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Glamping site slams ‘monstrosity’ holiday resort plan

PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 16 July 2020

Lewis Ennalls, Manager, Left, with Roy Benton, Owner, Right, at the Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Lewis Ennalls, Manager, Left, with Roy Benton, Owner, Right, at the Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Archant Prospect House Norwich 2019

The people behind a glamping site have said a holiday resort proposed by the founder of Alton Towers would be “devastating” for their business.

The Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Lewis Ennalls, manager, and Roy Benton, owner, opened Moat Island Glamping at Haveringland Hall Estate last year.

But plans to transform the surrounding land into a “landmark five-star” holiday resort have been submitted by John Broome, who developed the Staffordshire theme park, and Grovesnor Parks Ltd.

The outdoor natural swimming pool at the Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe outdoor natural swimming pool at the Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

If the bid is approved, the resort would include tipis, tree houses and room to accommodate 280 families.

MORE: ‘Our lives will be turned upside’ - Anger over Alton Towers founder’s bid for holiday resort

Lewis Ennalls, Manager, Left, with Roy Benton, Owner, Right, at the Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodLewis Ennalls, Manager, Left, with Roy Benton, Owner, Right, at the Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Ennalls and Mr Benton, whose site is home to Lotus Belle tents, a medieval moat and a natural swimming pond, said the proposals would “destroy” a private and idyllic oasis.

Among the duo’s fears are the destruction of the natural environment, noise disturbance, road safety and the resort’s incompatibility with the local area.

The Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Moat Island Glamping site at Haveringland, Norfolk. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Ennalls said: “I never in a million years thought a resort like this would be built and it’s devastating. We are a sustainable, eco-friendly and honest business, which I am incredibly proud of, and it will end up being surrounded by a monstrosity of a park.”

“I am not afraid of the competition: it is that the tranquillity of the site, which makes it so special, will be ruined for everyone.”

Destruction of ancient woodland and wildlife, however, was the main concern shared by Mr Ennalls and Mr Benton.

Mr Benton said: “There is an abundance of wildlife that I used to see in my childhood which unfortunately is very rarely spotted now in Norfolk. It is our duty to protect these habitats and the ancient woodland could never be replaced.”

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Mr Ennalls said: “There will also be huge noise disturbance if the plans get approved as it will become a giant construction site with diggers and tonnes of material travelling in and out of the site on a daily basis. This won’t just be for the short term either.”

Mr Broome said the resort was “conceived as a sustainable development that will bring environmental improvements to the site” which will “protect trees and ancient woodland.”

He added those staying on site would have “access to a range of supporting services and facilities.”


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