Anger over plans to build campsite on Polesden Lacey estate in Bookham
From the Dorking Advertiser, posted February 10, 2015
Authored by Alexander Robertson
Original Story is here
PLANS to build a campsite on the Polesden Lacey estate in Bookham have been met with anger and bewilderment by residents.
Embers Camping has applied for planning permission to install about 40 pitches in a field on the National Trust’s land, complete with a toilet and shower block, a reception hut and a shop.
However, many neighbours of the estate have raised their objections to the plans amid concerns over possible increases in noise and light pollution on the “incredibly sensitive site”.
Anne Berry, who lives in nearby Dowlans Road, said: “The field is located in the green belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as an Area of Great Landscape Value.
“I think this is a really serious. I’ve lived in Bookham for nearly 20 years and I don’t think I have ever come across a planning application which would have such a great impact on the village. There has been no publicity at all and I only heard about it last week; there has been no advertising on anything. At the very least people should be made aware of it.”
Mrs Berry added that residents visited Polesden Lacey for its “tranquillity and nature”, but this would be “shattered” by the coming and going of campers, who would leave their vehicles in the estate’s main car park.
Tony Mann, who also lives near the site, added: “Suddenly we are going to have 140 people sitting round campfires on a field that is currently empty and natural.
“The National Trust is supposed to keep things for the nation. Nowhere in their mandate does it say they should rent out a beauty spot enjoyed by so many to a commercial venture.
“I just do not trust the National Trust. If this is permitted, it won’t be long until they start applying for infrastructure like a car park and a road to support it.”
According to its planning statement, Ember Camping proposes to use the site between April and September.
To view or comment on the plans, search for reference number MO/2014/1902 at www.mole valley.gov.uk