Coal Orchard completion put back due to Covid-19 restrictions

Delays on the Coal Orchard project are being blamed on restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.

The fabric of commercial and retail units and residential apartments are now clearly visible.

The plans for the riverside quarter include a mix of apartments, shops, workspace and restaurants and incorporate a plaza with a stepped terrace fronting onto the River Tone.

Midas Construction started work on the development in August 2019 with a schedule of completion in two phases – September 2020 and February 2021.

But the expected finish date has been put back to May 2021, with works handed across in a single phase.

Mike Borkowski, business development director at Midas Construction, said: “Like every construction business across the country we have had to adapt and overcome many unexpected challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 and the new social distancing measures we have had to introduce for the safety of the workforce, has had the obvious effect of slowing down certain activities.

“On a positive note, we were able to continue with a small presence on site, which has limited the overrun.

“We are now back to full capacity on site and the systems we have in place are working well, but now with the three blocks running concurrently whereas before they planned to complete in separate phases.

“Now that the Government’s advice has stabilised we are able to confidently plan for a consistent workforce on site and a realistic completion date for the project.”

The Midas team, which received a Certificate of Excellence from the Considerate Constructors Scheme in July, has been working closely with the council to minimise disruption, protect the environment and keep the local community up to date with progress of the development.

Somerset West and Taunton Council leader Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts said: “Coal Orchard is an important site in our town centre regeneration plans to bring new vitality to the area putting the River Tone at the heart of Taunton, and we have already received strong interest in this unique location through our commercial and residential agents.

“The development is really taking shape retaining the character of this unique location while enhancing the environment and I am genuinely excited at seeing this ambitious project coming to reality.

“I am grateful to Midas Construction for keeping the project moving during this difficult time and for re-scheduling their plans to ensure the project is completed as quickly as possible within the new Government guidelines.”

Somerset County Gazette | News