Plans for a long-awaited multi-million pound Tesco store in Quinton are finally on course after builders started work on the eight year project.

Blueprints for the Ridgacre Road supermarket were first unveiled in 1998 and have hit numerous stumbling blocks including Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, rejecting the application in 2000.

But now construction work is well underway on the superstore which is expected to open early next year.

The project was granted planning permission by Birmingham City Council in September 2005 for the 26,000 square feet store with vehicle access to the site from the junction of Ridgacre Road and Ridgacre Lane.

The store replaces a former bus depot, which had stood derelict for many years and was demolished earlier this summer.

Quinton councillor Richard Bashford said the scheme has been a long time coming but he is glad it is finally underway.

He added: "We have had more than 300 letters from local people wanting jobs at Tesco. We want them to have a `Quinton first' approach to jobs there so we benefit from the store coming. I have personally campaigned for it from day one. It was in everyone's best interests to have it - Quinton need's Tesco."

Under the plans, Ridgacre Road will have a new bus stop with shelter built and a new crossing at Ridgacre Lane will also be constructed.

Vehicle access to the site will be from the junction of Ridgacre Road and Ridgacre Lane.