Redevelopment in Bury town centre reaches first stage of completion

The redevelopment at Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds has reached its first stage of completion 

The redevelopment at Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds has reached its first stage of completion - Credit: West Suffolk Council

Construction of a major redevelopment in the heart of Bury St Edmunds has reached the first phase of completion. 

The former Post Office site was acquired by West Suffolk Council with the aim of creating a new commercial frontage of St Andrews Street South, and a wider walkway in Market Thoroughfare to help integrate the arc with the historic town.

Barnes Construction, working with its structural engineers Superstructures, had the tricky task of keeping the frontage, which is in a conservation area, in place while demolishing the building behind, most of which had been added on at a much later date.

For the past nine months, a façade retention system has been in place at the building in the Cornhill. Behind it is a steel frame for the new building which will include two ground floor commercial units and 12 flats above.

More scaffolding will be erected soon to allow restoration work to take place alongside the installation of new windows and solar panels.

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Councillor John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “While we are looking to deliver dramatic improvements to both St Andrews Street South and Market Thoroughfare, we have been clear from the start, that the Victorian front is an important part of our town’s history and heritage and should be kept, protected and access improved for all to be able to enjoy.

"This phase of the development has undoubtedly been challenging and involved some complex structural engineering to achieve these ambitions.

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"We are delighted to see this phase of the redevelopment nearing completion and I would like to particularly thank neighbouring residents and businesses including the market traders, for their continuing patience while this work takes place.”

Work is taking place following two stages of public engagement, which generated over 8,000 public comments. 

The majority of the comments referred to the widening of Market Thoroughfare and making a more coherent town centre to ensure maximum footfall between the arc and the Cornhill.

It is expected the work will be completed at some point next year.

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