SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s is forging ahead with plans to open a store in a village near Newport this autumn.

The Sainsbury’s Local supermarket will be unveiled in Caerleon at the site of the Angel Hotel on Goldcroft Common before Christmas, creating up to 25 jobs, the retailer said yesterday.

More than 1,700 people signed a petition against the convenience store amid fears it could undermine local trade and cause traffic congestion, but Newport councillors approved the plans last summer.

The demolition of the Angel Hotel is nearing completion, and construction works will begin on the supermarket, set to stretch over 385 square metres with ten parking spaces at the back.

Caerleon ward Cllr Paul Huntley, one of the store’s staunchest critics, said: “My opinion has not changed one bit but there is nothing I can do about it. It’s happening.

You’ve got to grin and bear it.

“I have concerns about traffic generation and pollution and the effect on small businesses close by.”

Yin Loo, who owns the Spar convenience store in Station Road, Caerleon, said: “At the end of the day they are not selling anything we don’t sell. It’s a duplication of what we already have.

“My main concern is for the locality and the impact it’s going to have on traffic and parking.”

Vicky Burchell, of the World of Kitchens showroom, next to the pub on Goldcroft Common, added: “The works are quite radical.

"I don’t want anybody to think we’re closed or it has anything to do with us.

“In the long term it could be good for us but it’s quite a dramatic change for the face of Caerleon at the moment.”

Sainsbury’s regional acquisitions manager, Oliver A’Court, told the Argus: “Sainsbury’s is looking to open the new convenience store this autumn, creating up to 25 new jobs for local people and complementing the existing offer in the village centre.

“We look forward to coming to Caerleon and to being part of the centre and the community for years to come.”