Communities Secretary John Denham has rejected an appeal by Peel into plans for a racecourse in Salford.
Salford and Wigan had not yet made a decision on the application when Peel took the plans to appeal in 2008.
Denham dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission for the scheme. His decision letter said the scale of development in green belt was 'inappropriate' and would cause great harm. The drawbacks outweighed the employment that would be created, he said.
Peel wanted to develop the £100m Salford Forest Park scheme on land south of Boothstown near the M60. As well as a racecourse with 6,000-capacity grandstand, there was to have been a hotel, 18-hole golf course and a nature reserve.