A MULTI-million pound development off Taunton town centre could be completed by March, it was announced today (Friday, December 3).

The Coal Orchard scheme of shops, restaurants, workspaces and apartments has been delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic, issues with building material supplies and labour shortages.

The project, being carried out by Midas Construction on behalf of Somerset West and Taunton Council, will feature "significant improvements to public spaces around the site, including a terrace down to the river, creating a plaza at the water's edge.

The Quay and the Wharf will be the first accommodation blocks to be completed and handed over, with the Jetty following.

Cllr Marcus Kravis, SWT executive member for economic development, said: “The council wants to help the retail community in this area thrive with the creation of spaces that are attractive and inviting with fewer vehicles and less pollution leading to increased investment.

“Our contractor is working to a target date for handover of the site by March 2022, but this is in the context that there are still challenges being faced nationally in sourcing some materials and labour."

The council is working with Midas to open sections of the public realm for the festive season so visitors can easily access the independent quarter comprising of St James Street, Riverside Place and The Courtyard.

Cllr Kravis added: "Ultimately the development will bring new vitality to the area retaining the character of this town centre location while enhancing the environment and putting the River Tone at the heart of Taunton.”

READ MORE: First look inside Coal Orchard apartments.

Despite the countrywide issues facing the construction industry, the council has already secured lettings or taken reservations on 29 of the 40 apartments and has received a number of expressions of interest in the commercial units.

Potential homeowners and people wanting to register an interest in the commercial units at Taunton’s prime riverside quarter can visit the website HERE.