AROUND 350 news jobs will be created in Gwent as UK supermarket chain Morrisons announces plans for a new Cwmbran store.

The company, which has 382 stores nationwide, has submitted a planning application to Torfaen Council to build the shop on the northern end of the Arvin Meritor site in Grange Road.

As well as a 37,000 sq ft store, there would also be a cafe, a petrol station and a 496-space car park.

Prior to yesterday, the supermarket giant was not able to confirm its interest in the site.

The deal with ArvinMeritor will also provide the factory with cash towards the continued development of its factory as the earmarked site for the development is used as a car park for the company's 600 staff.

Arvin Meritor, which can release the land on the northern end for sale, has submitted a statement supporting the proposals, saying it can maintain its levels of production within the reduced site and there will no job losses as a result.

The statement says the company is concerned any failed or delayed applications would be "a major setback to the hard work we have done in building and promoting a future for this business in Cwmbran."

The positions created by the development would be a mix of around 150 full-time and 200 part-time jobs.

Should plans be given the go-ahead, Morrisons would join Asda, Sainsbury, Lidl and Aldi in the town.

Morrisons' development surveyor James Brook said the proposals would fit in with the council's long-term plans for the redevelopment of the area and he hoped these plans would encourage other businesses to invest in the area.

Leader of Torfaen Council, Bob Wellington, said: "We welcome any development which brings jobs to Cwmbran, in whatever shape or form, we support them."