A CLIFF-TOP chalet made famous in ITV’s Broadchurch is set to become a home.

Permission was granted to knock down the chalet over fears coastal erosion could cause it to fall into the sea. The owners wanted to rebuild the hut 50 to 100 metres inland to the rear of Eype car park.

But they were told by West Dorset District Council that the hut could only be used as holiday accommodation, not as a main residence. Now, that decision has been overturned.

The owners appealed the district council’s decision.

The hut was the setting of Danny Latimer’s death which was the catalyst for the murder investigation in the first series of the show, which was written by Bridport-based writer Chris Chibnall. It also featured heavily in the second series, with one of the final shots of the series taking place at the chalet.

A report published by the planning inspector reveals that the district council would permit the hut to be used only for holiday purposes ‘because it is located in an area where permanent residential use is not supported’.

In a decision notice, WDDC said: “The development would result in the unrestricted use of the application site which lies in open countryside outside of any defined development boundary in the adopted Local Plan.

“The proposal would result in an unsustainable pattern of development as the site lies some distance from the nearest settlement and does not have access to local facilities and services and is poorly served by public transport.”

But the planning inspector pointed out that the existing clifftop chalet is not subject to occupancy restrictions, adding: “As such, there is nothing to prevent it being occupied as a main/sole residence. With a condition to require the demolition of the existing building before the new chalet is occupied there would be no net gain in residential accommodation

“Therefore in terms of the site’s location and the proximity to services and facilities, the effect of the development would be neutral.”

WDDC added that the proposal would ‘set a highly undesirable precedent’ for similar development. The inspector’s report stated: “I do not consider that concerns in respect of precedent are a significant issue as, on the substantive matters in this appeal, the development would have no greater effect than the current situation.”

The inspector concluded: “I consider that the use of the building as a dwelling, unfettered by holiday occupancy conditions, would not be an unsustainable form of development.”