EXMOOR National Park’s decision to stop a Lynton holiday business erecting five glamping tents has been overturned by the government’s planning inspectorate.

Lynmouth Holiday Retreat, which sits just over the county border in Devon, had submitted plans for the timber and canvas glamping safari tents with six parking bays and a double electric vehicle charging point.

But Exmoor National Park Authority’s (ENPA) planning committee refused the application in December 2022, worried about the impact on the “character and appearance of the area”.

While the planning committee broadly supported one part of the application for three of the tents, together with the parking and refuse and recycling facilities as well as a water treatment plant, it was less satisfied with the other part and so refused the scheme.

The two remaining tents were proposed on higher ground, part of which can be seen from across the valley on Station Hill.

At the time it refused the application, the ENPA planning committee said: “The two proposed glamping safari tents in the northern section of the site are located within an area of shrubland which is not used for camping and in a highly noticeable position subject to longer views.

“As a result of its location and appearance, the development has an unacceptable adverse impact upon the surrounding natural environment.”

But the planning inspectorate felt refusing the proposal wasn’t the correct decision.

“When seen from Station Hill, the two tents would be seen within the context of the static caravans which are already visible behind the appeal site,” its report said.

“Furthermore, the appellant has provided evidence that the field immediately to the east of the site is used for pitching tents in the main holiday season.

“Again, from Station Hill, the two safari tents would be seen in that context and would appear well-related to the wider holiday park. In addition, during the summer months, foliage would block views of much of the site.”

The inspector added that the tan colour of the tents would “reduce their prominence further”.

He felt the proposed development: “would not harm the character and appearance of the area”, and concluded that “the appeal should be allowed”.

The park’s owners submitted an appeal for costs to recoup the money spent on its appeal, but this was refused.