A SPORTSWEAR retailer that had a planning application turned down by Newport council says it is thinking about appealing.

SportsDirect had wanted to move its Newport Retail Park store into the vacant Megabowl building nearby but its joint planning application with Johnsey Estates was turned down.

The Argus reported yesterday that the firm said it would have created 150 jobs on the site. The application did not go to planning committee for approval, with the decision instead left to officers.

It was decided the proposals would significantly harm the “vitality and viability” of the city centre.

That move was made despite Newport council having previously lost an appeal in 2008 after it turned down an application for mixed leisure and retail use at Megabowl.

Queensberry Real Estate, developers of the Friars Walk project, objected to the application, citing inaccuracies in the applicants’ test of whether other retail locations could accommodate SportsDirect.

A spokeswoman for the retailer said: “SportsDirect is considering appealing the decision, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.”

SportsDirect said on Thursday it was disappointed by the refusal, having intended to invest £5 million to create a 35,000 square feet retail unit with a 20,000 sq ft gym.

However officers had argued the proposals would cause significant harm to “interests of acknowledged importance, namely the vitality and viability of the sequentially preferable city centre”.