A SUPERMARKET should be open in Prestwood by July after work started on it this week.

The first stages of a 17 week project to convert a vacant retail unit in Wycombe Road into a Sainsbury's store have now started, paving the way for the supermarket giant to move into the village.

Work being undertaken in the first phase of the scheme includes building a small extension to the side and widening access into a car park.

This should take 12 weeks to complete, before further work to get the interior up to scratch begins.

Sainsbury's hope to have the store open to customers by July, having spent half a million pounds on the scheme.

Sainsbury’s Regional Acquisitions Manager Robin Ockendon said: "I am delighted to confirm that the necessary planning permissions are all in place and construction work has started.

"Many local residents have supported us throughout the planning process and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support. We are really looking forward to opening the store and becoming part of Prestwood’s community."

Opinion amongst residents on the new store was divided when a recent survey was carried out, with many concerned at the impact it would have on the village's Post Office.

The terms of the premises licence granted to the company by Chiltern District Council will allow them to sell goods including alcohol from the store from 7am-10pm.

Sainsbury's Local stores generally close at 11pm but the firm has agreed to cease trading at 10pm on the back of a consultation with villagers.