THE owner of a hotel near Taunton that has deteriorated since it closed a number of years ago has taken an important step towards re-opening it.

Planning permission has been granted to Robert Haliday-Stein, of Henlade Ltd, to carry out essential repairs to the Mount Somerset Hotel.

Mr Haliday-Stein wants to restore the Grade II* listed mansion to its former glory and open it up to paying guests once more.

Planners at Somerset Council have given conditional approval for various internal and external works at the elegant property.

The state of the Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa, in Henlade, has deteriorated due to "neglect" in recent years.

But the current owner, Robert Haliday-Stein, of Henlade Ltd, is keen to restore the Grade II* listed mansion to its former glory and open it up to paying guests again.

A planning application has been submitted to Somerset Council for permission to carry out various internal and external alterations, which dates back to the 17th century.

A statement with the planning application says the property has "suffered as a result of a period of decline and neglect and are currently closed to the public, awaiting renovation".

The hotel was bought by Mr Haliday-Stein in October 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and work has already started on repairing it.

But the statement adds: "Unfortunately, the less visible parts of the building have suffered prolonged gentle neglect over the last 10-15 years."

The repairs Mr Haliday-Stein is seeking to make include waterproofing a leaking roof that is causing "water penetration" into the building.

There is also a list of upgrades and reinstatement of some original features needed to be carried out before the hotel could reopen.

READ MORE: Proposals that could result in Mount Somerset reopening.

"Once essential repairs and re-decoration are done the hotel will re-open," says the statement.

"Before Covid, the hotel was employing around 40 staff members.

"As new business builds over time staff on site will increase hopefully back to former levels.

"The repairs will protect the historic assets of the Mount Somerset Hotel for future generations, maintaining these key buildings for Somerset.

"The roof repairs are essential and will stop the current level of water penetration into the building, thus reducing the list of ongoing repair works internally due to water damage.

"It will support local businesses and retail whilst bringing additional revenue to the town as well as encouraging other notable celebrities to visit and stay at the Mount Somerset."