WORK to build a foodstore in Abergavenny has started- five years after talks to open a store on the site began.

Aldi expressed interest in the site opposite the Bus Station on Monmouth Road in 2007.

The scheme, to build on the site of the former Renault Garage, was approved by Monmouthshire council in 2008 and has been secured with wooden fencing for more than a year, with Aldi blaming the delay on the recession.

The 1,268sq ft store is expected to create 20 full-time jobs, but will not sell newspapers or pharmacy items and have 73 parking spaces.

Derek Thomas, manager of ATS, which operates from the building next to the site, said many of his customers are pleased that work is now under way.

He said: "The site has been derelict for a long time so it’s good it is being redeveloped and good for the town. The sign has gone up to say its opening soon and contractors moved in on Thursday."

The serving councillor in Abergavenny's Castle ward, Maureen Powell, said nearby residents, many of them retired, have waited 15 years for a supermarket at that end of the town.

She said: "At last they will get a low-cost foodstore which is needed and is close to the Bus Station for shoppers.

The company has offered to make a £10,000 contribution towards traffic-related works, which could include areas such as the bus station.

An Aldi spokesman said: "It is hoped that the store will open in September, 2012."