IKEA is coming to Calcot

Published: 4 Apr 2012 22:1416 comments

PLANS for a multi million pound IKEA superstore in Calcot have been approved.

The long-awaited proposal to replace derelict buildings at Pincents Lane Retail

Park with the Swedish retailer, which is famous for its flat-pack furniture, was given the green light by planning bosses at a tense four-and-a-half hour meeting tonight. But the planning officer is under strict instructions to tear up the agreement if IKEA does not complete a legal agreement by August.

The decision was met with sighs of disappointment from a 60-strong audience, but cheers from the developers.

The dramatic meeting at Theale Green Community School included impassioned speeches from representatives from parish councils, Sainsbury's, motorists and campaign groups - prompting impromptu rounds of applause from members of the public. But planning bosses argued the promise of 400 new jobs and £5m road improvements was too good to turn down.

The approval by West Berkshire Council's Eastern Area Planning Committee comes despite more than 200 letters of objection, and motorists' grave concerns about the impact of traffic on already congested roads.

The development will cover four hectares with the store sitting to the north of Pincents Lane, opposite a 1,287-space car park and areas for buses and coaches. The two areas will be linked by an overhead walkway.

The plans, submitted in February last year, won the support of Reading Borough Council in June but West Berkshire Council had the final say tonight.

For full story and reaction see next week's Reading Midweek.

Jump to first paragraph.

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  • Jack Nillion
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 05:26
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    Another great reason to come to Reading.... Not only will more jobs be created it shows that many new business's want to invest in our lovely City... Sorry Town...

    Recommend?   Yes 52     No 9

  • Marie Randall
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 07:33
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    I dont disapprove of Ikea coming to Calcot, I think it will be great for the town of Reading for jobs etc, however as a resident I have great concerns over traffic and the fact that all the roundabouts are going and traffic lights will replace it. Also the fact that it seems funny the proposal got turned down last year from West Berks as only 1.5 million was on the table for the TMS and yet now 5 million is on the table is gets approved especially when it saves West Berks forking out. I attended the meeting on Monday night and nothing was mentioned about the new Fire Station that got the approval two weeks ago, also we are going to have to put up with 6 months of roadworks and lorries, dirt and rubble on the roads that can lead to punchures as debris is not cleared up correctly. I also have grave concerns as to the H&S of the construction site as there are a lot of children in the area that would think a construction site would be a great place to play. None of the above seems to have been addressed in my eyes.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 46

  • Roddy - from Calcot
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 09:34
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    Over the past 18 months I have seen all the changes taking place to build the IKEA store, viewed all the plans and followed it every step of the way. I am very happy that the store will go ahead and bring so much more to Reading. I understand that most residents concerns are traffic related issues, but also not forgetting that the traffic is bad enough as it stands at the moment, and most importantly the current traffic issues will be made so much better than they are now. This is not just improving the area for IKEA but also for the retail area, and sava centre as well. We could go on forever about the disruption it will cause to have this infrastructure built, but if you live in the reading area You should be used to it by now. IKEA are not going to build anywhere where they think there will be traffic or access issues. Especially if it is a nightmare getting in or out because customers will not return, remember they are experts in this field. I look forward to the opening day and give them my full support. Well done. IKEA.

    Recommend?   Yes 37     No 10

  • The Badger
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 09:55
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    "...there are a lot of children in the area that would think a construction site would be a great place to play".

    This is hardly a planning issue; just poor parenting. If parents would actually look after their children rather than breeding latchkey ASBO/ADHD types (or spending all day in the nearest Wetherspoon's establishment) it would be to the benefit of all...

    Recommend?   Yes 56     No 4

  • mischievous
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 10:40
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    Say goodbye to the town centre and to independent retailers. Swedish meatballs and more cloning is what is in-store. Tesco, IKEA - why would any business want to move here now?

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 27

  • No thx Ikea
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 13:12
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    Response to Marie Randall - your most valid point is the financial aspect. The point you raise regarding children playing in the area is very weak. If a child is old enough to be in that area unsupervised - at any time, regardless of any building works being carried out, they are old enough to know what is safe & what is not. Plus, I have no doubt, there will be a strong adult presence at the site at all times!

    Response to Roddy from Calcot - you quite rightly point out that the current traffic situation is bad. I can only assume that you have not looked at the proposed infrastructure changes to deal with "Ikea traffic". Those changes will only serve to alleviate the current traffic problems we have, they won't have any impact on the, expected, 1000's of visitors to Ikea. This will result in the traffic situation being much worse than it currently is. As for your comments regarding Ikea's decision making process on where to locate a store, I can only assume you have NEVER visited an Ikea store in your life - they are renowned for having poor traffic flow.

    My perspective - I freely admit that I do not want an Ikea store of this magnitude so close to a residential area. Particularly in view of the fact that we have the biggest "white elephant" of a business park at junction 11, which already has a more than adequate road infrastructure to cope with the projected Ikea traffic. The proposed alterations to the current road infrastructure are woefully inadequate and will only serve to alleviate the current traffic issues we have. The proposed allocation of car parking spaces, given that it is also going to serve as an over-flow for Dunelm Mill, is equally inadequate given the expected number of visitors, and the fact that staff will have to park in the main car park due to the fact that the staff car park only has 36 spaces. I also feel that the residents at the Savacentre end of Dorking Way have been "Royally Shafted" by WBC as they have allowed that end of Dorking Way to become a left turn only towards the M4 - no access directly over to Savacentre or to turn right on to the A4.............ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY IKEA, and all the palms they have greased & the back pockets they have stuffed..!!!

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 14

  • Cacot resident
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 13:50
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    One thing I can't understand is why no-one has suggested opening up (and improving) the northern access through Pincents Lane. Okay, it would go past a school, but where in Tilehurst isn't there a school?

    This would also cut the travel distance if arriving from the North and would provide an alternative route between tilehurst and the M4, reducing congestion on the A4 between the Langley Hill junction and the M4.

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 11

  • WestReadingDweller
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 14:37
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    I can understand the concerns of local residents regarding the increased traffic, however as that site was going to get redeveloped eventually anyway I'd argue that a retailer such as IKEA that opens 10am until late is preferable from a traffic perspective when compared to other businesses or residential areas that are more likely to contribute to the traditional 9am / 5.30pm rush hours.

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 2

  • Green Hat
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 17:03
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    I have no issue with IKEA coming to reading, I struggle to see how new kerbs and painted lines equate to 5 million quids worth of investment. I know they are making some changes to the junction with the bath road, looks like the mother of all road traffic light junctions... but is that really 5 million quid? maybe im just out of touch with these things.. junction 11 was 65million quid... but that did have loads of bridges etc and loads of new roads..

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 0

  • Red Shirt
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 17:12
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    Green, that probably has something to do with our wonderful local councillors/council. Throwing money away is their chosen speciality. When they aren't bickering amongst themselves via twitter or acting like children that is...

    Recommend?   Yes 13     No 1

  • Fords Farm blogger
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 17:20
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    Over 200 objections to this development and yet again our West Berkshire councillors have chosen to ignore the people they purport to represent. If our elected members are so keen for Ikea to come to West Berkshire why don't they offer a suitable site closer to Newbury. It seems that those of us who live to the east of the M4 corridor will continue to be neglected by our local authority. Perhaps it is time for the electoral boundaries to be redrawn so that those of us who are to the east of the M4 are part of Reading. I can't help thinking that if this were the case we would get a much better deal from our elected members than we currently do!

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 4

  • leakie
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 18:32
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    Pincents lane would never be opened up. Its too small and the residents on the lane would object alot. I just can't see it happening.

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 2

  • Theale Resident
    Unregistered User
    Apr 6, 12:30
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    I would love to know how many of the above comments are authentic, and how many are friends of the developers. Or is this being too cynical?

    First, let me day that I really like IKEA, and their minimalistic styles. And I can strongly recommend their restaurant meatballs. Delicious.

    But here is the simple truth -- those living in the area, or anyone trying to pass through this area, especially at weekends, will come to bitterly regret this decision. I speak from experience. I have lived close to two IKEA stores that opened while there. The traffic chaos these stores cause is something you have NEVER witnessed before. Residents of western Reading / Theale and beyond will soon start to change their entire lifestyles to accommodate this store. If you want to nip out to the Savacentre for half an hour on a Saturday -- forget it. Believe me, you will be stuck in your car for hours.

    You think I'm exaggerating? You just wait and see.

    Even worse is the totally inadequate road infrastructure that exists around the site. Even the motorways around the Leeds IKEA used to come to a standstill at weekends. Imagine the poor old A4! Imagine Theale High St as people try to use it as a cut-through!

    I've lived in Theale for 2 years, and loved it, but fortunately I'm leaving in the summer (nothing to do with IKEA - my contract at the university is coming to an end and am moving back to Bristol). But honestly, if I wasn't planning to move, I certainly would now.

    This is a classic, classic case of a decision being made by people who will benefit financially but who will not have to suffer the practical consequences of the store on their doorstep. Shame on them.

    Love IKEA; hate IKEA traffic.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 9

  • Spooky
    Unregistered User
    Apr 6, 14:28
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    "I would love to know how many of the above comments are authentic, and how many are friends of the developers. Or is this being too cynical?"

    Cynical no, paranoid yes. Do you spend most days watching the X-Files complete box-set squire?

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 3

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  • This comment has been removed by our moderation team because it didn't meet our community guidelines.

  • jmho
    Unregistered User
    Apr 10, 21:52
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    Fords Farm Blogger 'Over 200 objections to this development and yet again our West Berkshire councillors have chosen to ignore the people they purport to represent. '

    Calcot has roughly 9000 residents, take away what 2000 for children (I am probably being very generous with that figure) leaves 7000, this equates to 2% of the population of Calcot objecting. Not a lot really.

    This absolutely fantastic for Reading and Calcot.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 1

  • Matthew
    Unregistered User
    Feb 7, 15:36
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    First IKEA will be in Calcot not Reading. It will be called IKEA Calcot. Authorised by West Berkshire Council not Reading Borough Council, and why does Reading need to get involved, just like Windsor & Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury they all had a say. a lot of hidden truth behind this, like usual Reading Council like to get themselves involved with something nothing to do with them.

    Reading is a small town with a big attitude, not much to do in the town, unless you're 18 or over and a heavy drinker. The oracle is going down hill, shops are starting to disappear and being replaced by outlets. Reading need to start taking notes from Slough and Newbury, towns full of entertainment, for e.g. Slough has a ice rink, worlds best bowling ally, go karting and paintballing. Newbury has a lot to offer as well, especially the fact they are the smallest town in the county. I live in Reading but i prefer to spend my days off in Newbury and Slough, especially for my kids as they love the entertainment avaliable.

    Reading cares too much about its image and loves brag about how big they are when really Reading is tiny. Look up a map of Reading, looks big doesn't it? remove Woodley and Lower Early as they are part of Wokingham, remove Shinfield as its a village of their own, remove Calcot as its part of West Berkshire and Newbury Council. You should now be left with a rather small town, a compact town centre with no entertainment or business life. Green Park? nope sorry that's part of Shinfield and not Reading.

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 1