In our letters column this week, one Midsomer Norton inhabitant questions how many locals signed Cllr Auton's petition regarding the Welton Bag factory site.

I applaud Mr Tom Randall for his letter outlining the facts both historical and current surrounding this very protracted situation.  I totally and wholeheartedly concur with his every word.  

It was a welcome counterbalance to the newsletter I had just retrieved from my post box from Cllr Auton who is obviously of a very opposing viewpoint. One that I could never agree to.  

I am relieved and delighted  there is at least one like minded person in our midst, I’m confident there are a host of other individuals who share our thoughts.  Maybe they are somewhat anxious to share their view just in case it’s seen as too bold to challenge the ideas our Ward and Town Councillors.   

I ask the question, just how many people who signed the petition which Cllr Auton handed to the BANES Planning Committee had been made fully aware of the pitfalls of the last application.  It did not resolve any of the issues that trouble the majority of residents.  It was merely knocking down the brewery building and its two adjoining buildings.  It did not involve demolishing and removing  the very derelict buildings with their asbestos roofs and nesting seagulls… the eyesore and nuisance would still be there and just how many years would we all still be waiting for them to be removed.  

Again, as Mr Randall correctly stated, the widening of Station Road is impossible.  The proposed new pavement only went partway, it terminated on the blind bend.  Who would risk using a pedestrian crossing whereby oncoming juggernaut lorry drivers  coming from Stones Cross would not have adequate  time to brake safely.

I have expressed my views to Midsomer Norton Town Council and to Cllr Auton, and asked if they can just be ambitious, to think outside the box and only accept a plan that satisfies the needs of us all.  

Something that is a total asset to our community.  One that is sympathetic to the adjoining residents of Welton village, North Road, Berkeley Avenue, and the other housing estates that are close by.  

The small woodland on the west side of the site must be retained at all costs.  Before demolishing the Brewery building let’s consider if it can be turned into a useful asset... maybe seniors apartments, or small business outlets.  

Let’s take some of the ideas from a neighbouring market town, Shepton Mallet.  The Showering’s offices and headquarters converted to designer outlets including Mulberry.  Or the Clark’s Townsend factory site converted to a retail outlet.  The Anglo Trading Estate now consists of numerous light industrial  workshops. If Shepton Mallet can be ambitious and get the footfall needed to flourish and survive then so can Midsomer Norton.  So before demolition please give due consideration to other options.

This large parcel of land is one of the gateways to our town so we can only hope and pray that the next plan submitted is appropriate and sympathetic to the surroundings, and is for the total site, not another ad hoc small section offering no long term solutions.

I understand that Midsomer Norton Town Council does not have the remit to approve and have the final say on plans, however, I believe it is incumbent on them, as our elected representatives, to ensure the appropriate officers and officials at BANES are made fully aware of the ambitions and requirements of the residents of Midsomer Norton and Welton.

Thank you again Mr Randall for sharing your very constructive  and factual thoughts on this matter.

Wendy Gregory, Midsomer Norton