Epsom Stores owners Ajit and Bhavna Patel have spent nearly a year running their shop from a portacabin during the £7 million Hollymoor Lane redevelopment.

The pair has been running the shop for 30 years this November, and when other traders left the area in the Longmead Estate in 2006, amid the council's regeneration plans, they were the only ones who insisted on staying.

United Living, the developers, gave them the portacabin, and staff helped with some of the heavy lifting involved in the move.

Mr Patel, 55, said: "It’s been great. We’ve been able to offer everything as we did before, just a slightly scaled down version.

“United Living has been very helpful with everything and have supported us throughout. We thought it would be a difficult year but it’s actually been a nice experience and has gone much better than we expected.

“We’re looking to start fitting out the new unit in May and hopefully move in by June.

“It’s a stand-alone store and it’s in a good position. We will be able to expand our range and offer our customers much more."

The development will include 30 "affordable" homes, including nine houses with gardens and 21 flats.

The site had been derelict for some time, and Mr Patel is pleased with how the development is looking.

He said: “People were put off by the appearance of the old parade with its broken windows and shutters. It was an eyesore. But this will make a make a huge difference to the area.

“When everyone else decided to move out back in 2006 we decided to stay and see out the regeneration.

“We had built up such a good relationship with the community and they wanted us to stay. A lot of customers turned up to meetings to tell the council how much they valued us being here.

“I thought I would be letting the community down if we left, so we stayed on to see it through. We’ve been here for 30 years now and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

“This is our home and we love it here. It’s not at all like going to work every day.”