PLANS for an annual “back-to-nature” campsite on farmland used during the build-up to the D-Day landings have been thrown out.

Camping Unplugged wanted to provide a “no frills” facility in fields beside a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Lepe Road, Langley.

But members of the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) heard that the applicant used the land unlawfully last year.

The company’s proposal to return each summer was rejected - despite support for the scheme.

Ward councillor Bop Wappet told the NPA’s planning and development control committee: “The site is very poor agricultural land that was used as a marshalling yard for the D-Day landings.

“The proposed campsite would give people an opportunity to experience the New Forest at its most basic.”

Committee members who supported the application included Penny Jackman, who cited plans to build hundreds of homes and a marina on nearby land.

She said: “A campsite that disappears in the winter would have far less impact than what’s being proposed for Fawley.”

But John Sanger added: “It would be preposterous if we allowed this to happen.”

A report to members said the applicant used the site without planning permission last summer and was handed a Temporary Stop Notice requiring it to cease all camping activity and remove the buildings.

The report said Camping Unplugged had now sought consent to use the six-hectare site for five months a year.

It added: “The development would result in the introduction of a new tourist business and residential use within the open countryside to the detriment of the rural character of the New Forest National Park.

“The proliferation of buildings would erode the local character, resulting in a gradual suburbanising effect.”

The site is near Lepe, one of the south coast towns and villages used as assembly points during the build-up to the D-Day landings.

Lepe was one of the construction sites for the Mulberry Harbour - huge concrete pontoons that were towed across the Channel to keep the invasion force supplied.

In a separate scheme fuel was pumped to the continent using Pipeline Under The Ocean (PLUTO), which stretched from Lepe to France.

Exbury House and the Beaulieu River were among the other New Forest sites involved in the World War Two invasion by Allied Forces in June 1944.