Clegg leads welcome as Ikea superstore comes step nearer

DEPUTY PRIME Minister Nick Clegg has led cross-party support for Sheffield’s new furniture superstore as it moves a step closer to reality.

The Sheffield Hallam MP welcomed news of the city council’s recommendation to approve Ikea’s £60m proposal for a branch in the Carbrook area following a long, drawn-out debate over the proposals.

Planning officers opted to support the well-known brand despite concerns over pollution, stating it would play a key role in Sheffield’s regeneration.

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The promise of 700 jobs was enough to outweigh the negative impacts on air quality in, according to a report prepared ahead of the council’s planning and highways committee meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Clegg said: “I’m pleased that city planners have finally given the green light to Ikea after months of dither and delay.

“Although these plans will still need to be approved by the council’s planning board, it looks like 700 much-needed jobs will soon be coming to Sheffield.”

The Labour MP for Sheffield South East, Clive Betts, has also expressed his support for an Ikea store in the city.

Mr Betts said: “Like many people in Sheffield, I would like an Ikea to be built here. It would clearly be much better to shop locally rather than drive to Nottingham or Leeds.”

While Ikea is likely to be given the green light on the application at next week’s meeting, more than a decade since the company’s initial plan for a store off the Parkway was rejected, bosses will have to meet strict conditions.

Officers have demanded a park and ride facility with 167 spaces for cars, along with electric charging points for customers’ cars and screens providing visitors with information on pollution levels. Recommendations also stipulate that home deliveries from the store to a handful of Sheffield postcodes must be made by electric vehicles.

The company has also offered funding of £1.5m for further highway works if disruption is worse than predicted.