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Exeter IKEA plans approved

PLANS for an Ikea store in Exeter were approved by city councillors at a meeting this evening.

Councillors backed the recommendation to approve plans for the store at a meeting of the city council’s planning committee at 18:15.

Exeter’s Ikea is expected to have an annual turnover of £52m by 2018, with an average of £1m going through its tills every week.

The store would create 380 new jobs – the equivalent of 256 full time posts.

The scale of the jobs created could lead to a 20 per cent reduction in the number of people looking for work in the city.

The report, drawn up by planning officers with information supplied by Ikea, claims that the store would have a major impact on the whole economy of Exeter.

It estimates the benefit to the city centre, through people travelling into Exeter having visited the store, could be as much as £19.5m.

The proposed Exeter store – which is expected to divert around £14m of trade from Ikea’s Bristol store – is expected to generate an additional 390,000 annually trips into the city centre.

Following the approval Cllr Rachel Sutton said: "I think it is an exciting opportunity for the city. I know better than most the amount of time that has gone in. There are a number of reasonable concerns raised around the transport links but a lot raised have been addressed."

The development which would be built on land off the A379 between Sandy Park and Newcourt Way, also includes plans for up to 220 new homes, which have been approved unanimously.

The biggest issue facing the development was the affect it will have on surrounding roads.

Devon County Council, as the highways authority was initially concerned because it did not think enough parking spaces were being provided.

The worry was that traffic would queue back onto the A379 and highway bosses told the developers that additional car parking ‘was essential’.

As a result car parking provision has been increased from 950 to 1,004 spaces and the county council has now indicated that it is happy with this.

A total of 26 residents wrote to the city council to lend their support for the application.

Many of those said the store would bring economic benefit to the city and that the distance to the nearest Ikea store, at Bristol, was too far. However, there were also objections received and many of these were about the impact the store would have on Exeter’s roads.

Both the highways Agency and Devon County Council believe that junction 30 of the M5, due to be improved by April 2015, will be able to cope with the increased traffic.


The figures:

- The Exeter store is predicting that it will have a turnover of £52m annually by 2018.

- It will bring some 380 new jobs to the city – or 256 full time equivalents.

- The number of new jobs created would potentially reduce Exeter’s claimant total by 20 per cent.

- The retail catchment of the store will result in approximately 390,000 linked trips to the city centre each year, research has predicted.

- The extra people travelling in to Exeter city centre from the Ikea store will spend between £7,800,000 and £19,500,000, it is estimated.

- The store will have a massive floor space of 28,000 square metres.

- The gross added value of workers employed at the store is estimated at £33,000 per annum, per job.

- Around £14m of trade from Ikea’s Bristol store would be diverted to the store in Exeter.

- The car park would hold be able to accommodate more than 1,000 cars.

Source : Exeter Express & Echo
www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/BREAKING-Plans-Ikea-store-Exeter-approved/story-20467942-detail/story.html

21 January 2014
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Max Crosby Browne - CEO, Home Decor
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