In the week Asda pledged to remove alcohol from its foyers as part of the public health Responsibility Deal, it has pulled out of a planned new store in north Belfast having failed to land a liquor licence.

The licence was first declined in December and Asda has now withdrawn from the appeals process.

North Belfast DUP Assembly member William Humphrey will attempt to persuade Asda to reconsider during a meeting with the retailer, citing the loss of the proposed investment and up to 230 jobs. But Asda believes it cannot now justify the 25,000 sq ft store on the Crumlin Road.