MARSTON residents have been told they will have to wait another year before an “eyesore” in the area is redeveloped.

The old Friar pub on the corner of Marston Road and Old Marston Road has been empty for around six years and supermarket giant Tesco has had permission to turn it into an Express store since 2011.

But almost exactly two years after the company was given planning permission by a government inspector, work has yet to start.

And now the supermarket giant has said it will not begin work until next year at the earliest.

Steven Bennett, 53, who lives in Marston Road, said: “It is a general eyesore. Having that building there reflects badly on the area because it is on the major bus route to the John Radcliffe Hospital. It has metal shutters on the windows and looks abandoned and unwanted.”

Crotch Crescent resident Eric Perkins said the community was “in limbo”.

He said: “It is not good to have any building like that in a residential area. ”

Mick Haines, city councillor for Marston, said: “As I have gone around the area, The Friar is the first thing people ask me about.

“They should let people know once and for all what they want to do there.”

Tesco’s planning permission expires in early June 2014 but for Oxford City Council to refuse an extension there would have to have been a significant change in circumstances in the meantime.

The company purchased the 1930s pub from Oxford businessman Clinton Pugh in 2008 after his plans for an art-deco style block of shops and flats were turned down.

Another former pub, the Fox and Hounds in Abingdon Road, is also sitting empty after Tesco was given planning permission to turn it into a shop last year.

Tesco spokesman Beth Greenhouse said: “We fully intend to proceed with our plans for our store on Old Marston Road, creating 20 jobs for local people and providing customers with a range of fresh groceries and convenience goods.

“We plan to start work on the site in the next financial year 2014/15 and will update the local community as soon as we have confirmed timeframes for the build and opening of the store.”

She added: “In the meantime the site is secured with hoarding and we will do our best to make sure that the site is kept tidy and secure until work can commence.”