TESCO will not be building a superstore in Middlewich, the Guardian can exclusively reveal.

The grocery giant has scrapped plans to triple the size of its Southway store which would have created around 150 jobs.

After numerous planning applications and an appeal, the decision ends years of uncertainty for residents and traders.

The multi-million pound scheme would have resulted in around £100,000 being spent in Wheelock Street to improve the high street’s retail offering and accessibility.

Tesco’s decision also leaves big questions about what will happen to the development land between Southway and Darlington Street which has been left in disarray.

Patricia Cooley, of Residents Against Tesco Expansion, said: “What we’ve been left with is an appalling mess with buildings falling down and we’re now on the brink of the unknown.”

Town Mayor Simon McGrory reckons the Morrisons development in Newton Bank, which is now weeks away from completion, had an impact on Tesco’s decision.

He added: “I can only assume they didn’t want to close the store for redevelopment with the threat from Morrisons.

“I’m very disappointed. From what I can see there’s plenty of shortcomings with the current store and they’ll now be no town centre development and no money to improve Wheelock Street and encourage people to shop in our town.

“It’s so important we get the right usage for properties down that street so that it doesn’t get any worse than people perceive it to be.

“The artisan market day has shown what can be done with the street.

“I’m planning to meet with Tesco in the next few weeks to see what the future holds.”

The decision came to light after it was revealed that Tesco had withdrawn from the sale of Cheshire East Council’s share of the current car park which formed part of the development land.

Some traders feared the 35,000sq ft store would have dwarfed the high street while others welcomed it for the prospect of economic regeneration.

Douglas Wilson, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: “We are proud to have served Middlewich since we took over the store in 2009 and following careful consideration, we have decided not to replace the existing store.

“We understand some people will be disappointed and wanted to see a new Tesco store come forward.

“Our team and our store continues to offer the very best in service to residents and we look forward to continuing to welcome customers through our doors.”

Clr McGrory added: “We now have to consider what happens with Wheelock Street and go back to the drawing board rather than relying on golden eggs.”