Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) is working with its development partner Midas Construction to ensure the public are safe and well-informed during delivery of the Coal Orchard regeneration project.
Midas Construction began work at the Coal Orchard site at the end of August.
In addition to the main build which includes a mix of apartments, retail, workspace, and restaurants; a significant part of the project is improving the public realm spaces around the site.
This includes building a terrace down to the river, which will create a new accessible plaza at the water’s edge. Prior to the construction of this element of the project, the existing site has to be cleared and levelled; and preparatory works undertaken for piling foundations.
Environmental protections also need to be put in place down the river side to ensure that the river Tone and surrounding areas are not affected during the works.
It is not possible for safety reasons to keep the riverside footpath open during this phase of the work.
Midas Construction has provided more signage to help pedestrians and cyclists navigate around the site, and SWT has deployed staff to help people with directions.
In addition Midas Construction is adjusting the hoarding that has created the temporary car park to give users greater visibility when entering and leaving the space.
Mike Borkowski, Business Development Director at Midas Construction, said: “Health and safety is an extremely important aspect of any construction project. It is our duty to consider public safety at all times and to put measures in place to ensure this.
As a regionally based business we are working closely with the Council to keep the local community up to date with progress of the development.”
Local residents and businesses are being invited to attend a short presentation on the project providing information on diversions, phasing, and times of peak work. They will also outline how Midas Construction and SWT are working to minimise disruption and will give contact details for the project team.
Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Councillor for Economic Development, said: “The start of work at Coal Orchard marks a significant step in our plans to regenerate Taunton.
We have been speaking to traders and residents about their concerns around the footpath closure and other aspects of the development. We are listening and will take their feedback into account although safety remains a priority.
We are also looking at different ways to engage with the community going forward to keep them fully informed and minimise any disruption at this central site.”