THE Wellington Business Park could undergo a major expansion if plans submitted to Somerset Council are approved.

The light industrial site, which adjoins the Westpark Business Park, is seeking permission to erect seven new commercial units and convert existing agricultural buildings into new units for let.

The proposals also set out alterations to the existing access, landscaping and drainage the site, including the creation of more than 90 parking spaces for cars and lorries and a number of ponds.

If approved the development would see the creation of almost 7,000 square metres of new commercial space just off the Chelston roundabout.

Greenslade Taylor Hunt, acting on behalf of K S Coles Ltd, did not say how many jobs the development might create, but did say it would support the creation of jobs in the area.

Writing to planners, GST said: “The development is within a sustainable location, close to the settlement of Wellington. The development will deliver clear economic, social and environmental benefits.

“In particular the development will provide new commercial units in a sustainable and accessible location to the benefit of the local economy and the provision of new employment opportunities.

“The development can be delivered without significant adverse impact upon the environment or ecological interests, drainage and flood risk, highway safety, residential amenity, heritage assets, visual or landscape character, or other interests of acknowledged importance to planning.”

Steele Landscape Design prepared a statement on the site’s potential visual impacts, to help assuage possible concern over the new units. In a statement they told planners the expansion plans would have a minimal impact, which would be mitigated by planting native trees and hedgerows:

“There are several local viewpoint locations that have views toward the proposed development, these are few and mainly confined to locations adjacent to the development site. The level of impacts of the proposed development are few, confined and limited to a small part of the study area and are considered to be Neutral and not significant.

“The mitigation measure proposes that ‘in-fill’ planting would be appropriate to reduce the impact of the proposed business unit buildings on the surrounding countryside. The planting plan layout would include the provision of native species trees and hedgerows within the northern and western boundaries and amenity planting of trees, hedgerows, shrubs and grasses within the Wellington Business Park boundary.

“There are no visual and landscape effects on the vast majority of the study area and the countryside of the study area would be considered to accept the proposed development. Therefore, the proposed business units would be seen to continue the business character of Wellington Business Park and not a separate and new feature in the landscape.”

The site was formerly home to K S Coles Ltd, before 5.8 acres of land which had been in agricultural use by the firm was converted to become the town’s third business park. The move was welcomed by Wellington’s town council at the time, who backed the use of the brownfield site as a new jobs hub.