A DERELICT pub that was the focus of a row over a new convenience store in Newport is to be demolished.

Tesco had wanted to open a store in the Black Horse Inn, Somerton Road, and had won a planning appeal to after permission to put in a new shop front was refused.

But the Lliswerry store never opened and the former pub is now to be demolished with the developer wanting to use the land for housing.

Tesco had faced a litany of objections from nearby residents in 2010 after it applied for planning permission to improve the disused building so it could open Tesco Express there.

One nearby shopkeeper had said the store would put him out of business if permission was granted, while others said it could cause congestion and parking problems.

It was argued that the store wasn’t needed, with one of Tesco’s two Newport hypermarket based just down the road at Spytty, and around 500 had signed a petition against the project.

Amidst this opposition Newport council’s planning committee refused permission for a new shopfront and alterations to the outside of the building, but this was overturned on appeal in 2011.

The planning inspector at the time had argued that the change of use from a public house to a retailer was a permitted development and as such didn’t need planning permission.

Property agents Alder King said in February that the pub site was sold to a local private developer for £160,000 following an auction.

Nicole Kruger of the agency said the land had generated considerable interest from developers who saw its potential to be developed for housing.

Harrand Homes Ltd recently applied to Newport council’s planning department for a decision on whether the firm needed prior approval to go ahead and demolish the pub.

Officers in Newport Council said that it did, meaning the demolition work will need to be controlled by the council.