WORK on a long-awaited supermarket on the outskirts of Haddington will not take place within the next 12 months.

Instead, “progress” could finally be made on the Sainsbury’s store, to the west of the town, by 2020.

The supermarket giant was given the green light for its 3,700sq m store at Gateside West more than four years ago.

Since then, progress on the scheme has been slow, with the supermarket chain unable to put a timescale on any construction date.

This week, a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman told the Courier it was not on the list of stores planned for 2017-18.

However, she added: “We’re hoping to progress the store within the next three years, but I can’t be more definitive than that I’m afraid.”

Sainsbury’s was given the go-ahead after winning a long battle with Tesco for an outlet on the town’s western edge.

The lack of progress was also highlighted at a meeting of East Lothian Council’s licensing board last summer.

Council leader Willie Innes felt that the supermarket chain had let people down.

He said: “I was seduced by the argument that there was a need for a supermarket there, but that was four years ago and nothing was forthcoming.

“A clear message has to go to Sainsbury’s that we expect to be treated seriously.

“They produced a passionate case for this supermarket to be given planning approval because they wanted to provide services to Haddington and were desperate to do it.”