TK MAXX has pulled out of its plans to open a store in Northwich, according to a Cheshire West and Chester Councillor.

Approval was given at a controversial meeting earlier this month for major clothing retailer TK Maxx to open up a store in the former J&S Motorcycle store next to Waitrose on the corner of London Road and Chesterway.

The move was hoped to be a ‘linchpin for regeneration in Northwich’ but now Cllr Sam Naylor says news that the big-name store has pulled out of the deal is a ‘body blow’ for the town.

Cllr Sam Naylor said: “After the planning approval was given at the beginning of the month, everyone was pleased about it. But then next thing, I got this email off Nick Morton.”

The email from Mr Morton, who works for H20 – the agency working on behalf of TK Maxx – said that the American headquarters had made the decision to abandon the plans.

It said: “Unfortunately, we’ve received some late unexpected news from TK Maxx which is very disappointing.

“The American HQ has undertaken an internal review of all the UK acquisitions which indicated a review of all operating costs and turnover.

“As a result of this review, they have decided to withdraw from Northwich along with several other sites nationally.”

Cllr Naylor was keen to highlight that another major retailer had been secured for the Baron’s Quay development, but news on who this is was yet to be made public.

However, he said the loss of TK Maxx was a big blow.

Cllr Naylor added: “Nick is very frustrated with the decision because H20 has invested heavily in bringing the site forward. It’s come as a real blow to them and an even bigger blow to me.

“The town is on the up but it’s a little bit of a body blow that we didn’t expect.”

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury is still getting his office and staff sorted after his win in last week’s General Election, but spoke to the Guardian about the news.

Mike said: “It’s very disappointing. This is a retailer, which was going to be a linchpin for regeneration in Northwich.

“I will be having a meeting soon with the leader of the council and chief executive about this and the broader development in Northwich and I will keep pushing this.”

Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “Following the successful application by Bloc to develop the old J&S site for a new TK Maxx store it is disappointing to hear that TK Maxx has decided not to proceed.

"Unfortunately we received the unexpected news about TK Maxx. Their American head office has undertaken an internal review of all UK projects, which included a review of all operating costs and turnover. As a result of this review, very suddenly, they decided to withdraw from Northwich, along with several other deals nationally.

“Bloc is actively looking for a new tenant for the Northwich site that will complement our plans for the development of the town. Footfall at Barons Quay continues to rise and there are ongoing discussions with a number of potential tenants.

"It is our priority to ensure Northwich continues to be a great place to do business."