Tesco has submitted a planning application that, if successfully delivered, could prevent St Modwen's £150m redevelopment of North Liverpool ever happening.
The supermarket group, which ceased talks with St Modwen over anchoring the developer's regeneration scheme earlier this year, has made a detailed application for a 65,000 sq ft foodstore and market on 14 acres of the area in North Liverpool. Tesco owns around one third of the site. The remainder would have to be acquired from Liverpool City Council and private owners.
St Modwen, appointed as preferred developer by Liverpool City Council in 2005, has outline consent for a 45-acre site which includes the area targeted by Tesco, but has failed to start on site with a 115,000 sq ft foodstore, market, 480 homes and community facilities including library and health centre.
Michael Kissman, Tesco spokesman, said: "St Modwen would have to compulsorily purchase our site to replace it with a foodstore. We don't see why that should have to happen."
Michelle Taylor, regional director of St Modwen, responded: "St Modwen's scheme, Project Jennifer, at Great Homer Street is a large scale regeneration project, which will create 740 new full time jobs, 480 new homes, the largest supermarket in Merseyside, a new library, health centre, dentists' surgery and a purpose-built site for Paddy's market.
"Our 45-acre site will create an entire district centre for North Liverpool and provide the much-needed catalyst for regeneration in and around this part of the City. Tesco's application to build a supermarket and new market is simply not comparable."
Taylor said talks were now in advanced stages with another leading supermarket chain. The scheme would be phased with retail followed by residential. St Modwen hopes to start work in summer 2009. Completion is due by 2012.