PLANS to open a branch of Tim Hortons in Newport appear dead in the water, with the planning permission soon set to expire.

Almost five years ago, in late-2017, the Canadian coffee chain was granted permission to convert the retail space at 40-41 Commercial Street into a café, around the time that the company was making its first real foray into the UK scene.

And, after this permission was granted, the former Clarks shoe shop premises was completely stripped bare of its former use.

It was thought that once the sizeable space was returned to a shell, work would soon start to install the coffee shop, which has gained a reputation for delivering tasty doughnut treats to go with their hot beverages.

Here, the trail went cold.

Months, and then years followed, and no work has actually taken place inside the unit, which has continued to stand vacant in a prominent location in the city.

South Wales Argus: The store now stands emptyThe store now stands empty

To add some salt in the wound, in this same time, Tim Hortons has set up shop nearby, in Cardiff city centre.

And now, with the planning permission stipulating that the work must start within five years of the permission being granted, it looks almost certain that Newport residents will have to head down the road for their Tim Hortons fix.

When asked for an update by the Argus, a Tim Hortons spokeswoman declined to offer a comment about the site in Newport.

They said: “At this time we are unable to comment about the site in Newport.

“We are though very happy to keep in touch should this change or we have any news to share with you.”

With time ticking away, it all but appears to be a case of what might have been.