Greenwich Ikea: Council ignores pollution concerns

Peartree Way, 3 November 2013
Greenwich Council has brushed aside pollution concerns and decided plans for a new Ikea in East Greenwich won’t need an environmental impact assessment. A decision notice on Greenwich Council’s website declares that as the site is already a retail park, it is “unlikely to give rise to significant environmental effects”.

Ikea’s planning application claims its plans will actually improve air quality, despite worries a store would encourage significant amounts of extra traffic to the area.

Separately, the Twentieth Century Society has asked English Heritage to list the 1999 “eco” Sainsbury’s which currently sits on the site. It will be demolished if Ikea’s plans go ahead.

The decision also comes on the same day the EU announced it is taking legal action against the UK government over pollution levels in areas including London.

10pm update: You can see the details for yourself by searching for 13/3299/EIA on Greenwich’s planning website.

The decision now brings to mind whether Greenwich Council will try to force this through ahead of May’s council election, with leader Chris Roberts – who sits on the board with his chief whip Ray Walker – due to stand down afterwards. There are 3 planning board meetings left: 3 March, 9 April and 14 April.

Saturday update: Wow – Greenwich Council is trying to rush this one through. It will decide on 3 March (Woolwich Town Hall, 6.30pm) whether to accept planners’ recommendations to back the scheme.

14 comments

  1. Amanda

    Yet another example of the Royal Borough of Greenwich sticking their fingers in their ears – ‘we’re not listening.’ It is of course true that the Greenwich Sainsburys site is already a retail park but the Council seem to have forgotten that the Charlton retail park – which is only a few hundred yards from Sainsburys in a straight line is about to grow exponentially. It is inevitable that pollution along the woolwich road will increase. The area between the Rose of Denmark pub and the roundabout leading to the Blackwall Tunnel approach is one of the highest polluted areas in London and this on a day when the European Commission intend to take legal action against the UK over pollution – especially in London. Greenwich Council perhaps should take their fingers out of their ears and…… maybe put them in another orifice! Sitting in the Council leaders plush chair may however be a little uncomfortable.

  2. runner500

    A truly awful decision by Greenwich, while I can understand that they want the employment that IKEA will bring, it will bring weekend traffiic chaos and pollution to East Greenwich, perhaps add in some bigger crowds at the Valley in a year or two and the area will be in gridlock. I hope that B&Q and the Odeon are looking at it with a view to a judicial review; while the impact on them will be economic due to people not bring able to park.

  3. Mr H

    Really, is anyone surprised by this? We are talking about Greenwich council and cllr Roberts etc!

    I don’t buy into the argument of bring in jobs etc – at what cost? You have to remember war is good for the economy (even cancer believe it or not), yet we don’t want more of it so we create jobs!
    It will have massive consequences on the local trade (there are many smaller businesses not just b&q) & quality of life for the borough’s residents with regards to traffic etc.

  4. Darryl

    “Really, is anyone surprised by this? We are talking about Greenwich council and cllr Roberts etc!”

    Where has anyone expressed surprise?

    Any local councillors would be very welcome to comment on their council’s decision, by the way.

  5. maryorelse

    Didn’t know about it, can try and find out. Of course the Peninsula was set up as a Low Emmission Zone – many years ago – which means that there is very little parking -ie almost no visitor parking for Millennium Village residents, and none at all for the Ecology Centre and this policy is applied to new residential and community developments
    .

  6. Mr H

    I was was just being sarcastic Darryl :)

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for a comment from the council!

  7. Peter

    While I understand that peole have concerns about the impact of the proposed IKEA store, it seems to me that this “screening decision” is a technical/legal decision. The decission doesn’t give planning permisssion for the new store, it says that because the proposed use is the same as at present and propossed parking provision is same, the applicant doesn’t need to submit an environmental impact assessment as part of the planning application. It doesn’t prevent the council from considering traffic or environmental issues, or commissioning its own impact asssesssment.

    It could be argued that, in terms of traffic and air polution, almost anything would be better than the current management of the car park. There are no parking restrictions and on week days, it fills with commuter parking early each morning, with many of the remaining spaces used by HGV drivers as a lorry park while they take a break.Sainsburys and the current owners of the site seem unwilling or unable to tackle this, even though thier own customers have nowhere to park.So the current arrangements seem to be drawing long distance car commuters into Greenwich onto the peninsular in rush hour times.

  8. Chris

    Peter, thanks for the info on the current parking arrangements. I did have my suspicions about commuter parking there. It is hard now to find a parking space within 150 yards of Sainsbury’s due to the commuter traffic. As the word spreads that you can drive up from Kent, park for free and then hop on a bus to North Greenwich the parking situation there will get worse.
    Sainsbury’s won’t care since they are moving!

  9. maryorelse

    The other thing I could comment on is the car park – except that I post too much here already. The car park is a pain. It is owned separately to the stores. It has been a crime hotspot and the previous SNT Sergeant spent a lot of time trying to sort out the management. I am not sure what the current situation is or if IKEA intend to buy it, or what. The whole area is, I understand, owned by GLA and leased out to various bodies.

  10. Pingback: A week to go: Greenwich Council rushing through Ikea scheme | 853
  11. Mr GD

    I am a bit bemused by the Pollution issue attached to the NEW IKEA .I shop at Ikea in Thurrock and its hardly ever crowded How many people do you expect flood into the area on a furniture buying frenzy ? How many extra Cars are people Guestimating ? Check out Harveys along Woolwich Rd. After the first few days it will be just like B&Q The Blackwall ,Peninsular area has historically been industrial.it was’nt that long ago the stink from Blackwall could be smelt all the way to Abbey Wood. The O2 has 20,000 people attending every concert.There are 1000s of new homes being built as well hotels and other stores all attracting drivers. The Biggest contribution to local pollution is the stationary traffic at BLACKWALL TUNNEL but from what I have been reading people are also objecting to a solution to ease the congestion.

  12. Darryl

    Indeed, Mr GD – because I’ve just heard that the solution to traffic congestion is not to reduce traffic levels, but to demolish your house and replace it with a new road. And we’ll stick a car park in your garden.

    Any objections? Oooops, too late…

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