Published Tuesday, 15 March 2011
The new 25,000 sq ft shopping centre was to open on the Crumlin Road this Spring, after a series of delays while Asda went through the appeals process.
Officials from the company maintain that it was "simply not an option" to open without the drinks licence, as none of their existing 386 shops UK-wide have done so before.
A statement on Tuesday said Asda is "unable to proceed" with the plans and has decided to pull out altogether.
"Regrettably the court's decision to refuse Asda a licence to sell alcohol means we are unable to proceed with this particular development," a spokesperson said.
"At no point have any of our 386 shops across the UK operated without being able to sell beers, wines and spirits. Therefore opening without a licence was simply not an option.
"We understand the frustration and disappointment that will be felt by the local community, who have been supportive throughout this entire process."
Asda operates 16 stores in Northern Ireland, employing 4,500 people. It was hoped the Crumlin Road store would create 230 new jobs.
Local Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has accused the chain of "bully boy tactics", saying the court's decision must be respected.
"Pulling out of a huge development because they couldn't sell cheap drink is simply bully boy tactics," he said.
"This proposal would have regenerated the surrounding deprived communities providing local jobs, local investment and food shopping within walking distance for the community of Ardoyne and the Crumlin Road.
"Asda's aggressive marketing strategy is imposing a one size fits all model and it's take it or leave it for our community."
DUP MLA for North Belfast, William Humphrey, called for the superstore to reconsider its decision.
"This is very disappointing news," Mr Humphrey said. "We will be meeting with company representatives tomorrow and will strongly urge them to reconsider this decision.
"We are convinced that this still can work and will impress upon them the potential which exists at this location."
SDLP councillor Nichola Mallon said the news will be a blow to the local community, who had expected the new store to help rejuvenate the area.
"Local people are very disappointed and upset by this news," she said. "The regeneration of the area and the jobs created as a result of this investment by Asda was a glimmer of hope for the local community and news of this announcement has hit them hard."
Asda said it still plans to invest £100m in Northern Ireland over the next five years, including new stores in Co Londonderry and the re-siting of ones on the Shore Road and Newtownards.