TIME is nearly up for planning permission to build a new super store in Ross-on-Wye.

Herefordshire Council approved the scheme on 1.15 hectares of town centre land in January 1999 on condition it started by January 2004.

With only three months to go and no physical movement the developers, BS Group plc, have returned to the council seeking more time.

To ensure the existing planning permission does not expire they asked for a further five years before work starts.

The southern area planning sub committee was told the only issue was whether or not to renew the permission and they did so with hardly any discussion.

Twenty six conditions were imposed including one that the store should be mainly for the sale of food and shall not include a pharmacy and the sale of pharmaceutical goods, newspapers and magazines, reception of goods for dry cleaning or a post office.

Agents for the developers said when permission was granted in 1999 it was accepted there was capacity for an additional food store in Ross-on-Wye.

It was envisaged it would be trading that same year, but this did not happen.

Nevertheless the conclusions of the retail impact statement at that time still remained given that there had been no additional A1 retail floor space in Ross-on-Wye to meet the identified need.

Since then the population had grown as well as expenditure levels and new food stores which continued to draw trade out of the centre.

The agents agents said no operator had been named but there were 'long standing requirements of Tescos and Waitrose.'

The plans cover Red Meadow car park, a nearby private car park and properties in Brookend Street.

Some properties will be demolished, new ones built and 270 car spaces provided, including 120 in the existing public car park.

Ross Town Council said further delays would be detrimental.

Recommending a five-year extension council planners said there had been no other changes likely to have a significant bearing.