Tower crane to come down as major redevelopment progresses

16 Nov 2021

The tower crane has been used for work on West Suffolk Council’s redevelopment of 17-18 Cornhill, in Bury St Edmunds town centre, the site of the former Post Office.

It has dominated the skyline of Bury St Edmunds town centre since April but next week the 18-metre high tower crane is scheduled to be dismantled.

The tower crane, which is so huge it takes a mobile crane to help put it up and take it down, has been used for work on West Suffolk Council’s redevelopment of 17-18 Cornhill, the site of the former Post Office.

Once completed next year, the redevelopment, being undertaken by Barnes Construction, will deliver two ground floor business units with 12 flats above. The Victorian Cornhill front has been carefully preserved. Restoration work on the front alongside the installation of new more energy efficient windows is due to be completed in the coming weeks and scaffolding will then be removed to reveal this key part of the scheme. At what was once the rear yard of the Post Office a new frontage has been created, designed to help turn the street over time, into a destination in its own right rather than a service road. Meanwhile the walkway at Market Thoroughfare between the arc and the historic town centre has been widened at ground level by more than 50 per cent to 3.8metres. 

With all of the work on the site on track, the tower crane has done its job and is now no longer required. A mobile crane will be used to help remove and disassembled the tower crane. St Andrews Street South will be closed on Tuesday next week while this work takes place. Should the weather prevent this work from going ahead, it will take place on the following Tuesday.

Julie Baird, Director of Planning and Growth at West Suffolk Council, said: “This illustrates the progress that is being made in turning this exciting and bold vision into a reality – and I would like to thank all those members of the public and town centre partners that helped collaborate and shape the town centre masterplan and through it, this ambitious project. It will deliver a wider walkway, a new front onto St Andrews and preserve the much-loved Cornhill frontage in our conservation area. It is exciting, we’d like to thank residents and businesses for bearing with us through any disruption caused, and we are very much looking forward to seeing it all completed next year.

“We have seen lots of people return to the town centre since restrictions were lifted earlier this year and we have been supporting the work of our town centre partners to ensure that this economic and social recovery is sustained. Our investment in the redevelopment of this important town centre site, demonstrates our continuing commitment to the town centre and our confidence in its future. We believe that it will continue to be a place where people will want to work, to live and to visit, whether that is to shop, meet for coffee, go to a restaurant or enjoy some of the wonderful leisure, culture and heritage attractions that Bury St Edmunds has to offer.”

You can find out more about the project at 

Once completed the redevelopment will deliver two ground floor business units with 12 flats above, a wider ground floor walkway at Market Thoroughfare, a new frontage onto St Andrews St South, and bring the Victorian Cornhill front back into use.

More information about the project

  • The Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan was shaped by two stages of public engagement which generated 8,000 public comments.
  • Many of those comments referred to widening Market Thoroughfare and making improvements to St Andrews Street South to better integrate the arc and the Cornhill and Buttermarket as one coherent town centre and better direct footfall between the two areas.
  • The new development will be heated by an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) which uses outside air temperature to heat a refrigerant before compressing it into a liquid, creating heat which then heats radiators and hot water supply. It is the reversal of a process that works in the refrigerator people have at home.
  • Around 13kWp array of solar panels will also be installed on the roof, generating renewable electricity.
  • Together they will save approximately 374 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the course of 20 years. Each year it is expected that the Cornhill development will save 18.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to an alternatively heated but still efficient building. This saving is the equivalent of the annual emissions arising from the miles travelled by 6.6 family cars.
  • On top of this, residents in the flats will also benefit from West Suffolk Council’s green energy procurement policy where all electrical energy will be supplied from a dedicated “green” energy supplier, Ecotricity.


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