PLANS to transform Chard town centre with a leisure centre and swimming pool have been submitted by South Somerset District Council.

A major step in the Chard Regeneration Scheme was taken last week as the the full planning application was put in.

An application for listed building consent was also submitted.

The submitted plans form part of a wider Regeneration Scheme for Chard and if approved, phase 1 will deliver a modern leisure centre with swimming pool, new library and community building.

Other phases will include commercial units, housing and improvements to the public space.

A council spokesman said: “The planning application for the much-needed leisure centre at the Boden Mill site has now been submitted.

“This marks the progress by the Chard Regeneration team and shows a real commitment to deliver the project.”

South Somerset District Council is working in partnership with Alliance Leisure and Bristol- based architect AHR to redevelop the ACI-Boden Mill site and produce a phased delivery of the scheme.

This will produce new community facilities that attract people to use the town centre as well as enabling better links for residents through the site to Fore Street, Boden Street and Silver Street.

SSDC undertook initial consultation on the options for Chard Regeneration Scheme in June to September 2018, including a launch event where more than 500 residents attended.

Jason Baker, chairman of Chard Regeneration Board, said: “Engagement of the local community through consultation events has been vital in shaping the way this application has moved forward.

“We came to the public in June 2018 with an idea of developing the site and through consultation, we have moved forward with a scheme that delivers leisure facilities the community has told us they want.”

On March 16, 2019, a second consultation event was held and gave those that attended the opportunity to explore the masterplan for the site, to view initial plans of the proposed leisure centre and look at the other proposals that detailed what else could be included.

Initial plans for a library and community hub were also shared, along with plans to ensure the heritage of the site is reflected within the scheme.

In addition to this, the scheme proposes a number of other measures to boost business in the town, support events and revitalise the market.

“It has been important to us that the community have shaped the plans to regenerate their town,” Cllr Baker added.

“This development will help to boost business in the town through the increased visitors and footfall in the town centre.”

Plans will now be considered by Planning Specialists at South Somerset District Council before it then goes to Area West Committee and Regulation Committee for consideration.

To view the full application and submit a comment, visit with the planning reference 19/01630/FUL.