AHR receives planning approval to regenerate Chard’s Boden Mill site

Architecture and building consultancy practice, AHR in partnership with Alliance Leisure Services has received planning approval to redevelop and revitalise the Boden Mill site in Chard as part of South Somerset District Council’s wider Chard Regeneration scheme.

Approval has been granted for AHR’s architecture and landscape design for Development Partner, Alliance Leisure Services, including a new-build leisure centre and relocated library incorporating community facilities. Future phases include further residential and commercial developments. The project is being procured and delivered via the UK Leisure Framework.

AHR has also worked closely with South Somerset District Council to ensure that the architecture respects its context and heritage while modernising the town centre, to create an attractive and inclusive area that will be valued by residents, the community and visitors alike.

Karle Burford, Director at AHR, said,

“We are thrilled that our designs for the Boden Mill site have received planning approval. We look forward to seeing the project progress and the transformational effect it will have on Chard’s town centre. With exciting new places to live, eat, learn, exercise and socialise, the development will offer a holistic environment that will benefit the entire community and be something that the town can be truly proud of.”

 The redevelopment of the Boden Mill site has been a clear ambition of South Somerset District Council for a number of years and has been a priority project for the organisation within the Council Plan.

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and Chairman of Area West Committee, said,

“I’m pleased to see this application go through Area West Committee and for the residents of Chard to see that the District Council is committed to delivering its promise to providing a high quality leisure facility on the site, with a swimming pool which is desperately needed by the communities in and around Chard.”

 “The Boden Mill site has been derelict for many years now and has been an eye sore in the town centre, but with the regeneration of the site taking place over the coming years, I’m confident that this scheme will help to bring more footfall to the town centre, increase the vitality and help to boost businesses locally.”

The leisure centre, with a swimming pool and café, will satisfy a long-standing local demand for such facilities, encouraging healthy lifestyles and supporting wellbeing. The architecture takes inspiration from Chard’s historical buildings through its massing and its use of red brick, as well as large north lights, which will promote wellness and sustainability by flooding the centre with natural light.

Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure Services commented,

“Working with our partners at AHR, Axiom and Speller Metcalfe we are excited to be delivering a leisure project the community will be proud to have on their doorstep.  Our experience of delivering multiple leisure projects will ensure Boden Mill makes a positive impact on the lives of local people.”

The new, relocated library will create a flexible cultural hub for the community, with spaces to hold a range of classes and exhibitions.

AHR has long championed public-sector-led regeneration and is currently working with a number of local authorities across the UK, including North Somerset Council, Gloucester City Council, Braintree District Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council, to regenerate, engage and sustain thriving communities.