DOUBT has been cast on whether a multi-million pound riverside development in Taunton will be completed by its target date.

Work had been due to start in early February on new homes and shops on Coal Orchard car park.

But the main contractor for the scheme, which will also include restaurants and bars and a gym, is yet to be appointed.

A spokesman for Taunton Deane Borough Council, which owns the land, said "good progress" is being made and preliminary works will continue next month.

He said: "Good progress continues at Coal Orchard with selection of the main contractor in its final assessment.

"When the appointment is made, dates will be agreed for the various stages of the work.

"In the meantime, preliminary works and further archaeological investigations will continue during February.

"As the project progresses, the public will be notified in advance of all parking and pedestrian restrictions."

The former St James Pool was demolished towards the end of last year ahead of construction work.

The council announced before Christmas that it hoped to see the project finished by early September next year.

Future plans for the area include improvements and expansion at The Brewhouse theatre and arts centre, which borders on the car park.