WELLINGTON residents had their say on plans for a multi-million pound development near J26 which aims to attract thousands of visitors to the county.

The new development, which will be privately funded at a cost of between £10m and £15m, will be called the House of Somerset and be based at Foxmoor Business Park.

One of the directors of the House of Somerset, Nigel Muers-Raby, explained that the project would showcase local food and drink, while craftmakers would show off their skills in an artisan workshop village.

The site would feature a main building, which could house a visitor centre for Wellington Monument and an information point.

There would be landscaping, wetland areas, a woodland dog friendly picnic area, landscaping, a Tesla charging point, Boris-type bikes and an iconic sculpture visible from the motorway.

At a public meeting held at Wellington School on Tuesday (November 6) residents had plenty of questions for the directors including whether the roundabout at J26 could be made to look more attractive, as well as queries about the business model and whether the House of Somerset would be ‘like a service station’.

West Buckland councillor David Mitton said: “I am concerned how this development will affect exiting businesses - we have a number of good farm shops in the area already, will they be hit?”

Mr Muers-Raby, replied: “We want this to be a gateway to Wellington so people will be encouraged to go on and visit the town and we see this as an opportunity to work together and support these businesses.”

Mr Muers-Raby said the team had a clear vision for the project, and attempted to allay one resident’s concerns Wellington could have a ‘Firepool’ on its hands.

Mr Muers-Raby said although there would be an electrical charging station for cars, the House of Somerset had no interest in selling fuel and was a visitor destination not a service station.