The owner of a Lymington glamping site at the centre of a noise row has spoken out after her plans were refused.

Secret Garden Glamping, which operates in the garden of a house in Shrubbs Avenue, has been at the centre of a national news storm after some neighbours complained they were being disturbed by karaoke and sex noises.

It has been run by Liz Feay behind her semi-detached home for the past five years and offers two 16ft lotus belle tents for hire. She applied to New Forest District Council to continue offering the site for five months of the year.

Secret Garden Glamping has two bell tents

Ms Feay told the A&T the national news coverage had been “over sensationalised”, adding: “It’s quite scary to witness how the media circus works.”

“It feels that a situation that could have been resolved in a civil way has been used as fodder by some of the press pitting neighbours against each other for a story.

“Suddenly a grain of truth becomes something unrecognisable, and then social media is like pouring petrol on the whole thing.”

Ms Feay said one national newspaper posted a mash-up video using drone footage of her house and garden with festival noise and a clip from a party which had nothing to do with the glamping.

“It just highlights how wary we all need to be because the truth is often not as sensational as it’s made to sound, and there are real people at the centre whose lives are being affected,” she added.

In turning down the application, an NFDC planning officer said: “The tents are constructed only of a thin canvas material and therefore lack soundproofing, meaning noise disturbance emanates not just from the outside garden areas of the application site but also from within the tents.

“It is considered that the glamping use has resulted and would continue to result in a much more intensive use than would be expected of a single household, and this is evidenced by the complaints and objections raised by neighbouring occupiers.

The two bell tents were sited close to neighbours in May Avenue, with some claiming they were disturbed by crying babies and toddlers, karaoke, late-night chatting around a campfire and the “the sound of a couple engaging in acts of a sexual nature”.

However, neighbours in Shrubbs Avenue also wrote in support of the application with one stating: “I am confident that the owners will manage the business responsibly, considering the impact on the environment and ensuring that it complements the residential nature of the area. The proposed glamping accommodations are likely to attract visitors who will contribute to the local economy by patronising nearby shops, restaurants, and attractions.”

Ms Feay said: “I want to thank the majority of my neighbours who have supported me and to apologise to anyone I’ve inadvertently upset or inconvenienced, I hope we can move on in an amicable way from now on.

“I respect the decision of the local authority and just wish this hadn’t ended up being a trial by media. Nobody wins from that.”

published 2024-03-12 10:17:59