One of North Devon’s most popular attractions has been given the go ahead to relocate to a new purpose-built site.

Plans for the new Quince Honey Farm.Plans for the new Quince Honey Farm.

Quince Honey Farm has been given permission to move from its current home in South Molton to a new site next to the North Devon Link Road following a meeting of North Devon Council's planning committee this afternoon (Wednesday).

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the new site for the tourist attraction.

The go-ahead means work will begin on the new site in May, with the first phase of the new attraction opening for Easter 2019.

The second and final phase is slated for completion in 2020.

Paddy Wallce tends to the bees. Picture: Will Reddaway.Paddy Wallce tends to the bees. Picture: Will Reddaway.

Quince's Ian Wallace said: "I'm delighted everyone voted in favour and saw the positive aspects. I think it was an easier decision for them because it's so beneficial for North Devon and South Molton."

The new site will function as both a working honey farm and tourist attraction. A new orchard and flower meadows will be planted to help with the production of honey and there will also be a honey factory on site.

The tourist element includes a bee exhibition centre, education and visitor centres, as well as an indoor play area, extensive gardens and on-site holiday accommodation.

The business, which was set up in 1949, brings in more than 46,000 visitors each year.

Quince Honey FarmQuince Honey Farm

Mr Wallace said the attraction could not grow any more from its current home in North Road, where it has been since 1978.

"We've completely maxed the site out - we can't do any more where we are. I would love the opportunity to create something that could really be a jewel in the crown of North Devon.

"This isn't roller coasters and all that sort of stuff, it's just a really lovely natural attraction.

"It's the nearest place to South Molton that we could do something like this. With regards to the town, itself we can haul in 46,000 to the edge of town and now the town has caught up with us.

"If we were doing it for money we would have gone to somewhere like Exeter, but we want to give something back to South Molton and North Devon."

Vice-chairman of the council's planning committee, Councillor Jasmine Chesters said: "I think this is one of the nicest applications and most exciting I've seen here in a long time.

"It puts everything into it that South Molton and North Devon needs. I think it's fantastic."