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.