Eddie Stobart said it would continue fighting to build a national distribution centre in Warrington after its latest application was refused by the Secretary of State.

The company originally lodged proposals for the scheme in 2018, which involve the construction of a state-of-the-art warehouse facility opposite its base on the Stretton Green distribution park in Appleton Thorn.

The 59,000sq ft building would create 500 full-time jobs and would reportedly inject £75m into the Warrington economy.

However, the plans attracted considerable local opposition with objections raised against the building of the warehouse on greenbelt land.

The Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick eventually called in the plans for further consideration and he has now turned them down.

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Local conservative MP Andy Carter said he’d received more correspondence on the plans since becoming MP than any other issue and he pledged to fight the proposals: “I am very pleased to see that the planning inspector and Secretary of State agreed that it should not be allowed to proceed,” he said.

“The incredible community effort has paid off, thank you to everyone who made representations.

“The Secretary of State concluded that the benefits of the proposal before him are not sufficient to outweigh the harm to the green belt.

“He therefore concluded that very special circumstances required to justify granting permission for inappropriate development in the green belt do not exist in this case.”

However, it is unlikely this marks the end of the scheme.

An Eddie Stobart spokeswoman told motortransport.co.uk: “We are working with the local council to revise and resubmit our plans that suit all parties.”