FOLLOWING a campaign that has spanned more than 10 years Monmouthshire County Council has announced that retail chain Asda is its preferred bidder to develop the site adjacent to Caldicot School.

The saga over plans to have a supermarket built on the site near to Woodstock Way, rumbled on after it was sent to the town council for approval but was turned down.

In May last year the town council decided to hold a poll to ask residents what they wanted and they voted overwhelmingly in favour of having a new supermarket, which subsequently led to planning permission being approved.

Caldicot mayor Cllr Jim Higginson said: "I am very content that the correct decision has been made and proud that I have been part of that process."

The development of the site is crucial to the council's aim to regenerate the centre of Caldicot with further plans to develop a town centre partnership.

It is hoped that the construction of a superstore with good pedestrian linkage into the rest of the town centre will encourage more shoppers into the town and enhance employment prospects and opportunities for local business.

Deputy Leader with Cabinet responsibilities for Modernisation and Enterprise, County Councillor Bob Greenland said: "As promised we have now chosen the operator to provide the much needed new store for the town. I look forward to the opening of Asda, a store that has built its reputation on providing quality food at affordable prices. "The proceeds from the sale of this site will be put into our 21st century school building programme and will help towards the cost of the major re-build of Caldicot School which remains our top priority."

Senior Property Communications Manager for ASDA, Oliver Jones, said: "Opening a new store here will not only allow us to bring our famous ASDA Price Guarantee to the area but we also hope to play an important part in the local community.

"We also hope that our dedication to sourcing local products and supporting local charities and community groups will be welcomed. "This store will also bring a real variety of jobs to the local economy and we look forward to welcoming new colleagues and customers alike."

Lindsay Walkey, 65, who currently does the majority of her shopping in the town centre, said: "It will provide a cheaper shopping option for pensioners and for families.

"I hope that by Asda coming to Caldicot it will encourage people to come and shop here, so it will benefit all traders within Caldicot as more people will shop here instead of travelling to other towns."

Member of the Caldicot Regeneration Group, Mike Rice, said: "I support the project as it will bring much needed business to the area and help the town to grow.

"It is disappointing that it took so long to get this, but Asda will give more shopping choice for people, it will increase footfall to Caldicot and bring jobs to the area."