Tesco has been dealt a blow in the ongoing planning row over the former Vaux Brewery site in Sunderland.

In a report published today, an independent planning inspector has endorsed urban regeneration company Sunderland Arc and Sunderland Council’s strategy for the redevelopment of the site as a mixed-use development.

His report also calls for a major retail development to be confined to a central retail core away from the Vaux site. Tesco, which owns the site, wants to do its own retail-led development.

The former brewery in Sunderland has been at the centre of a quarrel between Tesco and the Sunderland Arc, the regeneration company, for the past six years.

In June, Tesco launched a legal challenge to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s decision to back Sunderland Arc’s rival plans for the 16–acre site.

The inspector also endorses the future development use of large sites in Sunderland, such as the Holmeside Triangle and other important sites along the riverside, such as the former Grove Cranes site and Sheepfolds.

David Walker, chief executive of Sunderland Arc, said: ‘We welcome the inspector’s report into Sunderland’s UDP and are delighted at his decision not to allow large-scale retail on the Vaux site.

‘This is another step towards realising our vision for Vaux, which is a crucial gateway site.’

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Bob Symonds, said: [The report] ‘gives us a clear steer forward for securing the future development of the Vaux site and the other large development sites within central Sunderland.

Following the inspector’s report, the alteration to the UDP will be formally adopted by the City Council in September.