Beds, Herts & Bucks

Naturist club near St Albans hit by roadworks

Members of the oldest nudist club in England are angry with the Highways Agency after months of roadworks on the nearby M25.

The Fiveacres Country Club near St Albans in Hertfordshire - celebrating its 83rd birthday - has 250 members.

It has complained repeatedly about a road-widening scheme on the M25, which has increased noise levels.

The Highways Agency says it listened to the club's concerns and changed its working methods.

Managing director of the club Pat Badham said despite the problems "we're not closing. We'll never close, we're here to stay forever, whatever life throws at us".

The Highways Agency has agreed to erect two fences and to plant some hawthorns to protect the naturists' modesty and peace and quiet.

Ms Badham said: "Hopefully we're going to get it resolved but we don't know.

"There's a hell of a lot of noise and we've got months more of it to come."

The section of road-widening affecting the club is not due to be completed until next year.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "We are widening the M25 from three lanes to four between junctions 16 to 23 and 27 to 30, to reduce congestion on Europe's busiest motorway.

"Our contractors are now using water to prevent dust escaping into nearby properties and they have changed their working methods to reduce vehicle noise."

Set in seven acres of wooded grounds, the club includes sunbathing lawns, a camping area, sports courts and a pool.

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