No tents allowed at New Forest campsite
A popular campsite in the New Forest is to remove all tent pitches and become a holiday village with only lodges.
Sandy Balls Holiday Village stopped taking touring bookings at the end of September and then immediately began contacting customers who had already booked to tell them their booking had been cancelled. Tent campers, motorhomers and caravanners were all affected. According to the site, just over 250 tenting and touring bookings from November 1, 2018, have been cancelled and refunded.
Away Resorts, which owns the site, was given planning permission in July to build 108 new holiday homes at a cost of £10 million.
CEO Carl Castledine said: "The £10 million investment in new accommodation at Sandy Balls Holiday Village is part of the amazing journey that we have embarked on since acquiring the park, to ensure that it remains at the forefront of providing world-class accommodation in the New Forest.
“All guests that had a tenting and touring booking with us have been offered a 10% discount at Shorefields Holiday Parks, and so far, 75 customers have taken up this option.”
The news comes as Woodland Waters Holiday park in Ancaster, Lincolnshire, announced that tents and trailer tents had been banned amid claims of anti-social behaviour - sparking an angry reaction on social media.
Campers said the decision was "tarring everyone with the same brush."
A statement on the site's website says: ‘There is now, from 1st September 2018, an amendment to our policy regarding what units are welcome on our site. Unfortunately, we will no longer be accepting tents or trailer tents onto our caravan site. Wrongly booked in units will not be accommodated and no refunds will be issued. Any bookings which have been made prior to this date will be honoured. We are very sorry for any disappointment that this may cause.’
Site manager Stuart Nunn told the Grantham Journal newspaper: “Our holiday park and fishing lakes are a growing business. As part of this growth, we have had to make conscious, calculated and at times, difficult decisions. The decision to no longer accept tents is based on our future plans for the site.”