Meadowhall objects to new Ikea store on traffic grounds

Swedish furniture brand Ikea’s plans to open an out-of-town store in Sheffield have hit a stumbling block after shopping centre giant Meadowhall wrote to the planning authorities at Sheffield Council, lodging an objection.

Original traffic surveys “inadequate”

The complaint has come from Meadowhall owners, MSC Property Holdings, which says that an interim traffic survey and assessment has been inadequate and does not provide enough detailed information for traffic and public transport impacts to be properly assessed.

Ikea’s stores are extremely popular and roads to and from out-of-town stores are busy, particularly at weekends and bank holidays. Ikea’s plan is for a 37,000 sq. ft. store which would serve Sheffield and the surrounding area.

Whilst MSC Property Holdings is particularly concerned about the lack of information on traffic build up on Saturdays – a key trading day for Meadowhall, its objections have come shortly after those of the John Lewis Partnership, which has a store in the city centre and has said that an out-of-town Ikea would damage trade in the city centre.

Traffic pressure on M1

The site selected by Ikea is close enough to the M1 for additional traffic to put pressure on the motorway, and The Highways Agency has also voiced concern and issued a notice which may delay the planning process.

Sheffield City Council leader, Councillor Julie Dore said that traffic management and transport links would be a consideration in the planning process and that Ikea may be asked to contribute to road or transport improvements in order to achieve planning permission.

Meadowhall sits next to the M1 as it goes past Sheffield and has contributed to traffic problems in the past, particularly at peak shopping times including Christmas and sale periods. The centre’s management will be concerned that thousands of additional shoppers coming to other stores may dissuade people from travelling to Meadowhall itself.

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