January 30, 2023 7.30 pm This story is over 15 months old

Couple appeals after council slaps their holiday retreat with planning notice

Neighbours complained about noise from the accommodation

A holiday retreat which last year featured on BBC1 game show “This is MY House” has been slapped with a planning enforcement notice – but the owners have appealed saying they’ve learnt their lessons.

The Manor Sun Retreat, in the Grade II* listed Bay Hall, in Benington, offers short stay self-catering holiday accommodation for up to 15 people. It opened in September 2021 and owners Rohini and Karl Emanuelsson appeared on TV in July 2022.

In December, however, Boston Borough Council accused them of changing the use of the 300-year-old building without planning permission. That’s because neighbouring residents have reportedly complained about noise.

The retreat is set in the 300-year-old Bay Hall in Benington. | Image: Manor Sun Retreat Facebook

The pair have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate saying they had been working with the authority to submit a planning application, but the council acted before it could be completed.

However, Karl and Rohini said they have put measures in place, including restricted times for the use of outside facilities such as the hot tub, the employment of a resident to keep an eye on guests and regular calls from the pair themselves.

“We unfortunately had a few guests who were a bit naughty, and initially we were quite naive with regards to people making noise in the garden,” admitted Karl.

“But we take the noise issues very seriously. The last thing we ever want to do is cause anyone to not have peace at their home. I’m not like that.”

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=453015272850718

He said it had been a “long time” since the last complaint.

The couple initially planned to move up to Lincolnshire from their home in Maidstone but faced financial issues and so the holiday let was used to help raise funding.

Karl said it was a “lifelong dream” to own a house like Bay Hall which he said had a “special energy”.

He said the enforcement notice had been a “huge shock”.

“If we don’t get the appeal, we will have to close the business and sell the house that we’ve poured our heart and soul into, which I absolutely love and, at some stage in the future, want to move into.”

The holiday let features a beach room. | Image: Manor Sun Retreat Facebook

Features of the house include an indoor beach, yoga, fitness and meditation spaces, and a medieval banquet and dining hall.

Karl said the TV appearance had been “really fun” and that he enjoyed seeing the reactions of hosts to the building.

“They were just really funny and very nice as well…. overall it was a very fun experience.”

In its enforcement notice, Boston Borough Council’s officers said the new use meant there was a “significant turnover of occupants”.

“As a result, there is often disturbance caused to local residents by irregular movements to and from the property, noise and other late night disturbance, which is not typically associated with a dwelling-house,” it said.

There’s also a medieval banquet dining room. | Image: Manor Sun Retreat Facebook

A report from the couple’s planning agent said the use would represent “enhanced provision of tourist accommodation” and that the upkeep of the listed building could be paid for through the use.

They suggest several planning conditions to tackle any noise issues.


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