Bury St Edmunds post office redevelopment nears completion of first phase
A major redevelopment of a former post office in a Suffolk town is reaching a milestone with the removal of a support system which was likened to Lego bricks.
A façade retention system has kept the historic front of the Bury St Edmunds post office in place for nine months, while the building behind was demolished.
Compared to being 'a bit like Lego bricks', the support includes clamp steel beams fixed onto triangular trusses and a mass of concrete blocks.
The West Suffolk Council redevelopment of the Cornhill site will include two ground floor business units and 12 flats above, with a new frontage to St Andrew's Street South and a wider walkway in Market Thoroughfare.
A steel frame for the new building has been assembled and is connected to the front via ties and concrete anchors allowing the façade retention, weather permitting, to be removed next week.
New scaffolding will then be set up to allow for restoration work and new windows to be installed.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said the first phase of the development was 'undoubtedly challenging and involved some complex structural engineering'.
He added they were 'delighted' to see the first phase nearing completion and thanked residents and businesses including the market traders for their 'continuing patience'.
Cllr Susan Glossop, cabinet member for growth at the council, said the project, which was shaped through public engagement and work with town centre representatives, will help connect the arc shopping centre with the town centre.
The development, overseen by Barnes Construction and structural engineers Superstructures, will be completed next year.