Tesco last night conceded defeat to the residents of Bournville after losing its bid to sell alcohol at its new Birmingham store.
The leafy suburb has been alcohol-free since it was founded by Quaker George Cadbury in 1895 and yesterday a city council licensing sub-committee upheld it historic "dry" status by refusing the application for the Linden Road store.
A Tesco spokesman ruled out an appeal against the committee's decision – but said the chain might re-apply in future. He said: "We respect the decision that the licensing authority has made and will now move forward and open a great store for the community in Bournville.
"We will continue to talk to our customers and the community following the opening and may think again in the future about applying for a licence if our customers feel it is right."
Sub-committee chairman Councillor Penny Wagg (Lib Dem Acocks Green) said the application had been turned down because of a need to prevent public nuisance and crime and disorder.
The sub-committee was particularly concerned about problems of anti-social behaviour in Bournville that might arise from the sale of alcohol, she added.
The ruling was described as a fantastic victory for community action by local councillor Nigel Dawkins, who led the campaign against Tesco.
Coun Dawkins (Con Bournville) said: "This will be a hard lesson for Tesco to learn. They can't just steamroller into a community and expect to get their way irrespective of local opinion." Bournville residents and community leaders, who were so many in number that they travelled to yesterday's hearing in a coach, argued that the sale of alcohol would destroy the village's unique reputation.
Coun Dawkins said Bournville's reputation as a "dry" community was world famous.
The Tesco application had triggered incredible opposition, which included a petition signed by 1,000 people. There was already a severe anti-social behaviour problem in the village, with young people bringing in alcohol from other parts of Birmingham.
The easy availability of cheap alcohol at a superstore on the edge of the Bournville Trust village would make matters worse, he argued.
Coun Dawkins said the Linden Road site, where the Tesco store is under construction, was "slap bang in the middle" of hot spots of anti-social behaviour.
He added: "There is no sale of alcohol in Bournville. That is something most people respect and we would urge Tesco to respect that."
Alex Shrimpton, a director of the Bournville Village Trust, said: "We have a considerable problem with crime and disorder, mostly from young people who are getting hold of cheap alcohol."
Peter Evans, chairman of Bournville Cricket Club, which does not have a drinks licence, said he believed young people would be drawn to the Tesco store to buy alcohol and consume it at cricket matches. "It will make our problems worse in managing people's behaviour," Mr Evans added.
Tesco is also fighting public opposition over its plans to open a superstore at Hodge Hill, Birmingham.
- A time-warp village with no fast food chains or pubs
The picturesque Bournville estate was founded by Quaker and chocolate tycoon George Cadbury in 1895 in the belief that good housing and healthy conditions would boost his factory workers.
Along with his brother Richard he had moved their manufacturing cocoa business from Birmingham City centre to Bournville in 1879.
The Cadbury village is still held up as an example of good town planning. In sharp contrast to the then harsh industrial Victorian lifestyle, workers enjoyed a pleasant home complete with a series of tight restrictions to prevent the environment being spoiled.
Mortgages of 2.5% were made available for would-be buyers of the first homes in Mary Vale Road.
George Cadbury’s desire that one-tenth of the estate should be "laid out and used as parks, recreation grounds and open space" has been a guiding rule to its green environment.
The Bournville Village Trust was founded in 1900 with the brief to develop the village and its surroundings. All house plans were to be approved by the principal architect.
More than 25,000 people now live on the estate which spans 1,000 acres.
There are covenants today covering hedge height, and satellite dishes that could mar the view are banned, as are uPVC windows.
These limits have helped drive down the crime rate and lift worries about noisy neighbours, nuisance vehicles and anti-social behaviour, according to the Trust.
It boasts a wide range of housing provision and stresses quality, energy saving, urban regeneration, brownfield sites, special needs, housing for people with disabilities for any of its new builds, according to the Trust.