PLANS for the second phase of a major scheme to regenerate Chard town centre will be brought forward in the Autumn.

South Somerset District Council is spending £3m on the Chard Regeneration Scheme, one of three such schemes designed to improve major town centres in the district.

Phase one of the scheme – a new swimming pool and leisure centre – is under construction and will be completed by August 2021.

The council has now teased when the next phase – involving Boden Mill and Holyrood Mill – will come forward for public consultation and approval.

Details were published within the council’s updated plan for the next five years, which came before its district executive committee in Yeovil on Thursday morning (February 6).

The council will develop a “detailed cost plan to support the residential conversions” over the summer of 2020.

By October, it aims to put forward a planning application to “cover the residential conversions of Boden and Holyrood Mills”.

Holyrood Mill, which currently houses the town’s library, will be converted entirely for residential use.

The library will be relocated to a new community hub and museum/ exhibition space, which will be created by extending one of the existing buildings at the site’s south-eastern corner, near the Silver Street access.

While the upper floors of Boden Mill will also be given over to housing, the ground floor will be reserved for commercial outlets.

Phase two could potentially include a new health centre – but this will be dependent on discussions with the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for allocating health spending across the county.

Additional improvements to the public realm around the site, including a community garden and regenerating the western “gateway” on Fore Street, will be handled in the third and final phase of the scheme.

The council has already spent £724,000 of the £3M it allocated to the Chard Regeneration Scheme – with the remaining £2,276,000 being spent next year, according to its capital programme.

In addition to the Chard scheme, up to £2.5M has been allocated to the Yeovil Refresh programme to regenerate the town centre – of which £804,000 has already been spent.

Of the remainder, £1M will be spent over the next 12 months and the remaining £696,000 in 2021/22.

A total of £2M has been set aside for Wincanton regeneration efforts, of which half will be spent in 2020/21 and the other half the following year.