wife and our son whose bedroom is at the back of the house. 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 [Parton] and Kenny [Rogers].”

The council refused Feay’s planning application. The case officer, Sophie Tagg, said: “The area where the tents have been located is in a part of the garden close to nearby residential properties. The tents are constructed only of a thin canvas material and therefore lack soundproofing.”

Feay, who has described herself as “a born and bred New Forest girl” with a “genuine love for the area and the people who live here”, declined to comment.