WORK has started to make way for a £39m Sainsbury’s superstore and petrol station.
Demolition of the former Caetano coach building factory and Sprint Print, on the Aston Road industrial estate, in Waterlooville, has begun.
Workers are also clearing trees along Maurepas Way in preparation for a ramp which will link the town centre and the retail park.
Despite concerns about congestion in Hambledon Road, permission was given for the store by Havant Borough Council last July.
The conditions imposed mean the ramp and a level crossing must be built and the nearby waste recycling centre moved to the new 3,000-home west of Waterlooville development before work can start on the store.
Secure hoardings have been put up and the site will be manned round the clock until work is completed.
Waterlooville councillor Gerald Shimbart, said: ‘It will be good for the future of Waterlooville and it could very well bring people into the area especially since they are building a new easy access ramp linking the retail park to Maurepas Way.
‘The new crossing will mean that people with mobility scooters can get from one side of the town to the other easily.’
The store will create 350 new jobs and it has been welcomed by the Waterlooville Business Association.
Sainsbury’s say this is just the preparation work and there is no date set for when work will start on the main building.
A spokesman said the supermarket giant was still in the process of agreeing the details.
Project manager Gary Mudge said: ‘We are delighted that the regeneration of this site is under way and we look forward to providing a brand new store offering local people our great products at fair prices.
‘All works will be undertaken between the hours of 8am and 6pm from Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
‘As a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, RG Group, Sainsbury’s contractors, will seek to minimise any disruption to neighbouring residents as far as possible during all stages of the demolition and construction programme.’