A MAJOR employment site near the M5 in Somerset could soon be expanded if plans are approved by the local authority.

The Westpark 26 business park lies on the A38 West Buckland Road in Wellington, a short distance from Junction 26 of the M5.

The site is already home to a large number of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), along with a pub, a Travelodge, a  gym, a petrol station, a Costa Coffee drive-thu and a McDonald’s restaurant.

Plans have now been submitted to extend the business park further to the north, replacing existing farm buildings off the B3187 Taunton Road.

The proposed site was operated by K. S. Coles, one of the UK’s largest swede, peas and broad beans growers until mid-2020, when the company decided to cease swede production and diversify its business.

Under the proposals put forward by the Coles family, the existing buildings at Chelston House Farm will be converted for industrial use, allowing them to be occupied by other local businesses.

Somerset County Gazette: Proposed Expansion Of The Westpark 26 Business Park In Wellington. CREDIT: Greenslade Taylor Hunt. Free to use for all BBC wire partners.

The existing access from the B3187 will be maintained, but drivers will be encouraged to use the existing Westpark 26 estate roads, which will be extended into the Chelston site.

The new site will have provision for 65 parking spaces, along with 13 spaces for HGVs, four for lighter goods vehicles, six for motorcycles, and ten spaces for bicycles.

A spokesman for James Planning and Development Services (representing the Coles family) said the site was in high demand, but declined to name any of the tenants-in-waiting.

The spokesman said: “The end users of the site are not yet known; however a considerable level of interest has already been expressed by a range of businesses.

“Additional employment in Chelston is anticipated to help support its other businesses (food outlets, filling station, gyms, etc.) and contribute positively to the economy of Wellington and Taunton.

“The proposal site is in an extremely accessible location which is attractive to a range of businesses.”

The Westpark 26 area has seen significant local investment in recent years, with new units for Screwfix and Toolstation expected to be completed and open for business by February 2022.

Somerset West and Taunton Council is expected to make a decision on the Westpark 26 expansion proposals shortly after Christmas.