Chard Town Centre Public Realm RegenerationChard, Somerset
Because of its special character, Chard was designated a “High Street Heritage Action Zone” (HSHAZ) and secured over £2m funding to invest in the town centre between 2020 and 2024. Our team worked in partnership with South Somerset District Council and Historic England to develop public realm proposals within the town centre.
South Somerset District Council (SSDC)
Improvements to the public realm in Chard will create a better town centre environment, worthy of Chard’s historic character. The enhancements will improve the quality of the to support the High Street and integrate greater pedestrian priority.
The selection of materials palette principally focused upon utilisation of locally sourced and historically appropriate materials to reduce emissions from transportation and also to support domestic suppliers. This led to the selection of local Blue Lias stone for use in the new water rill – a local limestone that has been used widely historically in Somerset, Forest of Dean pennant sandstone for paving, and the use of Portuguese granite.
The designs integrated a range of features that to enhance and celebrate the the historic character of the town centre including;
- Widen sections of and introduce new sections of pavements to provide easier movement of pedestrians, improved accessibility, safer crossing points and potential for markets, café seating or other events, as well as reducing the dominance of traffic.
- Replace tired paving with high-quality Forest of Dean natural stone paving and granite kerbs.
- Enhance the unique water rills which run through the town by introducing new Blue Lias channels.
- Create a new ‘Eastern Gateway’ space with new planting, paving, and seating.
- Plant new street trees and planting areas to increase the amount of urban greening.
- Restore and relocate existing benches, which have heritage value.
- Declutter street furniture and create new cycle parking and seating areas.