Traffic concerns grow over multi-million pound IKEA plan

Published: 15 Apr 2012 17:006 comments

MOTORISTS and neighbours may live to repent the decision to approve plans for a multi million pound IKEA in Calcot, an MP has warned.

The long-awaited proposal to replace rundown buildings at Pincents Lane Retail Park with a warehouse from the Swedish retailer famous for its flat-pack furniture was given the green light by planning bosses at a tense four hour meeting last week.

But Reading West MP Alok Sharma, who was in the public gallery at Theale Green School, said: "While I, and many of my constituents, have always welcomed the jobs IKEA will bring, we have had serious concerns about potential traffic congestion on local roads.

"It was a split vote on the committee and I would much rather have preferred a unanimous decision, after a review of the traffic issues highlighted by local community representatives, and allowing local residents further comfort on the traffic mitigation measures outlined.

"I very much hope IKEA's assumptions on traffic flows are right, otherwise a planning decision made in haste will be repented at leisure by local residents stuck in traffic jams."

West Berkshire Council's eastern area planning commitee approved the £10m development, which will cover four hectares, with the store sitting to the north of Pincents Lane, opposite a 1,259-space car park and areas for buses and coaches. The two areas will be linked by an overhead walkway.

Furious residents heckled representatives from IKEA, who promised it was not in their interest to cause traffic chaos, and planning councillors argued the promise of 400 new jobs and £5m major road improvements was too good to turn down. But they instructed the planning officer to tear up the agreement if IKEA does not complete a legal agreement by August.

Roger Cooper, IKEA project manager, said: "We now have to take a step back and decide how we move forward with the discussions and legal agreement."

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  • dickemery
    Unregistered User
    Apr 16, 02:30
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    surely the planners can re-route the roads there the present roads is a problem of course ikea must cover the cost but jobs are important we dont want traffic problems ?

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 24

  • Mama Duke
    Unregistered User
    Apr 16, 09:57
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    Go Mr Sharma!

    At least you genuinely care about all that happens both now and in the future in your area, unlike your counter part in East Reading who loves his sound bites but cares for little else, other than himself of course!

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 30

  • MoHamEggs
    Unregistered User
    Apr 16, 10:24
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    The problems existed before IKEA came into play and would exist with or without IKEA. This is just nimbyism with the inevitable politician jumping on the band wagon for his own personal PR agenda. Next!

    Recommend?   Yes 36     No 6

  • rh28
    Unregistered User
    Apr 16, 12:44
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    "The problems existed before IKEA came into play and would exist with or without IKEA."

    What absolute rubbish. Of course there are problems with traffic at this location already which is what makes this proposed construction all the more ludicrous. Are you seriously trying to argue that a site that is building a 1,259-space car park with areas for buses and coaches (and therefore clearly expects to fill these spaces) isn't going to generate more traffic in the area? If that is your argument then clearly you are a fool.

    Its very easy to throw the Nimby label around if you support a development but there needs to be serious thought given to how some developments will exacerbate already bad situations. And lets also remember this development is right by an motorway junction so will MoHamEggs still be shouting Nimby when it becomes impossible for any motorists to either enter or exit the M4?

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 27

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  • ralfhouse
    Unregistered User
    Apr 18, 14:54
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    build another M4 junction IKEA can pay for.Hope it last longer than their furniture.

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 4

  • Hairpin
    Unregistered User
    Apr 27, 14:35
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    Why is everyone moaning about the traffic situation the shop is only open after rush hour in the morning . Evenings may present a problem i just dont care i walk or catch a bus and time is illrelivant and its not my petrol diesel burning . Yes I have a full time job and work a standard working week I agree our MP is out of touch with the population who put him in Westminster

    Recommend?   Yes 0     No 2