Friday, February 02, 2007

A View from a Window


Last updated at 23:49pm on 30th January 2007

When Jeremy and Janet Titley decided to convert the loft above their property they never dreamt it would cause any offence.

So they were surprised to hear that their neighbours were practising naturists who did not want to be seen pursuing their hobby.

John Gammie and his osteopath partner Mary Harbert have lodged an objection to their local council as they do not wish to be overlooked frolicking in the nude in the garden of their picturesque £300,000 cottage.

The Titleys had sought planning permission to turn the disused jeweller's shop in the picturesque village of Mere, Wiltshire into a house.

But Mr Gammie 48, a corporate events organiser explained that while he is not embarrased about nudity he fears arrest if he is seen by members of the public.

He said: 'We feel most comfortable when we are in the nude. We do not think clothing should get in the way. It is a family pastime.

'But these windows will enable adults and children to look out at us. We will probably get the police around.'

He has lived with Ms Harbert for five years at their three-bedroomed home and the couple are both members of the South West Outdoors Club.

Mr Gammie, who refers to clothes wearers as 'textiles', explained that his hobby spices up the couple's relationship, and 'is very gently linked to sex.'

He said of his partner: ' I obviously find her very pretty. She is very attractive but I suppose that depends on your taste.'

Miss Harbert , 43, who stressed she was always fully clothed when treating clients - added: 'We are both naturists and the windows would breach our privacy. We just take off our clothes and

walk around the garden.

'We are concerned people in this house could see me and my partner in the nude. They could look straight into our back garden.'

Miss Harbert who has been a practising naturist for eight years - went on: 'In the summer I spend a lot of my time in the garden with my partner in the nude. We do not want the neighbours seeing us in the nude. I would be conscious of it.

'But I will continue to do it anyway. I would not do it if I did not agree with it.'

Mrs Titley, who is 63, applied to Salisbury District Council for a change of use of the £170,000 property from a shop to a house.

Included in the plan are the three windows in the rear of the roof space.

Yesterday her husband Jeremy, 62, a doctor, said: 'Mr Gammie has been nothing but a pest since we bought it.'

But John and Mary may still win the battle as the council have deferred making a decision while planners see if it is still viable for the neighbours property to remain a shop.

The naturists have a 40ft by 10ft garden which is surrounded by a 4ft fence with a trellis.

While the neighbouring building has a window on the second floor, it does not have a view of the couple's garden. But this will all change when the loft is converted.


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