Ikea is on the verge of being given council permission for a store in the east end of Sheffield.
A scheme to develop a site near Meadowhall has won the support of city planners, even though they have concerns over increasing traffic and the effect on health.
They also predict a marginal detrimental impact on trade in the city centre.
But a planners’ report says: “The negative impacts need to be balanced against the positive impacts of the proposal in order to come to a balanced decision.”
There would be ‘undoubted regeneration benefits’ and ‘it is considered these should be given significant weight in the current economic climate’, the planners say.
But they add: “The jobs and training are likely to particularly benefit the local deprived communities of Tinsley and Darnall, which will help to address social and economic inequalities and help offset some of the health impacts.
“The significant investment and spending generated by the scheme will benefit the local economy and plug the current leakage of expenditure from the city.
“The development is likely to attract additional visitors to the city, including to other retail, sporting and cultural facilities in the Lower Don Valley and, to a lesser extent, cultural facilities in the city centre.”
The proposed £60 million store will create an estimated 700 jobs.
The prospect of an Ikea on the old Tinsley Wire site off Sheffield Road, between Meadowhall retail park and Meadowhall, has been welcomed by many local residents, who see it as a test of Sheffield’s ambitions as a major retail destination.
But opposition has come from environmental health campaigners.
John Lewis has also lodged a protest on the basis a large out-of-town retail development would have an ‘unacceptable impact on the city centre’.
One of the proposed conditions of planning permission is that Ikea contributes £360,000 towards improving the traffic merging at the junction 34 north slip road.
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