CLEARING work has started at the old Livestock Market in Abergavenny in preparation to build an £11 million superstore.

Preliminary work has begun to clear the site which will become a 25,000 sq ft Morrisons supermarket including a cafe, 289 parking spaces and a library.

The stonework from the slaughterhouse buildings will be incorporated into the store and boundary wall on Park Road.

Morrisons will spend £350,000 on improvements, £300,000 of which will be spent on Lion Street as part of the planning consent agreement with Monmouthshire council, landscaping, and creating additional bus services in the evening and at weekends.

The cash could also be spent on new street furniture, environmental improvements to Bailey Park and £10,000 towards public artwork in Lion Street.

Other work includes improvements to the junctions of Park Road and linking the town centre from the Brewery Yard to Fairfield car park.

The company hasn’t released a date for the opening of the store which proposes to create 280 new jobs.

The 150-year-old livestock market was relocated to a new £5 million site at Bryngwyn, near Raglan, which opened in December of last year.

The Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market (KALM) group who campaigned against the plans to move the market took the case to the High Court but Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, ruled in 2012, that Monmouthshire County Council had taken into consideration environmental, socio-economic and conservation issues on reaching its decision.

Barry Greenwood, who was a member of KALM, said: “We were expecting this a long time ago, I don’t quite understand why it has been delayed.

“There were lots of rumours flying around that Morrisons weren’t coming because the company were in trouble.

“As far as KALM are concerned we lost the battle a year ago.

“We didn’t appeal the legal decision.

He added: “As I understand it there have been problems with the new site in Raglan with farmers complaining that there aren’t enough car parking spaces.

“This was one of the reasons the council gave for the livestock market having to go.”