Devon

Exeter Ikea plan approved despite traffic concern

Ikea store front Image copyright AFP
Image caption The store will be the second biggest in Devon after Trago Mills

Outline plans for an Ikea superstore on the edge of Exeter have been approved by councillors.

A decision, which had been expected on 13 January, was delayed to give objectors more time to have their say on the proposal.

Local residents had expressed concern about the development bringing "excessive traffic".

It will be the second biggest retail store in Devon after the Trago Mills business.

Ikea said it was "delighted Exeter City Council has supported our outline planning application".

'Semi-rural location'

Ahead of the meeting, resident David Hatch described the development as being in the "wrong location".

He said: "There are more suitable places. This is a semi-rural location. The traffic is also a great worry."

The move follows the arrival of John Lewis in the city last year.

Derek Phillips from Exeter Chamber of Commerce said: "We think it's essential there are good links from the new store to the city centre.

"Otherwise the 400,000 people they are estimating will be coming to Ikea will not see what else is available in this great city."

In October, Ikea submitted an outline planning application for the new store and up to 220 homes next to the A379 and Newcourt Way.

Gillian Drakeford, country manager for Ikea UK & Ireland, said: "We considered the various comments raised by local residents to ensure that our proposals met the needs of both Ikea and the surrounding community.

"We now look forward to submitting our final plans for approval."

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