TAXPAYERS in Chard can breath a sigh of relief this week after the town council revealed it has to pay only a fraction of the rumoured £700,000 extra to the developer of the Guildhall.

At Friday's extraordinary meeting of the council, residents and councillors heard that the authority is paying about £120,000 more to bring the matter to a close.

They were informed of the results of an arbitration hearing to settle the differences between the council and the Guildhall developer, Melhuish and Saunders.

The results of the hearing were for the council to pay a further £73,867.13 to Melhuish and Saunders, plus £34.32 interest.

At Friday's meeting, members also authorised a payment of £7,012.50 to pay the adjudicator, with a bill of around £40,000 to follow to cover the council's legal and professional costs.

The outcome of the adjudication process means the bills can be paid using existing budgets and there will be no need for any further borrowing.