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Bury St Edmunds resident complains over demolition works at former Debenhams store in arc shopping centre



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A Bury St Edmunds resident who lives near the former Debenhams site at the arc shopping centre has complained of the disruption to his daily life caused by the works there.

Tom Murray - who represents St Olaves ward on the town’s council - lives in Prospect Row, behind the centre.

Internal demolition work at the site has been ongoing for months, with the interior of the building stripped bare.

Tom Murray at the door of his home in Prospect Row.
Tom Murray at the door of his home in Prospect Row.

In May, Mr Murray told Suffolk News that the noise caused by the works was 'like a war zone'.

Now, he has spoken in more depth about the impact of the demolition on his life.

Mr Murray alleged that most of the sound is caused by workers depositing metal and other waste materials in containers.

The sign being removed at Debenhams, in Bury St Edmunds in April
The sign being removed at Debenhams, in Bury St Edmunds in April

He said: “The big containers are about 9, 10 feet high. They’re massive.

“Today, they’re dropping metal into them - they don’t place it in them, but drop it.

“We’ve got cracks in our walls - there weren’t cracks there before. I had a picture come down because it was so noisy on Saturday.”

He also claims that demolition dust is a persistent problem, forcing him to keep his windows shut even on hot days.

The interior of the former Debenhams, in Bury St Edmunds, in May
The interior of the former Debenhams, in Bury St Edmunds, in May

While Mr Murray acknowledges that any works in the area are likely be to disruptive, he is disappointed with the lack of forewarning from West Suffolk Council.

He believes the authorities could have done more to shield residents from its effects.

Mr Murray said: “I know they can’t help it, but the thing that really ticked me off is that no-one from West Suffolk or the demolition team had bothered to come round and say to the tenants here, ‘This is what’s going on, it is going to be very noisy, it is going to be very dusty'.

“They easily could’ve put up a temporary wooden wall above our garden wall, that might’ve retained some of the sound.”

A West Suffolk Council spokesperson said: “This was first reported to us in May. We contacted the demolition company and helped instigate a meeting between them and the resident to discuss the issues. That took place in mid-May.

“Our environmental health team didn’t have anything reported to them again until late last week and we are providing advice.”