back to article Naturist club objects to erection of five storey tower block

Members of a Surrey naturist club have reacted with fury to plans to build a tower block which would overlook their clothes-free sanctuary. The 70-year-old White House Club, which has 300 members on its books, is objecting in the strong possible terms to the proposed erection of a five story block which would overlook its …


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  1. James 5

    70 year old

    formed in 1940 then. During the war - weren't they a bit "over-looked" by aircraft ?

    1. Aaron Em


      Blackouts, remember? And it's not like you could make out anything shocking from a few thousand feet up, not without the aid of powerful optics -- and see my other comment, below, for why you wouldn't want to.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but there WAS a war on

      The club is near the airfields at both Biggin Hill and Kenley, and it was much frequented in the 1940s by Service personnel.

      Weren't we supposed to be fighting for freedom in this country, then? My memory's not what it used to be, but I think we were, and that we won. So, has something happened to freedom since?

  2. rpjs

    "have reacted with fury"

    Uh, has El Reg started hiring Daily Mail hacks or something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward



      Surely it should have been "naked fury"?

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "...The 70-year-old White House Club..."

    I'm sorry, but the idea of 70-year-old naturists really puts me off my lunch!

    1. Aaron Em

      Man, that's no joke

      As you'd know if you'd ever visited a naturist club.

  4. Paul 87


    Correct me if I'm wrong, the point of being a naturist is the desire to be free and uninhibited with regards to wearing clothes, and in fact one of the arguements is about desexualising nudity. It *shouldn't* matter who sees you naked if these are your beliefs, and they should be if you're at a naturist resort.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      As the guy below says...

      Once the flats are up, residents (who naturally won't be told about the nudey club in advance) will start complaining to the council about the nudey club.

      In fact, going by some recent cases, the simple fact that flats potentially housing children overlook the site will automatically convert the consenting unclad adults into megaperv paedomonsters in the eyes of the law.

      I'm not a nudist, but I do kind of feel for the members. F'nar.

      (And I was trying so hard to be serious, too.)

      1. Anonymous Coward

        "who naturally won't be told about the nudey club in advance"

        The first rule of Nudey Club is, you do not talk about Nudey Club.....

        I won't be needing my coat.

    2. Malcolm Boura, British Naturism

      The point of being a naturist

      Paul 87 is quite correct that is shouldn't matter. Unfortunately the protection against prejudice is inadequate and a photograph appearing on the internet could cost somebody their career.

    3. Blue eyed boy


      As a naturist myself I don't mind baring all before the like-minded, but I would certainly feel self-conscious and embarrassed being gawped at by the common rabble. So no, this erection (like any other) is out of place at a naturist resort

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Willing to wager that once the flats are up the new residents will be able to complain and the club will get shut down for being full of dirty naked people, as I'm pretty sure it's a sex crime in the UK to be in your back garden, naked, playing a game.

    1. Graham Marsden

      I'm pretty sure it's a sex crime in the UK...

      ... to be in your back garden, naked, playing a game.

      Actually it's not.

      IANAL, but quoting the Sexual Offences Act 2003:

      66 Exposure

      (1)A person commits an offence if—

      (a)he intentionally exposes his genitals, and

      (b)he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.


      67 Voyeurism

      (1)A person commits an offence if—

      (a)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he observes another person doing a private act, and

      (b)he knows that the other person does not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.

      So if someone is in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, they can be nude without problem, but if someone's peeping at them and getting their jollies from this then that person will be committing an offence.

      If they can't get the development stopped, I suggest they invest in some Leylandii.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brilliant headline

    "erection of five storey tower block"

    Made my day, thank you. :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How else

      would you talk about getting something that big up?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I think it should have been...

      "Naturist club objects to erection" and left it at that.

      Mines the one with the moving bush in the pocket.

    3. Robert E A Harvey


      "open to new members"


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nudity no problem then?

    If the local council feels that the naturists no longer need the privacy of their own club and grounds, and that nakedness in public is not a problem, then this allows them to be naked wherever they like, i.e. in the parks, public swimming pools, etc. It would be hypocritical to argue otherwise.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Hypocrisy, meet local government...

      ...ah, I see you've already met...

  8. Graham Bartlett

    Not the problem

    AFAIK from family members who tend to be clothing-optional in hot weather, having other people seeing isn't really the problem. The real problem, as the bloke in the news recently flagged up, is that people could buy houses or flats overlooking known-knudist places and then complain to the police about how shocked they are to see naked bodies. The naturists have put up nice big screens so that no-one can currently see in, but those are not designed to cope with a 5-storey tower block (or a 3-storey house, in the case of the bloke in the news). So they're likely to be criminalised for doing what they've been doing for decades, in spite of doing everything physically possible to avoid offence to the public and the real cause of them being visible is the folks building the new houses.

    I spose some people might ask why anyone wants to be clothing-optional, but then some people (e.g. the Catholic church) might also ask why two people want to have sex. In the privacy of your own home, it's generally accepted that what two consenting adults get up to in bed is their own business, and also that getting up to the same thing in the middle of the town square is not acceptable. (And yes, that does include getting drunk and falling asleep. ;)

    But suppose someone invented X-ray glasses and handed them out to the world. Should sex then be made illegal, because someone could look through your walls and see what you're up to? That's rather the situation that the naturists find themselves in. Like a thistle in a nudist camp, it's a prickly situation that can easily become a real pain in the arse.

    (Yes, that's me checking my clothes in.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So presumably if the club sticks up big screens blocking the view of all 5 floors, then there'd be no problems. Of course it might make the flats a bit difficult to sell with windows that just look out over a big white sheet !

  9. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    "you'll be saving on all that flash sports kit"

    Badoom TSHhhh!

  10. JakeyC
    Paris Hilton

    Nothing to worry about

    "might be tempted to spy on White House's nude ping pong tournaments, boules court and early morning skinny dipping sessions"

    They really needn't worry - I'm yet to see an attractive naturist.

    Would rather spend my time ogling a modestly-clothed pretty girl than seeing all that loose flesh on display, thanks!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Depends where you live

      I'm guessing that you haven't emigrated yet then. I'll tell you that around here you would have NOOOO problems with the naturists.

      Anon because well, people might get the wrong idea.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      News Quiz...

      "Amateur dramatics is like naturism. The keenest participants are the ones you aren't interested in watching"

      I'll get me,,,, no 'ang on, that's not allowed, is it?

  11. Hermes Conran

    300 members on their books

    Is that hygienic?

  12. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Better headline...

    ...would have been "Massive erection upsets naturists", shirley?

  13. Bobby Omelette

    I'm just grateful ...

    ... that there was no reference to 'stiff opposition'.

  14. scrubber


    Won't somebody think of the children...

    Or the children with a camera and a web connection!

    Streaming 70 year old naked ping pong tournaments.

    1. Elmer Phud

      yeh but

      "I don't want any Tom, Dick or Harry staring at me . ."

      Could be 'I don't want any Tom or Harry staring at me Dick . . .'

    2. hacker dot
      Thumb Up

      Perfect idea for a new webcam site!

      Paying rent in that place would be a breeze. A cluster of webcams streaming to several servers, a catchy name and a bargain price on subscriptions...


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    local government perv?

    Sounds like the planning inspector is a bit of a perv. If he - and I assume it's a he - has okayed the planning permission then I think he should be prepared to relocate his office to the nudist club and forced to work in the raw. Let's see if those overlooking him from this new development will make him change his mind.

    *Big Brother icon cos he'll be buying up one of those flats*

  16. Aaron Harris

    Ping Pong

    Wonder if they get much spin on the balls at ping pong?

  17. Steve Brooks

    grounds for closure

    That's always the way it goes. The local council wants to get rid of the club, there are no legal grounds yet, but wait, if they had lots of complaints from sorrounding residents they could get rid of it, and make use of all that lovely open ground currently going to waste. But the surrounding resident can't see in, but a block of flats is ideal.

  18. Loki 1

    Similar problem here

    We rarely wear clothes at home unless expecting guests (it can be a bit frantic when the doorbell goes unexpectedly!). A new tower block is being built almost directly opposite us with windows facing our windows. When they are finished we will be left with the choice of putting curtains up (we never needed them before) and keeping them closed, or wearing at least some clothes all the time at home.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      every icon tells a story

      White Doctor's coats. That's yer answer

  19. Red Bren

    Why is it?

    The keenest naturists are usually the least qualified?

    And why do you never get streakers at major sporting events anymore?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      no more streakers

      Probably because it's no longer a bit of fun, as anyone doing it will likely be flagged as a sex offender and end up on the register.

  20. JaitcH

    I am going to set up a star-gazing telescope shop

    Everyone in the new high-rise overlooking the sun worshipper club should take up astrology.

    I think I will set up a stand as soon as people move in. Come to think of it, sales might not be so great as likely the first two floors won't see much, which would reduce my potential profits by two-filths. Mmmmm

  21. Tempest

    This story reminds me of Shipton Sands in Devon

    To older ex-military types Operation Tiger on Shipton Sands was one of the giant military exercises off the Devon coast in preparation for the D-Day landings of World War 2.

    Years later my parents took their children camping and we used to play on the beaches as well as climb on the rocks at the east end of the Shipton Sands.

    One day, I and my brothers climbed the rocks further than we had ever gone before - only to be presented by the most unusual sight of our then young lives.

    The Shipton Sands Nudist Club. Right on the public beach! They were very decent about it and never complained about our sudden interest in rock climbing.

    Wonder if they are still there?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    The White House Club

    The White House Club: do they have a website? If so I expect it to be pwned by Jihad-kiddies in 5... 4... 3....

  23. Charles Smith

    Trees needed

    Plant a Leylandii Hedge and overshadow the block of flats.

  24. LaeMing

    Like Lucas Heights, Australia.

    Many decades ego, they built a medical-grade nuclear facility out in the bush away from Sydney. Then people built houses around it. And now you should hear them whining long and hard about how horrible it is to have a nuclear facility on their doorsteps.

    I can guarentee the same will happen here.

  25. Paul McClure

    Room with a view

    Just have the building have no windows facing. Beach condos often face the beach and not face the parking lot/road. Shouldn't be a problem, as they will need to get permits for their design anyway.

  26. LinkOfHyrule

    OMG I just had a great idea!

    I've just had a great Idea that will solve this problem for everyone.....

    iPads! Yes - use iPads all the time while being naked - its just big enough to cover most rude downstairs lap areas! (Unless you're a lucky chap!) Not sure what ladies will need to do to cover their upper rude area - maybe two more iPads? Either way, just converting to fanboism will solve all problems!

    See, it really is true that Apple products solve all known problems!

    Mine's the one i'm not actually wearing.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Whe I was a boy....

    I used to deliver milk to the White House Club. I remember it had a high wall or fence and high gates, and we used to have to ring the bell (at the gate), wait for a prescribed number of minutes, and then open the gate and drop the milk in what I presume was the kitchen. The grounds were very verdant and I seem to remember many large trees giving cover.

    It would seem a shame that what to me seemed a respectable private club should have their privacy invaded by gawpers from adjacent flats. The council should be taken to task over this.

    1. Arclight

      Makes the obligatory

      "The grounds were very verdant and I seem to remember many large trees giving cover"

      So plenty of the bushes then?

      Sorry, had to be done. I'll get me green and white stick man

  28. GreenGrass

    Use a restrictive covenant, may be?

    Suppose they let the erection of the flats go ahead, but with the proviso that any and every prospective flat owner must be a member (in good standing, of course!) of British Naturism?

  29. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    What exactly is natural about running naked outside in an English climate? Hypothermia?

    And even in the warmer summers of the US mid-Atlantic states, there are all sorts of things that clothes shield one against beside prying eyes: bugs, thorns, poison ivy, ultraviolet light, to name just a few.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Although technically

      we did all start of naked, back at the dawn of time.

      These people are screwed. As other have said, they have no 'grandfather' rights, so as soon as those flat go up and people complain - their club will be shut. Unless they get the plans changed so there are no windows facing in their direction, or they are all frosted glass.

      Same thing has happened to race circuits around the UK - people move in to the area, complain about the noise, get the track closed or reduce the time available to drive.

  30. AndyG_IOM

    well either that...

    or the price of these flats will skyrocket with the applications from many uni students

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