An Isle of Wight laundrette empire could expand — taking over a former cafe space.

What used to be the Watch House Barn cafe in Cowes, could soon become a hub for washing and drying in new plans lodged by Dev Thakrar.

Mr Thakrar owns a chain of laundrettes across the Island including in Ventnor, Freshwater, Newport and Ryde, and is now hoping to add a branch on the corner of Cowes High Street, Bath Road and Watchhouse Lane.

In 2020, the cafe suffered a fire and closed in the following year.

The building sold at auction, with Clive Emson, in December 2023 for £198,000.

The auctioneers said the building — which has residential accommodation above the former cafe on the ground floor — needs upgrading and refurbishing as there is some fire damage present.

Under the plans, the laundrette would be installed on the ground floor and have six washing machines and four dryers.

Opening hours are proposed to be from 6am to 11pm.

Planning agent, Norman White, said in documents submitted to the Isle of Wight Council there would be no change in the physical appearance and limited alternations internally.

Mr White said with residential units already in the area and permission granted for more recently, the laundrette is proposed to meet anticipated demand.

You can view the plans, 24/00094/FUL, on the Isle of Wight Council's planning register. Comments can be made until February 23.