Jonathan Simper, the owner of Lodge Farm at Ramsholt near Woodbridge, England has made the challenging decision to withdraw plans for ten ‘wild glamping’ tents due to concerns raised by residents regarding the potential environmental impact on the picturesque location.
According to an article by East Anglian Daily Times, the proposed glamping site, initially intended to operate seasonally from April to October, garnered attention following the success of a temporary campsite in the summer of 2020, which attracted tourists seeking an idyllic retreat.
The decision to abandon the glamping plans stems from the substantial objections received by East Suffolk Council, with nearly 60 letters expressing worries about the adverse effects the development might have on the designated Area of Natural Beauty.
Residents, who invested in land agents to oppose the plans, voiced concerns about the visibility of the campsite, asserting that it would disrupt the natural landscape and suggested that alternative, less obtrusive camping areas were available nearby.
Despite Simper’s commendable efforts, which included a reduction in the number of tents from previous applications, the objections ultimately led to the withdrawal of the glamping project.
Simper acknowledged the financial investment, having spent ‘thousands’ on three attempts to gain approval for the project.
In October, the 110-acre asparagus farm, complete with its own beach, was listed on the market as the owners sought to sell the land to fund a commercial fishing fleet.
With the glamping plans no longer on the agenda, Simper is now directing his focus towards the fishing venture, viewing it as a crucial diversification strategy. Despite describing fishing as the “most dangerous” side of the business, he emphasized its significance, noting that it at least produces food that is in high demand.
While the challenges of operating within an Area of Natural Beauty are evident, Simper remains resilient, acknowledging the “double-edged sword” of living in such a scenic spot. He expressed the difficulty of trying to employ people and run businesses in an environment where striking a balance between economic activities and environmental preservation is a constant challenge.
The setback with the glamping plans, however, opens up new opportunities for sustainable alternatives at Lodge Farm. As Simper steers away from the glamping idea, he is actively exploring other avenues to ensure the continuity of business operations in this unique and challenging setting.
Local glampsite owners can draw inspiration from this situation, learning from the careful considerations and community engagement that Simper has navigated, ensuring that future plans align with both economic objectives and environmental consciousness.