THE door has been opened for a major supermarket to be built in Cinderford following a legal U-turn by the Co-op.

Midcounties Co-operative withdrew a legal challenge to block construction of a retail store on land off Steam Mills Road on Friday clearing the way supermarket chains to swoop in on the town.

Applicant Trilogy Developments say they will be approaching Asda and Morrisons to see if either party is interested in building on the 4,645 square metre site.

Patrick Stones, Trilogy Developments managing director, said he was very delighted with the outcome.

“It has been a long and hard fought legal battle,” he said. “It’s still early days but we are hopeful we can get a supermarket here.

“We would like to do a deal with Asda as they were very supportive in the previous legal battles but Asda are looking at their own operations and given current climate we cannot say for certain.

“There is also potential for Morrisons to build on the site. Asda and Morrisons are two supermarket chains which are still building new stores.

“There is a lot of support for a supermarket in Cinderford. Nothing has changed significantly since 2012. The gap in the market is still there.”

The Forest of Dean District Council has previously granted planning permission for the Steam Mills Road site a total of four times since 2012 and were challenged on each occasion by the Co-op.

The latest challenge was lodged in January this year, against planning permission granted on December 8, 2016.

The withdrawal of the challenge means that the new supermarket scheme can now go ahead.

Amanda Watkins, of We Want Another Supermarket in Cinderford pressure group, said the news was fantastic.

“Asda did say that they may consider coming after all the legal battles had ended.

"As a group we will now be emailing them to express our wish for them to build in Cinderford.”