Next public inquiry concludes - as Ikea plans submitted

Artist's impression of proposed Next Home store at Meadowhall.
Artist's impression of proposed Next Home store at Meadowhall.
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A public inquiry into the proposed Next Home and Garden store near Meadowhall has drawn to a close today - with a decision to be made in the summer.

Closing speeches from barristers on behalf of Sheffield Council - defending its refusal of planning permission - and developer British Land were made at Sheffield Town Hall.

Planning Inspector David Wildsmith adjourned proceedings to consider the evidence and said he would take ‘several weeks’ to decide whether to allow British Land’s appeal.

In his closing speech on behalf of British Land, barrister Christopher Katowski QC said: “A commendable scheme that should be welcomed has been delayed needlessly for too long. The evidence has demonstrated how ill-founded and weak the council’s case is.”

The council was defending refusal on two grounds.

Head of planning, David Caulfield, said the plan breached the council’s policy against further retail development near Meadowhall, and that another suitable site was available at St Mary’s Gate, on the edge of the city centre - currently home to a Staples office supplies store.

Meanwhile, plans for Sheffield’s proposed Ikea store have been submitted to the city council.

■ Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk and search planning application 13/01682/FUL, or call into Howden House to view the proposals.

■ Full story in tomorrow’s Star.