Traffic through the town centre will fall dramatically if a proposal to create a new access to the Relyon/Pritex factory site is approved by Taunton planners. The application estimates that around 20 trucks and 190 cars a day will pass through the Longforth Farm estate to a new factory entrance, instead of down Brendon Road.
Ironically it is the impending sale of the Pritex business rather than the demands of the long-awaited northern relief road that has been the catalyst for the new plans. As the industrial site is currently laid-out, Pritex vehicles and visitors must first cross the Relyon sector after turning off the highway. When the two businesses are in different ownership that could present problems.
“For reasons that have been publicised in the national and local press, Pritex Ltd has been put up for sale,” said a company statement. “As a consequence, and to ensure that the Pritex site is capable of continuing to operate independently from Relyon, it is necessary to ensure that the site has a clear boundary, adequate car and cycle parking spaces and an independent vehicular and pedestrian access. This planning application seeks to deliver this.”
Pritex and sister company Relyon were caught up in an accounting scandal at South African parent company Steinhoff International at the end of last year. The South African conglomerate is facing criminal and tax investigations relating to an estimated £5.3 billion hole in its accounts.
According to those with detailed knowledge of the highways situation, the routine movement of hundreds of trucks and cars per day could result in parking restrictions on Lillebonne Way and Normandy Row. Bloor Homes is still building new houses on the estate and average prices are in the region of £350,000.