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Sheffield IKEA plans recommended for approval

PLANS to build a £60m Ikea store on a derelict site in Sheffield have been recommended for approval.

The home furnishing company's new store would be built near junction 34 of the M1 and could create up to 700 jobs.

It has been recommended for approval subject to legal conditions and referral to the communities secretary.

Although the scheme has won the support of city planners, concerns on traffic issues and the impact it could have on city centre trade have been raised.

"The negative impacts need to be balanced against the positive impacts of the proposal in order to come to a balanced decision," the report said.

Planners also said there would be undoubted regeneration benefits, which should be given "significant weight in the current economic climate".

Sheffield Chamber welcomed the decision by the city planners.

Richard Wright, executive director, said: "We welcome this decision. I do think this is good for the Sheffield City Region and will help retain wealth in the city and attract even more from outside.

"We are well aware of the traffic issues at Junction 34 of the M1, but have always argued they cannot be resolved by refusing planning. At some stage we are going to have to tackle the problems caused by two lanes on the motorway and poor junction design.

"There seems to be a marked increase in developments in the city with NEXT, Ikea, St Pauls 3, the University engineering building, the Future Factory and the New Retail Quarter. These can only be good for the long-term and just the sort of thing we need."

A £360,000 contribution by Ikea towards improving the traffic merging at the junction 34 north slip road is one of the proposed conditions of planning permission.

Source : Rachel Covill -

17 June 2014
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