Everton FC plan for Kirkby stadium rejected by the Government

THE Government has rejected the plan to create a new Everton stadium as part of a Tesco development in Kirkby.

Communities secretary John Denham decided that the projects would breach shopping policy to discourage major supermarket chains sucking business away from town and city centres.

But he was only convinced of that today, two days before he was legally obliged to make up his mind.

A major factor behind his alleged dithering was the potential to regenerate Kirkby, provide the football club with a brand spanking new stadium, pour over 400 million into the region, and create up to 7,000 short-term, long-term and supply jobs.

The decision, which will be spelt out later tomorrow took regional MPs and ministers by surprise. Most had assumed that the jobs and investment potential would, when it came to the crunch, outweigh shopping policy.

Knowsley North and Sefton East MP George Howarth said: "I deeply regret this decision in a time of significant economic challenge to the whole of Merseyside during a recession."