The Range has ended its interest in constructing a distribution centre and retail outlet in Chippenham.

The company has instead done a deal to purchase a 55 acre site at Centre Park, near the M49 in Avonmouth, Bristol.

The storage and distribution centre, service yards and retail unit for the discount furniture store was proposed on 18.6 hectares of land north of the A350 West Cepen Way.

Chris Dawson, founder of The Range, said: "The Range has continued to buck the trend of UK retail and opened superstores throughout the recession.

"This Distribution Centre is a big step in the expansion plans that I have for the business, it’s non-stop for us. 

"Along with over 1,000 new jobs at the site this building will deliver long-term service contracts for local suppliers and inject millions of pounds into the Bristol economy every year whilst support local firms during the construction.

"When the warehouse is up and fully operational it will act as a training hub for smaller DC’s [distribution centres] around the country and I will also offer tours to schools/colleges and universities as I am keen to give the future industry leaders a chance to see how a big UK operation works."

The hugely controversial plans, which The Range claimed would create hundreds of jobs, was met with fierce opposition from local residents.

Residents in Allington created a petition against the proposals when they were were originally registered with Wiltshire Council in December 2014.

Allington resident Elizabeth Kennedy said this morning: "It's been a terribly long campaign, its been extremely upsetting for a lot of residents and the people in Cepen Park who would have their views destroyed.

"It's excellent news from the fact that the Roman ruins will be left undisturbed and it will keep the A350 as the natural barrier for Chippenham."

A 1.3 hectare site, which includes a Romano-British farmstead which sits in the middle of the site The Range wanted to use has been legal protection by the Secretary of State for State for Culture, Media and Sport.

First Industrial, development agents of The Range, appealed against the decision but were unsuccessful in their attempts to demonstrate that the archaeological findings were not of national importance.

As well as huge objections from some residents, a petition supporting The Range's bid to build in Chippenham did reach over 1000 signatures. 

Peter Habkirk, 65, of Charter Road, said: "It's very sad because Chippenham loses out again. Chippenham is going to die on its feet.

"The Range have waited a long time and I think they should have been allowed to come here and bring Chippenham to life, it would have brought people in from a long way away."