Spectacular view on iconic Hovis street ‘ruined’ by housing renovation

An iconic view in Dorset is currently being spoilt by scaffolding from a nearby house renovation, visitors have claimed.

Gold Hill in Shaftesbury gained notoriety after it was used in the 1973 Hovis ‘Boy On The Bike’ advert.

The picturesque setting was also used in the 1967 film version of novelist Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd.

But recent visitors have had to cut out much of the scene due to sheeting being used to cover a cottage down the hill that was sold at auction last November for £165,000.

It is understood to be undergoing renovation after being purchased by someone who lives outside of the county, but it is unknown whether it will be a holiday home or their own private residence.

Instagram photos from the top of the street show half the view cut out to avoid getting the building works in shot.

One visitor said: ‘We drove an hour out of our way to visit the famous Hovis Hill.

‘We were really hoping to get some good shots to be able to frame and, of course, for Instagram, but we couldn’t really take one in all its glory as there was so much scaffolding on display.”

Another added: ‘Yes, the sheeting is a bit of a shame, it has ruined it a bit.’

A planning application submitted to Dorset Council in May reveals how the 17th century Grade II-listed cottage has been damaged by water and needs extensive structural work.

A spokeswoman for Shaftesbury Town Council said they hadn’t received any complaints – and that eventually, the view would look even worse if the works weren’t carried out.

She added: ‘The problem is that works do need to be carried out, even in a lovely and picturesque place like this.’

Town councillor Piers Brown added: ‘Although one of the properties at the bottom of Gold Hill is currently undergoing some renovations, fortunately Shaftesbury has a lot more to offer including some of the most scenic views in the whole of the UK.

‘All easily accessible by foot, bike and car as well as one of the most vibrant and unique High Streets.’

Shaftesbury is one of Dorset’s best looking towns and the view from the top of Gold Hill is said to be one of the best anywhere.

It shows the old cottages and cobbled street with the Melbury Downs in the background.

And spokeswoman for Visit Dorset said: ‘The scaffolding is due to a renovation project bringing an old neglected cottage back to life, however Gold Hill can still be photographed at an angle that cuts out the scaffolding and shows the beautiful Melbury Downs in the background.’

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