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Temporary closure of Chard car park signals the start of the works on exciting new leisure centre

| Your Area West

The temporary closure of the Marketfield car park in Chard will officially mark the start of construction work on the new leisure centre for Chard, that is set to be delivered in spring 2021 as part of the Chard Regeneration project.

Marketfield car park will close to the public from Monday 23 March to allow contractors to use the area as a base for the construction works. Using this space will allow better movement across the site to help ensure that the project is delivered on time.

The car park comprises of 74 spaces which includes three disabled bays. Suggested alternative nearby car parks include Boden Street, Bath Street and Crowshute. Season ticket holders for Marketfield and Combe Street car parks can now use the Essex Close nearby car park.

Chard Regeneration focuses on regenerating the Boden Mill site in the centre of the town, and proposed components include a new leisure centre and swimming pool, alongside a blend of housing and commercial developments. In addition to this, the scheme proposes a number of other measures to boost business in the town, support events and revitalise the market.

In September 2019, SSDC’s Area West Committee and Regulation Committee granted planning permission for the erection of a leisure centre and associated works, conversion and extension of a building to a library and demolition of some existing curtilage listed buildings.

Demolition works at the Boden Mill site started in early November and were completed by the end of January 2020. Now that the site is clear, contractors can now move in and commence ground level works.

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and Chairman of Area West Committee, said: “This is an exciting time for the regeneration scheme; the public will finally start to see the delivery of the leisure centre, with steelworks starting in the coming weeks.

“Demolition works were completed on time and the project is set to be delivered by August 2021, as planned.

“South Somerset District Council’s ambitious Chard Regeneration Scheme has been a priority project for the organisation for the last couple of years and consultation with the public helped devise and bring forward plans for the redevelopment of the Boden Mill site. I’m pleased to see building works of phase one now well under way.”

The redevelopment of this site has been a clear ambition of the District Council for a number of years and forms a key part of the wider regeneration proposals for the town. The District Council is working in partnership with Alliance Leisure to provide the new leisure centre, and along with the range of other facilities will attract people to the town centre. It will also improve pedestrian links to and from the site as well as to other local services and facilities.

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