Naturists in Warlingham, Surrey, fear plans to build flats next to their property could result in residents being able to see into their club. An application was submitted on September 2 by Aventier Landbank Ltd to demolish the existing properties at 12 to 18 Southview Road and replace them with five buildings, comprised of a total of 24 flats. However, neighbouring naturist group The White House Club is concerned the development would mean people could see their naked bodies from the windows of the flats.
The club, which was established in 1933 and has members aged from two to 80, hopes its privacy will be maintained.
An application had already been put in to erect dwellings with 36 flats but this was rejected by Tandridge District Council.
The club had previously negotiated that any buildings erected nearby would be put up under the condition they do not overlook the naturist club.
Club chairman Val Humfress said: "The council has generally been good with us in the past [in regards to privacy].
"Recently they rejected an application to build a block of 36 flats. Aventier Landbank have since come back and wanted to make it 24 flats instead.
We are particularly worried of the flats overlooking our tennis courts and the table tennis area but there are also a few other places on the grounds where people could look right through.
There is a concern for everyone about privacy."
Nick Mayhew-Smith, a 48-year-old naturist from South Wimbledon, who has attended the club for about 20 years, is as concerned about the greenery and wildlife that could be destroyed as about the privacy issues.
"That side of the valley is already quite a green corridor of lots of gardens and a low density property of development.
I was in the club recently and I saw a deer roaming around on the edge of the grounds, in the corner, where these flats are going to be put and I think that kind of wildlife and landscape should be preserved and not just concreted over," he said. Mr Mayhew-Smith added that when the club was first created it was not surrounded by housing and they want it to stay that way. "No one in their right mind would choose to build a naturist club next to a high density set of housing blocks and I think that's a courtesy that ought to go both ways."