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Ikea could get green light for Sheffield

IkeaSheffIkea could finally open a store in Sheffield, more than a decade after its first attempt, after planning officials recommended approval.

The proposed store, near Junction 34 of the M1, would be a 'considerable asset' to Sheffield, boost the local economy, provide 700 jobs and attract extra visitors, according to a report to Sheffield City Council's planning committee.

Officials also warn that the development will add to pollution, cause traffic congestion to worsen at busy times, and have a 'marginal detrimental impact' on city centre trade.

The recommendation comes more than a year after the original application was lodged – and more than a decade since Ikea's initial plan for a Sheffield store was rejected.

Ikea will have to comply with a long list of conditions before the store opens to meet traffic and environmental concerns.

Almost £2m will have to be paid towards building the Tinsley Link Road, and £360,000 towards improvements on the northbound slip road of junction 34 on the M1. The company has also offered to pay £1.5m for further highway works if journey time delays are 'significantly worse than predicted'. A park and ride facility with 167 spaces for cars will need to be provided, along with electric charging points for customers' cars and screens providing visitors with information on pollution levels.

All home deliveries made from the store to the S1, S2, S3, S4 and S9 postcodes must be made by electric vehicles.

'Given the significant regeneration benefits, the employment and training benefits for the deprived Tinsley and Darnall communities, and the associated positive impacts on economic and social equality, the balance overall is in favour of the proposal,' says the report.

Councillors will vote on the application next Tuesday.