A two-bedroom cottage with no electricity along Dorset’s crumbling Jurassic Coast is on sale for £225,000 – but is barred from being rented as a holiday home due to a 121-year-old covenant.
The former coastguard cottage is in a row of seven properties perched on a 500ft high chalk headland on Britain’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast with stunning sea views near Weymouth, in Dorset.
The mid-terrace home is completely off grid with no mains services and can only be accessed down a muddy farm track in a 4×4.
Up for auction at just £225,000, estate agents have warned the property needs ‘everything done’, including water and electricity.
Adam Taylor, from Symonds & Sampson estate agents, said: ‘It needs everything done – there is no form of electric, it’s all candle light. There’s no mains services at all, it’s completely off grid.
‘Someone would need to put in solar, water, a new septic tank, a new kitchen and bathroom.
An off-grid clifftop cottage (pictured second to the left) has gone up for sale for £225,000 but the new owners will be banned from renting it out as an AirBnb due to a 121-year-old covenant
The former coastguard cottage is in a row of seven properties perched on a 500ft high chalk headland near Weymouth, in Dorset
The mid-terrace home is completely off grid with no mains services
The cottage is one of seven that was built in the early 1900s and has just 761 sq ft of accommodation
‘There’s plenty of options there for people. It’s one where people are either going to love it or hate it.’
A number of large rockfalls have taken place along the Jurassic Coast in recent years as the English south east coastline is slowly being eroded away by weather.
Meanwhile, while the home would make an ideal weekend bolthole, it cannot be used as a holiday let.
A covenant – a legal obligation in the title deeds that new owners must abide by – was made on the coastguard property in 1902 by the Weld estate, a major Dorset landowner, who is thought to have not wanted any strangers on their land.
The property, which will be sold at auction with a guide price of £225,000, requires renovation throughout and is also in need of a new septic tank. Gas is provided by the bottle.
The covenant the property can only be used ‘for the purpose of a private residence’ as well as laying out rules about making alterations and not allowing businesses to be set up at the site.
The legal obligation is something holiday hotspots in Devon and Cornwall would undoubtedly like to see more of, but such covenants are hardly created anymore as they would affect property values and put buyers off.
Estate agents Symonds & Sampson have described the cottage as ‘truly unique’.
The seven cottages were built in the early 1900s and at one point would have housed about 40 people between the coastguards and their families.
It has a cosy sitting/dining room and separate kitchen downstairs
The living room features an in built fireplace and 1900s inspired decor
The current owner has had number 2 as a second home for 40 years and it has just 761 sq ft of accommodation with a sitting/dining room and separate kitchen downstairs and two bedrooms and a shower room upstairs.
Outside is a walled garden separating the properties from the coast path, parking and a small outbuilding.
It is located along a stretch of the Jurassic Coast, one mile to the Church of St Catherine-by-the-Sea at Holworth and a little further to the hamlet of Ringstead, with Weymouth seven miles away.
The houses have sweeping views along the coast to Weymouth and Portland as well as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and St Aldhelm’s Head.
Just 100 yards from the cottage is a zig-zag Smuggler’s Path, which snakes down to the beach, and at the top of the cliff is a Second World War pillbox.
Much of the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust and the only vehicle access is through a locked gate from the National Trust car park, down 1.5 miles of farm track.
Mr Taylor said: ‘The cottage occupies a dramatic location, right on the edge of White Nothe cliff.
‘The views out to sea and along the coast to Weymouth and Portland are simply breathtaking.
‘But the cottage is set slightly lower than the cliff to protect it from the wind so you don’t have views from the ground floor, the only view is from the first floor window.
‘The property requires renovation throughout but it offers something rare in today’s hectic world – a unique, peaceful and remote position on the Jurassic coast path within an area abundant in wildlife combined with the facilities for self-sufficiency.
The houses have sweeping views along the coast to Weymouth and Portland as well as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and St Aldhelm’s Head
Just 100 yards from the cottage is a zig-zag Smuggler’s Path, which snakes down to the beach, and at the top of the cliff is a Second World War pillbox
Outside is a walled garden separating the properties from the coast path, parking and a small outbuilding
The cottage can only be accessed down a muddy farm track in a 4×4
‘I think it will be a second home, a bolthole retreat. It cannot be used for a holiday let due to the covenant.
‘I think restrictive covenants are good in some cases – if you own a beautiful cottage on a cliff top you would not want people you don’t know turning up and being noisy.
‘But in villages I think it would mean you could lose quite a lot of value.
‘You could live there full time if you wanted but your access is from the National Trust car park at Ringstead, 1.5 miles through farmland and National Trust land and the only real way to get through is via four-wheel drive.
‘It’s a special place.’
Due to the remote location and difficulties of access, the agents are only holding two days of viewings on September 5 and 6.
The cottage will be sold at auction in Sherborne, Dorset, on September 21, with a guide price of £225,000.