CONSTRUCTION has started on a new £60 million retail park which will create new stores for B&Q, Marks and Spencer and Aldi.

Churchmanor Estates has kicked off building work on the new Stane Retail Park, at Tollgate in Stanway.

The new 173,000 sq ft retail park, about the size of three football pitches, will house a new store for B&Q, an M&S Food Hall and a new Aldi.

The DIY giant is moving from its current home in The Hythe to the new shop, designed with a covered builders yard and improved garden centre.

It's old home is set to become a new Sainsbury's supermarket for residents of The Hythe.

Paul Crisp, retail and property director for B&Q, said: "Built in our latest store format to give an improved shopping experience, the new store will replace our existing B&Q store at Lightship Way.”

Aldi will be relocating its nearby London Road store to the new unit, which is much larger.

Roland Stanley, Aldi's property director, said: "Our new store at Stane Retail Park will be a larger, modern format store with substantially improved car parking providing both our customers and staff with fantastic facilities but still offering our high quality products at our everyday low cost prices.

"All of our colleagues at Lexden will transfer to the new store when it opens.”

M&S does not have a food hall in Colchester so the new shop will be the first of its kind in the borough.

Robert Morray, head of property planning at M&S, said: "We’ve been serving customers in Colchester Town Centre for over a hundred years and we’re really pleased to be able to improve our offering in the area with a new foodhall at Stane Retail Park.”

If works progress as planned, the new retail park will be ready to open in September next year.

Churchmanor is also spending £2.6 million on improvements to the Eight Ash Green A12 roundabout, where a four way traffic signal junction is set to be created.

The Western Bypass is also set to be widened to two lanes between Essex Yeomanry Way and the Sainsbury’s roundabout.

Emma Proctor King, head of communications for Churchmanor, said: “As a company we have supported the growth of Colchester since 1989 when we built Colchester Business Park and we now hope that our new retail park together with the long overdue highway improvements that we are committed to will mean a new and improved retail offer for the Stanway and Colchester communities”