In 1922 Lt Cdr Charles Evans bought the entire village of Bantham. In 1956, the family made the estate a private limited company. Evans Estates (1956) Ltd continued to own most of the village (including a shop, pub and 40 homes), the harbour, Bantham beach, and an 18 hole golf course further up the cliff - until recently.
Bantham went on the market in May 2014
The National Trust launched an appeal in order to try and buy the beach and land around the estuary, though it did not try to buy the village and houses. They describe Bantham as 'one of England's least spoilt coastal sites'.
Sir Richard Branson backs the Trust's bid
However, in July 2014 the trust were outbid by Old Etonian Nicholas Johnston, who bought the entire 728 acre estate after seeing it advertised in a newspaper.
At the time of purchase, he reassured residents that under his stewardship 'there will be no development, no change, no music festivals and no more houses'
Bantham Estate's new owner Mr Johnston has now unveiled plans to build 16 new homes, a beach club with a swimming pool, and underground car park.
After villagers objected to the proposals, Mr Johnston has called them 'bigoted' and 'selfish'