Plans have been unveiled to turn Combe Martin’s former museum and art cafe into a wedding venue.
The empty building on The Parade overlooking Newberry Beach is the subject of a planning application to turn it into a bespoke wedding venue with stunning seaside views.
Applicants Simon and Julie Daukes, who run the Ash Barton Estate in Braunton, a party house and event venue, say their plans would bring an additional spend to Combe Martin of more than £1million within three years.
The parade building was the combe Martin Museum for many years until the museum moved to Cross Street and in 2014 it became the Wabasso Art Café.
The business failed and the building has been empty and looking increasingly run down for the past three years - the Daukes say it is Combe Martin’s equivalent of the Lee Bay Hotel.
They say they will fully renovate it, with a new roof and full refurbishment inside.
The plan is for a ceremony only venue, described in the application as a ‘private registrar’s office’ where happy couples can hold a stylish ceremony overlooking the sea before moving elsewhere for their wedding reception.
The Daukes say this will bring more business to local pubs and accommodation providers.
It is also envisaged the venue could be used for non-religious memorial services and naming ceremonies.
In a statement with the application Mr Daukes said: “This not a party venue. This is a very beautiful, stunningly interior designed, built to the highest standards, fastidiously maintained ceremony only room.
“It will not host parties, it will not have noisy events, it will not create litter, cause rowdiness or disrespect of any kind.
“The building has spent most of the last 30 years very poorly used and therefore the potentially beautiful gardens have been allowed to get completely out of hand. Today they are frankly an eyesore. This is not only an unpleasant visual shock, but it is also an invitation to vandalism and a general lack of respect.
“We have the experience, we have the capital, we have the contacts and vision. Our plan is not only good for the building and the village, but compelling in terms of assisting with the ongoing rebirth of this magical place.”