Work on building Sheffield’s new Ikea is expected to start in six months’ time - two years on since the store was granted planning permission.
It is understood the Swedish furniture giant is aiming to begin construction on the 37,000 sq ft superstore, in the east end of the city off Sheffield Road, Carbrook, in late spring next year.
The scheme was given conditional planning permission by Sheffield Council in June 2014, before the Government gave the final go-ahead two months later. A legal agreement was signed earlier this year.
So far Ikea has been working up detailed designs for the new outlet, as well as ensuring it can satisfy the conditions recommended by planners, including highways works to deal with increased traffic around junction 34 of the M1.
Measures are also needed to deal with concerns about air pollution. In 2014 campaigners said there were ‘strong grounds’ for a legal challenge, but a judicial review was not applied for.
A start date in late spring would coincide with the opening of another new Ikea in Reading. The £30 million ‘bus rapid transit scheme’ between Meadowhall Way and Sheffield Road, which avoids junction 34, is also on the way to completion.
Coun Leigh Bramall, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “It’s great news for the city that the Ikea board has now given the store scheme full sign off.
“We’ll be working closely with the company and Highways England to ensure the store is opened as soon as possible and meets the needs of shoppers from Sheffield and beyond.”
A spokeswoman for Ikea UK and Ireland said: “We are working closely with Sheffield Council and Highways England to develop detailed designs for the highways works, which once approved will allow us to start the Ikea development. As soon as we have this approval we will be able to confirm the timeline for the store’s opening.”
It is hoped the development could create up to 700 jobs, with 300 in construction and 400 full and part-time roles in store. The plans envisaged a two-storey store built over a 1,000-space surface car park. It will also include a café and children’s play areas.
Ikea had looked for a location in Sheffield for more than 10 years, initially considering the old Yorkshire Electricity Board depot off the Parkway.