Traders in Melton town centre were shocked and surprised when a large sinkhole appeared outside their shops on Friday.
Workmen from Leicestershire County Council arrived in King Street to put fencing around the hole for the safety of pedestrians.
There remains full access to shops in the street although no vehicles are allowed to be driven down there while investigations continue on the scale of the damage.
The council were notified by Nigel Keep, who owns the 54A King Street cafe, when he was alarmed to discover it on Friday morning.
He told the Melton Times: “I was surprised and shocked when I saw it.
“It could have been a lot worse if someone had fallen down it before anyone knew it was there.
“There is a lot of vehicles down here before 10am and after 4pm and it could have caused a lot of damage.”
Mr Keep is concerned the hole could get bigger if it isn’t filled in soon as there is a deep dip in the surface a few yards away from the sinkhole.
“It’s obviously not going to be a five-minute job and hopefully the council will repair it quickly.”
Michael Cooke, owner of Melton Sports, which is close to where the sinkhole appeared, said business was continuing as usual for traders and he added: “We’re all hoping for a good fix.”
A county council spokesperson said: “We received a report of a sinkhole in King Street, Melton, on Friday and we visited the site to close off the area and make it safe for pedestrians.
“Officers will be carrying out further investigations on Wednesday to identify what has caused the sinkhole to appear.
“Once we have found the cause, we will make every effort to ensure that repairs are carried out by the relevant authority as soon as possible.”
A sinkhole happens when rock underneath the surface is dissolved by water leaving a gap in the ground which the top layer then falls into.