LINKAGE plans to join the new Asda superstore in Caldicot to the town centre will not be ready for the store's opening this October, it has been revealed.
Chairman of the Caldicot Town Team, Aaron Reeks told the Free Press that the link road would not be ready and described the news as "a blow" but said it was hoped to get it done as soon as possible.
The proposed plans include the redesigning of Waitrose car park to incorporate a one way system and extending the original entrance at the top of Woodstock way to allow an in/out system and to extend the pedestrianised area outside the library and One Stop Shop.
The service road near the library will be joined to the new pavement and pedestrianised area and will only be accessible by service vehicles. Better lighting, street scene enhancements and new signage will also be installed.
Mr Reeks said: "Part of the issues is the service vehicle access as they have a specific direction of where they are allowed to go. Some of the plans contravened some of the tenants licensing, so that had to be scrapped.
“It would be better for the work on the linkage to hold off until after Christmas and to start in the new year, not to create a barrier to the town centre in the run up to Christmas which is the busiest time for traders. This decision will be down to the landlord."
The new road on Woodstock Way is now open but the section near the library has been closed. The 2,945 square superstore on Woodstock Way, is set to be open in October and will have 212-space car park.
Cllr David Evans, Monmouthshire County Councillor for West End Ward, said: "We don't want people going to ASDA to shop and drive back out again. It's going to be exactly the same as in Chepstow with people driving in to Tesco and not visiting the town centre. It's a pity that the linkage roads haven't yet been finalised.
"I don't want any disruption before the Christmas lights which will be at the end of November - we are hoping to make it a bigger event with the support of business to entice more people into Caldicot to do their shopping. It would spoil it if we had to move it and that wouldn't be very good for anyone."
Dan Grimes, owner of Rock and Roller tattoo and piercing studio, on Newport Road, said: "To be honest I don't think the linkage roads will bring a lot of business to the town anyway. They need something bigger such as a Costa Coffee.
"I don't think my business will be affected at all as I am quite a specific trade. Caldicot needs regeneration as a whole to get people to come here - it needs to be more modern and vibrant."
Helen Beveridge, owner of Fudge Fairy on Chepstow Road, said: “From my point of view cars will be going up and down Chepstow Road, I don’t believe my passing trade will be affected by it. Having said that, traders in the town centre will be, it is regrettable that it won’t be ready in time after the amount of planning and long debates on this development.”
The Severnisde Area Committee will be discussing the linkage plans at a meeting on September 24.
An archaeological study conducted by Monmouth Archaeology at the site found two prehistoric flints and three sherds of medieval pottery. The study did not reveal any significant archaeological finds.