CHARD NEWS: Green light given for East Street eyesore to be turned into housing
PLANS to knock down eyesore buildings and transform a Chard town centre area into a housing development of nearly 80 apartments have been given the go-ahead.
South Somerset District Council has given Frontier Estates (Chard) Ltd permission to proceed with plans to demolish existing buildings and structures on land at East Street and replace them with 78 one and two-bedroom apartments and associated car parking and landscaping.
The plans also include the formation of a new vehicle and pedestrian access onto East Street and the upgrade of an existing pedestrian access.
The go-ahead was given on Wednesday (January 3, 2018) despite the council receiving a number of objections to the scheme relating to highway safety issues, overlooking and insufficient parking.
The development of the site – which sits at the start of East Street close to the roundabout at the Crewkerne Road, Victoria Avenue and Tapstone Road junctions – is currently mostly grassed and overgrown with a large redundant warehouse building fronting onto the road with smaller buildings within the site used in connection with a former nursery business.
It has often been described in the past as an eyesore and not a great “first impression” for visitors driving into the town – but now the developers hope to give it a new lease of life and that the development will sit in nicely between the Brecknell Willis factory in Tapstone Road and the Happy Return pub in East Street.
The project will see the warehouse building facing onto East Street along with other redundant buildings demolished and in turn replaced by seven three-story blocks built, although parts of these will only be two-storey, and provide 50 one-bedroom and 28 two-bedroom homes.
Council planning officer Andrew Gunn said: “The proposed development would provide a sustainable form of development on a site which forms part of the Chard regeneration plan.
“It will provide a good quality design which will provide a safe means of pedestrian and vehicle access, would contribute to meeting the council’s housing needs, and would not adversely harm residential amenity.”
Chard Town Council had originally been opposed to the scheme, but changed its mind when amendments had been made to the details of the project.
PHOTOS - TOP: How the new development could look once finished and the outline of the development site off East Street.
PHOTO - ABOVE: The current scene in East Street where the redundant warehouse building at the top right will be demolished as part of the development.
PHOTO - ABOVE: An artist's impression of how the new development could look.