Government backs Greenwich Ikea: So what happens next?

Peartree Way, 3 November 2013

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has confirmed he won’t intervene in Greenwich Council’s decision to allow a huge new Ikea superstore in east Greenwich.

Greenwich Council gave outline permission for the store, on the site of the “eco-friendly” Sainsbury’s store in Peartree Way, in March. Planning officers ignored concerns about increased traffic and air pollution, a decision later backed by London mayor Boris Johnson.

The process was halted by Pickles in May, leading campaigners to hope the decision could go to a public inquiry.

Now Pickles’ decision means it’s back in the hands of Greenwich Council, which now needs to hammer out what concessions Ikea needs to make to make any store work, before a detailed planning application goes in.

Of course, the biggest worry is traffic and pollution. The development’s bound to be a draw for flat-pack furniture fans from across London and Kent, yet it’s to be placed in an area which can’t cope with any more traffic. The only real proposal from Ikea to solve this was to route traffic away from the notorious Woolwich Road roundabout, sending traffic in the direction of the Millennium Village.

Any ideas? If you do, contact your local councillors – it’s time for them to earn their corn and try to ameliorate the damage their colleagues have caused.

11 comments

  1. ThePirateKing

    A great shame that a very few men on the planning board have the lone power to make decisions that will effect the lives of many people in a negative way. The public don’t elect the planning board yet the less-than-a dozen people on it have the power to completely foul up the area.
    Letting IKEA build there will add massive amounts of traffic to the Woolwich Road.

  2. tabby316

    This area is already at gridlock on a regular basis with high pollution levels. It is very wrong to go ahead with such a scheme when everyone knows what the result will be-huge numbers of people in cars all heading for IKEA at weekends and bank holidays.

  3. Chris

    There’s one half of me that says let them go ahead. Traffic will be an absolute disaster and word will spread that IKEA is a shite place to go shopping. I’m retired now, I can go onto the peninsular during the week. If I want to drive somewhere I head up the hill, not down. I already live in a place that I know (thanks to info provided by 853) is illegally full of NO2. A little bit more won’t make any difference.
    But the other half just says this is us just being pissed on again by people who can’t think things through and don’t really care about what local residents think.
    This will not come back to haunt me, but if the IKEA does lead to less traffic, then it’s my Panama hat for supper.

  4. Trevor

    maybe we need to demonstrate what a full car park decamping on match day looks like in terms of congestion.

  5. Daniel Ingram-Fletcher

    I live on Combedale Road which is a stone’s throw from the Woolwich Roundabout. Already a major source of pollution and incredibly congested, this decision is unfathomable and I cannot believe that a development of this size has been allowed to get to this stage. I just hope if enough of us make our objections known, then something will be done about this. In some ways I am thankful this has happened as it has highlighted just how bad our air quality is and it is making me think long and hard about whether I want to move my family away. We live in an area full of Children and I do worry what we are exposing them to. As for the Ikea development, it’s funny how Pickles has today rejected the Smithfields development on heritage and conservation grounds, yet sees fit to leave this one to a bunch of incompetent council planners who do not acknowledge the negative impact this will have on our communities in and around the Peninsular, the loss of an eco habitat and a building of significant archaeological interest. And more importantly the potential traffic build-up of an already congested Greenwich centre – a UNESCO registered world heritage site! All for the commercial gain of a flat pack furniture store! Shame on them.

  6. Maggy May

    Greenwich as a borough likes eye catching projects and this one will surely catch the eye when the area gridlocks on a regular basis. Somehow I don’t think this is what they intend but it will happen. And all for jobs that are not guaranteed. You couldn’t make this lot up!

  7. a newt

    The Council’s final decision following the Government’s decision not to intervene can be appealed. Appeal is to the Planning Inspectorate. Personally, an Aldi or Lidl or space for small local independent retailers would be far better than an Ikea.

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