No nudist camp for West Moors after Dorset Council refuse permission

Plans for a temporary nudist campsite at West Moors has been turned down despite there being no local objections.

Dorset Council decided that the use of the five-acre site would add unecessary pressures on the Green Belt and a protected wildlife site in the area.

West Moors Town Council had not objected to the application for twelve pitches for a five-year temporary campsite use at Aurelia Gardens, Newmans Lane, and there had been no public objections.

There are several sites across Dorset where nude camping takes place for naturist groups and individuals, almost all on a summer-only basis.

The West Moors garden site is already in use for a horticultural business with council officers noting that an unauthorised shower block and extension is already there together with a summerhouse for the sale of refreshments to visitors, which does have planning permission granted more than 20 years ago, and is a popular local attraction.

Officers said that the site is within 400metres or Holt and West Moors Heath, a protected habitat, and also lies in the designated South East Dorset Green Belt where the horticultural use is considered acceptable, but the camping is not, the aim of Green Belt policies being to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open.

“The change in use of the land from horticultural to a mixed use of horticultural and a camp site would constitute inappropriate development within the Green Belt as it would result in harm to openness,” concluded a planning case officer.

“Although transient, caravans/mobile homes and tents have a physical presence which would reduce openness and the use would also be associated with increased vehicle parking and movements to and from site on the local roads. The overall impact would result in harm to openness,” said a council report leading to the decision to refuse the application.

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