Olympic legacy dream for Welton, Bibby and Baron factory site in Midsomer Norton
A politician with 35 years' experience as a town planner is calling for an Olympic legacy sports training centre to be developed in Welton.
Councillor Barry Macrae (Con, Midsomer Norton North) set out his out his vision for the regeneration of the Welton, Bibby and Baron factory site and surrounding area at a Midsomer Norton Town Council meeting.
He has called on the community to have their say on what they would like to see happen to the 15-acre site to stop another supermarket or housing estate being built.
The complex on Station Road is now owned by Terrace Hill following the sale by the paper bag manufacturer which is in the process of moving to Westbury.
The developer hopes to put forward a planning application in coming months for a food store and homes. But Mr Macrae said the town deserved better, suggesting that an elite sports training centre, hotel, media specialist college, small business and sheltered housing would be better for long-term regeneration.
Mr Macrae, who has spent 35 years working in town planning for councils across the country, said he wanted to look at the possibility of transforming the whole area and suggested some businesses and buildings could be moved to make way for the changes.
He added: "This is a chance for a comprehensive regeneration in Welton. If the local community don't get involved and have their say now we could miss a vital opportunity to create a legacy for the future. We need to work together to ensure Midsomer Norton doesn't become a dormitory town."
Mr Macrae has already been in discussions with the developer as well as local colleges and universities and said he had spoken to neighbouring firm Centurion Coaches.
He said the idea had sparked interest from the chamber of commerce and Bath and North East Somerset Council regeneration officers.