The 51-storey water-front skyscraper was knocked back yesterday afternoon (24 August) despite having the support of the head of Liverpool's planning committee, Doreen Jones.
Simpson was holidaying in France as the decision to ditch the £120 million scheme was announced.
Chris Ives, the development director of Maro - the project's backers - said he was 'very disappointed' by the council's decision to reject the application.
He said 'We felt that we had properly addressed all the concerns raised by the officers and the reasons given for refusal are, in our opinion, wholly unsubstantiated and go against their own policies.
'The critical factor seems to be that the site is allocated for employment use and therefore they are not willing to consider a high-quality mixed-use development generating a net gain of over 400 jobs, plus all the regeneration benefits a scheme of this type would bring to the area and Liverpool.'
He added: 'I find this very odd, and even more surprising given a number of consents granted in recent months by Liverpool council for residential development on sites allocated for employment.'
Maro will now appeal against the decision. Simpson already has a similar appeal in the pipeline following the scheme's initial refusal in January.
Meanwhile, at the same meeting, Glenn Howell Architects' 27-storey Lime Street tower was given the go-ahead.