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Regeneration of Chard

PUBLISHED: 15:35 03 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:50 20 February 2013

Regeneration of Chard

Regeneration of Chard

The people of Chard are helping to create a new look and a bright new future for their town


The people of Chard are helping to create a new look and a bright new future for their town.


There are exciting times ahead for the South Somerset village of Chard as plans are being made for its regeneration.


Hundreds of local people and businesses have been helping to shape a master plan and vision for Chards future following the formation of a partnership between South Somerset District Council, Chard Town Council, Somerset County Council and the South West Regional Development Agency.


Key projects include 176 acres to the east of the town earmarked for possible new homes, employment space, a new primary school and neighbourhood centre. And there are proposals to transform the former ACI Factory site and Boden Mill area in the town centre into a vibrant mixed-use space with a public area and links for pedestrians.


Schemes from two developers hoping to regenerate this 3.5 acre site have been scrutinised by the public. A decision on the future of this area is imminent.


Meanwhile, local people speaking to Somerset Life Magazine have welcomed the idea of regeneration. They include family-run business Spillers, who have recently opened a new Miele Centre in their kitchen showrooms.


Robin Durie, Sales Director for Spillers of Chard Ltd, says the business is eager to see the much needed regeneration of the town centre take shape.


"The plans show a brand new well-defined public square sitting alongside the renovated Boden Mill, an area that should encapsulate the towns innovative history and great potential for the future. Its also nice to see local residents and businesses being involved in the idea process, which is of course vital if the project is to become a successful reality."


Chard is famous for being the birthplace of powered flight, but few people realise how much more goes on here today, according to Co-Director of Novahomes, Mark Savill.


"Some people think that Chard is a sleepy Somerset place, but this is not the case. It is a working town for example the electrification for Docklands Light Railway was done here by Brecknell Willis, and Henry Hoovers are made in Chard by Numatic International. Industry is the lifeblood of the town.


"New buildings, jobs and a better retail situation is something the workforce needs and deserves.


"Phase one of the regeneration, in the town centre, is very exciting. The more shopping facilities we have in town, the more money will stay in Chard."


Robin Owen runs the Lordlease Hotel with his wife Diana, together with their eldest son Tom and daughter-in-law Rebecca, and he welcomes any regeneration plans which would take place in their part of Chard.


"Improvement to the road infrastructure would be beneficial," says Robin, adding that more houses and businesses would encourage workers to join the skilled population who already live here.


"We are totally supportive of development around here and pleased to know that the council is actively trying to push the process ahead.


For further details on plans for the regeneration of Chard visit http://www.southsomerset.gov.uk


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