It is the end of an era for five businesses on Station Hill, in Bury St Edmunds, with the onset of major development to transform the area.
Businesses Bury Tyre Centre, Kids Play, Direct Furniture, Rose Valley and UK Best Kebabs had until last Friday to leave Station Hill.
It paves the way for 135 new apartments to be built by Peal Estates to create a new ‘Station Quarter’ in the town.
Demolition of the vacated buildings is expected to begin in the near future.
A spokesman for Peal Estates said: “This vibrant new community will rejuvenate a long neglected area and will give both new and existing residents of Bury St Edmunds an exciting option on home ownership.”
The development also marks a new chapter for several of the businesses which occupied the site.
Bury Tyre Centre, which operated on Station Hill for 45 years - making it the oldest business on the site - has moved to bigger premises at Unit 13, Bunting Road, Moreton Hall Industrial Estate.
Owner Ray Wright said: “It’s one of those things - we would probably rather not have moved but so far so good. We’re as busy as we were before. It’s probably as good a place as any to build - it makes use of a brownfield site.”
His wife Cathy, who helps at the business, said their Station Hill premises was a ‘lovely’ Victorian curved building built by the Boby brothers in the 1870s.
“We miss the character of our old building. We’re very sad to leave but we’ve expanded to bigger, shinier premises,” she said. “Change happens and obviously we didn’t have any say over it but we were sad to see all of the old buildings go. There can’t be many towns left with the Victorian old buildings surrounding the station.”
Direct Furniture already has two shops, in Osier Road, and is turning its warehouse into another shop to stock items from the Station Hill store.
Owner John Carter said the new shop could be open by this weekend.
Kids Play has moved into a new base, in Newmarket Road, after redeveloping the former Minden Rose pub.
The Bury Free Press has been unable to confirm if Rose Valley and UK Best Kebabs have relocated. A notice on the door of Rose Valley read: “Due to development work our restaurant closed down from 2nd of October 2016. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
The site was also once home to Rollerbury and Club Brazilia.
The spokesman for Peal Estates added: “The 135 new homes will consist of one and two bedroom apartments. The homes will be within easy reach of the town, community facilities and key employment sites,allowing new residents to embrace life in this highly desirable location.
He added that a ‘proportion’ of affordable housing will be included in the plans.
“Although this development will require some existing businesses to relocate to alternative premises, the masterplan was agreed and adopted in June 2015 giving businesses sufficient notice of the plans.”