THIS land used to be surrounded by shoppers eagerly seeking a bargain.
But now, the former Whiteley Village shopping centre has been cleared and in its place lies an empty plot of muddy land.
The old shops that used to be here have since been demolished and a new retail 300,000sq ft development is set to replace it.
Work on the £64m scheme is officially set to start next week and it is due to open in the spring of 2013.
The development will comprise more than 50 units designed to accommodate a wide range of national and local retailers, restaurants, cafés and other facilities.
A total of 1,136 free car park spaces will also be provided for shoppers. Stores in the new centre will include Marks and Spence, Next, H&M, Boots, JD Sports, Bank, Sports Direct, Frankie & Benny’s and Starbucks.
Councillor Mike Evans, chairman of Whiteley Parish Council, will mark the beginning of the development on Tuesday.