Builders to start work on new Jempson's Local Community Store in Wadhurst
DEMOLITION work started this week to clear a site in Wadhurst where a controversial new supermarket will be built.
Workers began the job of tearing down disused buildings once home to Wood-B-Pine, in preparation for the construction of a Jempson's Local Community Store.
Building work on the 5,000 sq ft store is due to start in two weeks and the development will also include affordable homes and 27 car parking spaces.
Wealden District Council granted permission for a planning application last August, despite opposition from traders and local residents who feared parking in the High Street would become intolerable and that small businesses would suffer.
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Jempson's told the Courier this week it hoped to the open the store, which is modelled on a branch in Hawkhurst, by the autumn and revealed it was looking at the possibility of opening a cafe "within the periphery of the site".
A spokesman said: "We are absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to serve the village of Wadhurst.
"We are very excited about becoming a part of this thriving village community."
A planning application was first lodged in March last year but was turned down by the district council, which cited the predicted traffic issues would impact on neighbours and was out of keeping with the surroundings.
The company drew up a scaled-down model and presented it to planners, who gave it the thumbs-up last August.
Patricia Percival, chairman of Wadhurst Business Association, said: "It's nice to see the eyesore disappear and hopefully the supermarket won't hinder any other businesses."