BUSINESSES in Kinson have said they are “quietly optimistic” about the progress being made at the new Tesco development site.

Work is continuing on the large piece of land on Wimborne Road where a shopping precinct and popular pub stood previously. Mike Edwards, who owns nearby Ellie’s Dolls Workshop and is a member of Kinson Business Forum, said it is encouraging to see the work being done. “It is nice to see it finally happening. I know there’s a lot going on there and I am quietly optimistic,” he added.

“There is still a long way to go though and it remains to be seen whether it will be open before Christmas.”

The plans to demolish the precinct – where businesses included the Co-op and the Royal Oak pub – were keenly debated in the area.

Mr Edwards said: “It was disappointing that the pub had to go. I used to enjoy drinking there. It was a viable business too.”

However, he added that it was time to move on and for more progress to be made, mirroring the comments of the forum’s chairman, Ramesh Lal.

Speaking shortly after the bulldozers moved in, Mr Lal said: “I think the general feeling is at last something’s happening. They can see it.”

Ward councillor Dennis Gritt said he understood Tesco planned to be fully open by Christmas.

“People are saying to me that the sooner it’s done, the better,” he added.

Businesses at the precinct ceased trading in November last year and the bulldozers moved in on March 12.