Retailer set to move into empty Roys site

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A SUPERMARKET site in Bury St Edmunds which has remained empty for nearly four years, is to reopen after Easter.

Roys of Wroxham closed its doors in Risbygate Street in February 2007 with the loss of more than 30 jobs.

Plans for a major redevelopment of the site into a new supermarket, 75 flats and a multi-storey car park was subsequently turned down by St Edmundsbury Borough Council after concerns from local residents saying it would lead to traffic congestion.

Now Wilkinson retail has bought the site and plans to open a store there before Easter.

Savills acted for the previous owner, developers Stockland, in the deal which was finalised between Christmas and the New Year.

Neil Perrin, director in Savills Cambridge office who handled the sale, said: “Our client is very pleased with this sale to Wilkinson which is one of the UK’s leading retailers with more than 350 stores now trading and plans to open many more.

“This store is scheduled to open in time for Easter 2011.”

The store features 2,390sqm of floorspace on the groundfloor and a further 919sqm on a lower floor level.

Wilkinson will not need planning permission as it is staying in retail use.

Cllr Rob Everitt, borough council portfolio holder for Bury, said: “It is an excellent addition to the town.

“It will certainly encourage more jobs to the town and remove an eyesore that is currently derelict and being used for anti-social behaviour.

“It is a win win situation. Our vacancies rate is 6.5 per cent which is well below the national average. The vacancies in St John’s Street are being taken up by people who want to break into retail.

“We are in the middle of the deepest recession known for many years, so to have a large retailer who wants to come to Bury is excellent news.”

Wilkinson was not able to give any details at the time of going to press, as to how many jobs it expects to create.