The conversion of Bridport’s former Chancery House into eight affordable flats has been approved.

A previous application, for ten flats, had been rejected by Dorset Council as an overdevelopment of the site.

At the time Bridport Town Council had expressed concerns about the small size of the units and how accessible the building might be for people with disabilities – a view shared in some of the public comments about the application.

It offered support for the new application saying it provided much-needed affordable accommodation for the town.

The new application for conversion had been made by Daniel Taylor Almshouses. It asked to change the 1997 day centre into eight flats, extending into the roof and inserting new dormer windows.

The centre was last used in March 2018 with unverified accounts suggesting that it had been running for four years at a loss. The building has been redundant and partially gutted ever since.

Daniel Taylor Almshouses (DanTay) has been providing houses for the poor for hundreds of years.

DanTay has previously said its plan would provide a genuinely affordable housing solution for people who have got into difficulty for whatever reason and may now be sleeping on friends' sofas in tents or even shop doorways.

The decision to reject the application a year ago prompted a number of letters to the Bridport News in supporting the work of DanTay.

The Almshouse Association also wrote to Dorset Council on behalf of its member charity DanTay.

It said it believed the decision to reject the application was based on a 'misunderstanding of almshouses' and the benefits they can bring to a community.