Way now clear for Ikea to open West Berkshire store
In April, West Berkshire Council granted the Swedish flat-pack firm planning permission to build a new store off junction 12 of the M4 in Calcot.
However the application was then referred to the department for Communities and Local Government by West Berkshire councillor Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale), but in September the council’s original decision was upheld.
Then in November, Sainsbury’s, which has a supermarket next to Ikea’s proposed store in Pincents Lane, requested a judicial review into the application due to concerns about potential increased traffic.
But now Sainsbury’s has withdrawn its request for a judicial review, spokeswoman for the company, Michelle Dix confirmed: “We are pleased to confirm that following discussions with Ikea and West Berkshire Council, our concern has been addressed and as such we have withdrawn our legal challenge.”
However Sainsbury’s refused to reveal details of the agreement made with Ikea.
Project manager for the proposed Ikea store in Calcot, Roger Cooper added: “We are pleased to say that we have found an agreement with our neighbours Sainsbury’s and they have now withdrawn their appeal for a judicial review. We are continuing to make preparations for the start of the development of the new Ikea store in Calcot.”
The Swedish firm is yet to announce an open date for the new store, but groundwork has begun, with a number of existing buildings being demolished to make way for the store.
District councillor for Theale, Mr Macro said: “I, along with many residents of Theale and Calcot, have been very concerned about the effect of the extra traffic attracted by the Ikea Calcot store on the already congested road network in the area. I had hoped that the judicial review would cause these effects to be looked at again and require Ikea invest more in the roads to better cope with the extra traffic. Unfortunately, it now looks like that is not now going to happen.”
The new store (plans above) is proposed to be 40,000 sq m, with a 1,179-space multi-storey car park, café, crèche facilities and a bus interchange area.