The biggest objector to plans for an Ikea in Sheffield has spoken out after the proposal was given unanimous approval.
The John Lewis store in Barker’s Pool feared the £60 million development would compete with major retailers in the city centre, drawing away trade .
But councillors at the decision meeting on Tuesday heard planners judged Ikea would not cause ‘significant adverse harm’ - a benchmark in policy.
A spokesman for John Lewis Sheffield said today: “We acknowledge the council has taken account of our concerns for the vitality of Sheffield city centre, and has reached a decision for the benefit of the wider city as a whole.”
Ikea representatives also told the three-hour meeting they wanted the new store to work alongside the city centre - and that they had offered to establish links between the two.
And they hoped the city centre would benefit from shoppers visiting the Swedish furniture store and also travelling into Sheffield.
“We would like to see the two working in tandem to benefit the city as a whole,” a store spokesman told councillors. “This major investment will be a waymarker, a catalyst, to other investors looking at Sheffield.”
The owners of Meadowhall shopping centre, MSC Property Intermediate Holding Limited, did not object to the principle of Ikea but had concerns about highway implications.
Outokumpo also asked for the plans to be deferred so more work could be carried out on the impact of extra congestion.
The application was approved by councillors unanimously - despite passionate pleas from air quality campaigners with concerns about the impact on health in Tinsley.
It must now go to Secretary of State Eric Pickles for the next stage of approval before work can begin.
Reader Patricia White said on The Star’s website: “I am so happy about the new Ikea. Not before time, I say.”
And Violet Sutcliffe said: “Yahoo!”