Councillors praised a 'zero carbon' development and unanimously granted planning permission to the project.

Bridport Co-housing Community Land Trust had put forward a proposal to add to its existing co-housing neighbourhood next to Bridport Community Hospital on Mead Lane.

The plans included creating 19 custom-built dwellings that would expand its current development.

The aim of the Trust is to create a neighbourhood that generates sustainability by sharing resources and facilities and using green energy such as solar panels and charging points for electric cars and bikes.

As such, it claims that its house prices and rents are 80 per cent the market rate because the use of shared facilities mean individual units can be smaller and more affordable.

Monica King, member of Bridport CCLT, told councillors at the Dorset Council planning meeting: "The whole development is now zero carbon, which is a dream for us. It is a goal for our residents to reduce their carbon footprint.

"This will significantly help Bridport and the wider community."

The Trust is established as a community benefit society and was formed by residents of Bridport to design and deliver housing to suit their needs.

It defines co-housing as an affordable, sustainable, mutually supportive community for local people. It is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighbourhood.

It consists of individual homes alongside some shared facilities including dining space, activity space, kitchen, laundry facilities and a children's play room.

There are also some shared growing spaces for food production located between terraces that residents can use and maintain.

Councillors were full of praise for the ethos behind the project and unanimously approved the application.

Cllr Kelvin Clayton said: "I have been to the site and it is a great way to live. I support this application wholeheartedly."

Cllr Kate Wheller said: "This is exactly the sort of development we should be welcoming with open arms. I have no objections whatsoever. Would you like to come to Weymouth?"