AN APPLICATION to convert a former Beaminster church into two homes has been approved by Dorset Council.

The building, Trefoil House in Shortmoor Lane is a redundant church dating from the mid-1800s within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The church, Holy Trinity, had previously been converted to a single four-bed home. It was made redundant by the Church of England in 1978 and sold for conversion to residential use three years later.

As part of the agreed conversion into two 4-bed homes, the existing polycarbonate roof sheets will be replaced with natural slates and some roof lights removed.

The town council had objected to the planning application on the grounds that the four car parking spaces would be inadequate for two homes and what it considered to be inadequate details about a mezzanine floor proposed for both sections of the new homes. A new doorway will be inserted into the side room next to the former chancel on the eastern side which will form the main entrance to the one of the homes.

Three statements were received by the council in addition to the town council’s comments but were not considered to be either objecting or supporting the application.

One said there were concerns about letting the property as an Airbnb and commented on the lack of communal space, although the application suggests both properties will be private homes. There were also concerns about ‘overflow’ parking in Fleet Street.

An agent’s statement says a previous conversion scheme had been agreed for three homes. It claims that the reinstatement of natural slate would improve the look of the building with no other major external changes apart from the addition of a new door. The building is not listed and lies just outside the conservation area.