Work to rebuild Bury St Edmunds’ historic Grade I Listed Cupola House is due to start next week.
The iconic 17th Century building in The Traverse, owned by OMC Investments, was serving as an Italian restaurant for Strada when it was devastated by fire in June 2012.
Bury-based contractor Seamans Building, which is scheduled to begin work on Monday, anticipates the reconstruction taking a minimum 54 weeks to complete.
To limit the disruption to nearby traders, all access will be from the back of the site - in Skinner Street - while regular meetings have been scheduled to keep businesses informed.
Simon Marks, associate at architects Purcell, will be overseeing the project.
He said: “Over recent months the project team has been carrying out further detailed surveys to ensure that the maximum amount of Cupola’s remaining historic fabric can be retained in the repaired building. We currently anticipate project completion by February 2015.”
Ben Whatling, from Seamans, said: “The reconstruction of Cupola House will present a number of challenges throughout the course of this sensitive project, both in detail and logistics. We will endeavour to work with all parties to mitigate issues that may arise.”
Cllr Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “I welcome the start of work which marks an important stage in restoring the ambience of this charming quarter, whose attractive independent shops continue to trade regardless.
“I look forward to seeing good progress on this complex project and continuing strong support for Traverse businesses, so that when the scaffolding comes down, the street is returned to its former life.”
Measures being undertaken to minimise the amount of disruption include:
· Regular meetings are scheduled with the Traverse Traders to keep local businesses informed of any disruption that might be caused as a result of the works
· The main access for the site will be from Skinner Street
· There will be no deliveries or parking on the Traverse – all deliveries and access will be made through Skinner Street wherever possible
· Seamans will encourage vehicle sharing, and that those living in or near Bury to walk or cycle to work, to keep traffic to a minimum
· The Scaffolding to the front of the building will not get any bigger
· Wherever possible, arrangements are in place for deliveries to be made in smaller vehicles to mitigate disturbance
· The steel frame has been designed so that its components can all be moved by hand or with lifting aids, minimising the need for the use of a crane
· Dust and dirt will be kept to a minimum, with damp dust suppression or extraction used where practicable
· Radios will not be permitted on site
· Emergency exits and refuse collections along Skinner Street will be maintained