Outline Planning Approved
Despite an avalanche of criticism from the community and its representatives in opposition to plans for a new 33,000 square metres IKEA store in East Greenwich, the Council granted outline permission at its Planning Board meeting in March 2014.
At a long and packed public meeting, not one resident spoke in favour of the application. Plans would see the demolition of the Sainsbury’s store in Peartree way, a rare example of award winning sustainable retail architecture, as well the destruction of a nature park. A transport assessment submitted, estimated a high level of public transport usage (35%) to the new store, but residents fear these numbers simply do not stack up and the risk of constant gridlock on its roads.
Genuine concerns remain about increased traffic and air pollution, insufficient car parking provision, the addition of a massive, shed-like commercial building to the landscape and the absence of an Environmental Impact Assessment, but there seems to be no sign at present that Greenwich Council will amend its plans.
Both the Mayor of London and Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles have decided not to intervene in the decision,despite being petitioned by residents; attempts by the Twentieth Century Society to list the existing the Sainsbury’s store were turned down by English Heritage.
EGRA supports the NO IKEA campaign which is currently seeking legal advice on a judicial review of the Government’s decision not to revert the council’s decision. The Group is currently seeking £2,000 to fund initial legal fees.
We believe that a robust case still needs to be made by the applicant and tested by the Council which demonstrates beyond doubt that the plans are sustainable in terms of traffic, health and environment. East Greenwich and the Peninsular areas are both currently undergoing intense residential development which will put further strain on our roads. A robust and independent environmental impact assessment is an absolute priority.
To view the points made by EGRA at the Planning Board meeting.