THE owner of a former pilgrims’ hospice in the Middle Ages wants to fence off the West Somerset property to stop people being able to see it.

Marten Street began putting up woven hazel fencing to fill gaps in a northern boundary hedge line which were allowing views over Chapel Cleeve Manor, Old Cleeve.

But he has now had to apply for planning permission because the manor, which dates to the 1450s, is listed as grade two starred.

Planning agent Adam Elston, of Architectural Studio SW Ltd, said about half of the fencing panels had been put up, so the application was partially retrospective.

Mr Elston said the new fencing, which was about 6.5 feet high, would improve security and recreate a sense of privacy for the occupants of the manor while also screening it from a nearby 1980s style development.

He said: “It is understood that the view from Dancing Gate over the application site would be partially obscure.

“However, a right to a view over privately owned property is not a planning consideration.

“The erosion of the northern hedge line has compromised the setting of the listed manor by allowing viewpoints of the Cleeve Park estate from key locations within the Grade II* listed heritage asset.

“The erection of the sympathetic woven hazel fence would regain privacy for the application site and screen off the modern development surrounding the listed curtilage of the site.”

Somerset Council is asking for any public comments on the application by April 5.