A TESCO branch in Westbourne has re-opened after a chunk of masonry fell from the roof and smashed onto the pavement below.

The Tesco, in a converted church at the junction of Poole Road and Milburn Road, was closed this morning after the debris fell.

The masonry appeared to have come from the apex of the sloped roof.

Gareth Bartlett, manager of the Coffee Club cafe nearby, said: “I was just coming into work and noticed it had been cordoned off.

“As I came around to open up, I saw there were a few rocks on the pavement just outside the entrance to the store.

“There’s a sizeable chunk – about the size of a small football.”

He said the area had initially been cordoned off by police community support officers.

“The wind and the rain had probably loosened some of the brickwork,” he added.

An office worker nearby said: “It was lucky no one was underneath when it fell.”

A Tesco spokesperson said the store had been advised to close while the landlord assessed the building.