A ramp has been installed at the site of a proposed Co-op in Bury St Edmunds just days before a deadline that would have seen developers forced to submit a fresh planning application.
A 4,000sq ft shop, complete with five two-bedroom flats above for private sale, is planned for currently disused land at the Marham Park estate after it was given the green light by West Suffolk Council in September 2021.
Developer Sheppard Developments was given until September this year to begin work before a new reserved matters application would have been required.
And now, just a week before the month ends, residents have seen work by local company Chris Daniel Groundworks, including the creation of what appears to be a ramp onto the site, begin.
Work on the local centre, where the Co-op would have been situated, was due to be completed by autumn last year – but the site has not seen any building activity until now.
A design and access statement submitted to West Suffolk Council before approval was granted said the store would employ between 15 and 20 staff, three of which would be full-time employees.
This comes after the closure of the Co-op store in Mildenhall Road, a stone's throw from the Marham Park estate, that shut its doors on Saturday, August 19.
In July, a West Suffolk Council spokesman added that the requirement for a retail, employment or non-residential institution will remain at the site even if this specific plan falls through.
A West Suffolk Council spokesman said after the contractors were spotted: "We are not in a position to be able to confirm whether they have formally started work on the site."
Sheppard Developments has been approached for further comment.