A former chapel in a popular village near the coast can be turned into a house - on condition it doesn't become a second home or holiday let.

West Norfolk Council has given a developer described as "a client of Landles" planning permission to convert the former Methodist Chapel on Station Road, at Burnham Market.

In its decision notice, it said the property "shall be occupied only as the primary (principal) residence of those persons entitled to occupy it".

It added: "The occupiers of the dwelling shall be required to provide evidence that they are meeting the requirements of the condition, and shall make this information available at all reasonable times to the local planning authority."

Eastern Daily Press: One in four properties in Burnham Market are second homes or holiday lets One in four properties in Burnham Market are second homes or holiday lets (Image: Matthew Usher)

The upmarket village, dubbed Chelsea-on-Sea, is one of Norfolk's second homes hotspots.

And last year, locals voted to agree a neighbourhood plan, which included conditions on all new developments requiring them to be 'principal residences' and a ban on existing homes being turned into holiday retreats.  

It came amid mounting anger at the impact of the booming number of holiday homes on the community.

A planning statement regarding the chapel said: "Burnham Market Methodist Church has sought to reach out into it’s community over several years.

Eastern Daily Press: Burnham Market is one of Norfolk's second homes hotspotsBurnham Market is one of Norfolk's second homes hotspots (Image: Chris Bishop)

"Sadly this has not borne fruit in terms of increased support for the chapel. There are no longer sufficient people to bear the load of responsibility of caring for the chapel, hence the decision to close."

It is estimated that one in four properties in Burnham Market is a second home, and the population has fallen by more than a fifth in just two decades.

Some 948 people lived in the village at the 2001 census. By the 2021 count, the number had fallen to 724.