HUNDREDS of holidays booked at a New Forest resort have been cancelled ahead of a £10 million revamp.

Sandy Balls has been given planning permission to build 108 holiday lodges on land currently used by visiting campers, caravanners and motor home owners.

Bosses at the holiday village near Godshill are contacting 250 families across the south to rescind their bookings.

In a statement, representatives for Sandy Balls said they hoped those affected would return to the site in the future and “stay in one of our stunning lodges”.

However, the five-star facility is facing an angry backlash from many of its customers, some of whom have been going there for several years.

Some took to social media to air their complaints.

Zoe Britton said: “Most of us campers can’t afford to stay in your luxurious lodges.”

Jill Hibbs added: “We have visited Sandy Balls since we first started camping.

"Staying in a lodge will never equal the experience of camping, especially for our children.”

Sandy Balls bosses cited growing demand for lodges, the ever-increasing size of tents, caravans and motor homes and strict planning policies, which have prevented it from increasing the size of the camping facility.

“In the end we were left with little option but to convert the area,” it said.

Go New Forest, the area’s tourism organisation, said the Sandy Balls management team had worked hard with Camping in the Forest and Shorefield Holidays to find alternative stays and locations for those affected.

Sandy Balls was owned by the Westlake family for many years but was bought by Away Resorts, run by Carl Castledine, about 20 months ago.

All families affected by the holiday cancellations will be receiving a full refund within the next few days.

  • If your holiday has been cancelled, contact the Daily Echo on 01202 411294