Broad principles for town improvements proposed by LDA Design have been approved by South Somerset District and Chard Town Councils.
Among the development proposals is the creation of a green heart to make the most of green space and a distinctive, pedestrianised public town centre.
The improvement of East Street as a gateway to the town centre with widened pavements and attractive landscaping also features as a longer-term objective of the work.
LDA Design has also provided a more detailed impression of how the area behind Chard Guildhall could look with a mixture of public space, shops and employment areas. "Chard is a genuinely unique place," explained LDA Design project leader Frazer Osment.
"While it has many of the qualities of a market town, it also has history of innovation and manufacturing and is remarkably self-contained. The plans we have developed with the community build on the history of the town as a working place and also show how it can evolve to meet the challenges of sustainable development."
South Somerset District Council has been working on the plans in conjunction with the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Somerset County Council, Chard Town Council and LDA Design for 11 months.