Brit award winner and rock star Ben Howard is hoping to "grow a communal farm" to "encourage growth" in a small community writes John Bett.

The musician has put in a planning application which also includes a public football pitch, skate bowl, play area and a workshop - which will be available for hire.

The plans have been submitted to South Hams District Council and relate to a barn near Bantham, Devon.

The 2013 Brit award winner hopes his plans for The Yard will "encourage growth and opportunity" in the small community.

The plans will be discussed by the council in June.

Ben told the BBC he was inspired by small farming projects in neighbouring Cornwall, "which can be very important in developing a positive local outlook and social identity."

He also plans to "grow a communal farm for people to grow vegetables and cut flowers" with a "dream to be off-grid by 2030".

He said: "I grew up in Totnes and started surfing at a young age which inevitably in the South Hams meant trips to Bantham week in, week out.

"There are people I have surfed with at Bantham for the best part of 20 years and I still only know their first names.

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"The truth of today's modern working world in the countryside setting is that many young professionals work from home in isolation, to the detriment of community and also of creativity.

"I think there is a great opportunity to create spaces where the interaction of ideas and the crossover of recreation and work can benefit everyone."

Ben said he splits his time between Devon and Ibiza, and is still fond of Bantham - adding that young people are often tempted to move away due to the lack of opportunities.

He continued: "If we can run a small scale business that provides those opportunities in a safe place then it will be a great success.

"There seems to be a great demand for the activities we are proposing."

The principal of a local school supported the plans, describing them as a "fantastic opportunity".

A local GP also said it could have a "hugely positive effect on mental health".

One objection has been received so far about possible traffic congestion on the lane approaching the site, which is 750m (820 yards) from the A379.

South Hams Council said it could not comment on applications in progress, and Howard was unavailable for further comment.