It's been a year since would-be thieves smashed into a Grade II-listed building in a bid to steal a cash machine.

But, 12 months on, scaffolding remains around Chris Chapman Bespoke Kitchens & Furniture on The Square, Beaminster.

Concerns have been raised about progress, particularly as we head towards autumn.

Beaminster resident Douglas Beazer said: “It is now one year since the cashpoint raid took place and yet work has still not been completed to allow the town to get back to normal.

“This is in complete contrast to the bridge at Gunnislake in Devon, which was damaged in April 2019 and repaired and reopened within three weeks, yet here we are a year later.

“We understand that the lime mortar work could not be done in the cold of winter, but we shall soon be coming into the next winter season. This would then have a knock-on effect of delaying other projects such as resurfacing road works which have been scheduled but postponed.

"When it is eventually completed, Beaminster deserves, and is certainly entitled, to more attention being paid to the needs of the town, and its residents getting work to be done by the relevant local authorities and bodies to bring the sparkle back into our wonderful town.”

Severe damage was caused to the building when a tractor was used in a failed ram raid in August 2018.

Since then, residents and business owners in the town have frequently expressed frustration over a lack of progress to repair it. Some businesses reported a negative effect on trade.

Historic England and other planning authorities needed to agree on any plans to restore the listed building; cited as the main reason for the delay.

Work finally began in May, when C G Fry contracting director Mike Pinney said the building firm was ready to ‘crack on.’

He said at the time: “With listed buildings, it does take time. You have got to get it right and make sure it’s done properly.”

According to Mr Pinney, it has been discovered further work is required to the chimneys and the gable wall above the original collapsed area. 

A statement from the loss adjusters states: "The need for the extra work was discovered as builders opened up more areas to tie the old and new sections together. 

"We will now need to take more material away and re-build the retained gable and the chimney.  The works will increase the duration but we are very mindful of the opportunity of laying stone in lime coming into the winter months.     

"We are working closely with Sally Knott the local conservation officer and keeping Historic England updated."