Any dreams of a new stadium for Everton Football Club look set to vanish into thin air, as plans for their new ground are expected to be turned down.
The club hoped to move from Liverpool to a new £400 million stadium and shopping centre in Kirkby, an impoverished suburb of Knowsley.
The development would have created around 7,000 extra jobs in the town.
But the move had been rejected following a public inquiry, club sources told the Press Association.
It is thought the main reason behind the Communities and Local Government Department’s decision was that the development might take money away from other Merseyside centres.
Knowsley Council were unavailable for comment on Wednesday night.
A Tesco spokesman said: ‘We have not been formally notified yet, but we are expecting to be told in the morning when we will be able to comment.’
An opponent of the move Ian Morris, of the Kirkby Residents’ Action Group, said: ‘Kirkby is only a small town and they were talking about a 55,000-seater stadium built right in the town with a huge retail development which we thought was inappropriate. It would have had a major negative effect on the retailers working in the existing town centre.
‘The stadium would have disrupted everybody’s lives every time there was a football match.’