A £400m football stadium and retail park development in Liverpool has been refused permission on the grounds that it would have had harmful effects on the “vitality and viability” of the local community.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government John Denham refused permission for the scheme after a public inquiry concluded it would breach regional planning guidelines.
The development, which was to have been based in Kirkby and include a new home to Everton FC, would have featured a Tesco superstore as an anchor tenant.
The Kirkby Traders Association (KTA), who feared that the development would take business out of the town, said it was a “wise and informed decision”.
Local retailer and head of the KTA Paul Davies said that they would like to see the town centre developed instead of building a retail park. “Kirkby has so much more to offer than a stadium and retail park and we hope that those involved come up with a plan for the town that will move it in a positive, productive and profitable direction,” he said.
“We do not view this as any victory or milestone against Tesco, but with relief and satisfaction that good sense has prevailed,” he added.
Everton FC chief executive Robert Elstone said he was disappointed with the decision and the club will review the rejection before deciding on the next step.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “We are disappointed with the decision. These were exciting plans that we believed would have changed Kirkby and the surrounding region for the better following our investment, jobs and associated development. We will now review this decision to understand the reasons for refusal and work with our partners to discuss a way forward.”

Tesco and Everton FC have six weeks in which to lodge an appeal with the High Court.