A Seat dealer already offering customers cut-price showroom stays is bidding to become a rural holiday destination with a planning application for two apartments within its new dealership development.
Devon-based franchised retailer Croyde Motors has told planners at North Devon Council that the scheme would prevent tourists to the area occupying existing residential properties needed by the local population and aid the viability of its car retail business.
Croyde Motors’ plan would see a two-storey building created on the forecourt of its existing dealership site on Jones’s Hill, Croyde.
The business - also an authorised repairer for the Volkswagen Group's Cupra brand - would build on an established business model.
The business’s current showroom incorporates a three-bedroom apartment in the space above and customers are offered a discounted one-night stay when they have their car serviced, while those buying a car can check-in for two nights.
Dealer principal Roy Thackray said: “Offering the apartment to our customers has been a massive success for us and each year it pulls in more and more business as word spreads.
“So if you are looking for break in Croyde, or if you are looking to purchase a new or used Seat car, why not buy from Croyde Motors and enjoy a relaxing weekend break in Croyde.”
Croyde Motors was first established in 1948 and is situated in near to top surfing location Croyde Bay.
Croyde itself is described on the business’s website as “a quiet and picturesque Devonshire village brimming with thatched roofed cottages, surrounded by unspoilt walks through National Trust land which makes up a part of the famous Southwest coastal path”.
In its planning application to North Devon Council, the business said: “Tourism is recognised in the Plan as very important for the parish, and tourists need to sleep somewhere in the parish, but the ideal accommodation would not be second homes or large holiday lets – both of which remove potential family homes for residents from the market – but small holiday lets which can be occupied on short-term lets all year round and boost the local economy.
“Such small-scale holiday lets would be centrally located in the village (to avoid excessive car usage) and ideally linked to an existing business which can manage them effectively (for example to minimise noise disturbance).
“That is exactly what is here proposed, i.e. two small holiday lets owned and run by Croyde Motors, thus helping the viability of this historic business and its continued existence as a source of employment all-year round in the centre of Croyde.
“Tourist numbers staying the same, the provision of these two holiday lets in the commercial centre of the village will free two houses somewhere else in the parish, perhaps larger and in more residential settings, from holiday use, creating the potential for these houses to go back to local or principal residency.”