Glamping pods in Bolney countryside are refused permission

Plans to set up three glamping pods in the Bolney countryside have been refused by Mid Sussex District Council.

The application, for Stonerocks Farm, in Cross Colwood Lane, was turned down unanimously by members of the planning committee on Thursday (January 13).

The 3m high pods were labelled ‘posh sheds’ by Robert Eggleston (Lib Dem, Burgess Hill – Meeds).

He added: “They don’t add to what is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Indicative image of the glamping pods

It was a view shared by many.

The committee heard from Baron Von Thunderclap, of Bolney Parish Council, who raised issues about fire safety, lack of facilities, traffic and the setting of a precedent to allow more pods to be built.

The latter was a concern mentioned by others.

Phillip Coote (Con, Crawley Down & Turners Hill) said the application gave him a ‘very uncomfortable feeling for the future’.

He predicted that if permission was given, plans for more pods would soon be submitted.

Judy Llewellyn-Burke (Con, Bolney), who spoke as ward councillor, raised concerns about damage to the ecosystem.

She said: “The character of this landscape will be changed entirely for the worse.

“This land is a sanctuary for many species of wild birds and animals and what is proposed would cause immeasurable damage to their habitat.”

As well as the three pods, the application covered landscaping and car parking.

Several members raised concerns about fire safety.

A report to the committee said the nearest fire hydrant was 780 metres from the site rather than the required 90 metres and the access route was not wide enough for a fire engine to fit through.

The final word went to committee chair Gary Marsh (Con, Ardingly & Balcombe), who said: “The question you’ve got to [ask] is: remove the word ‘glamping’ from the headlines and would we allow three permanent structures in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

“The answer would be absolutely no way.”

The application was refused on the grounds of the impact/harm it would have on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

To view the application in full, log on to pa.midsussex.gov.uk and search for DM/21/2688.