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.