Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Asked for the IKEA application to be "called in" for decision by the Secretary of State

I have sent the following request for the IKEA planning application to be "called in" to be decided by the Secretary of State. If successful, the decision by West Berkshire council's Eastern Area Planning Committee will be disregarded and the decision will be made by the Secretary of State after a public inquiry. Please note that this is rather a long shot!


I hereby request that the following planning application is called in for determination by the Secretary of State:

West Berkshire Council application 11/00218/COMIND
Erection of a Class A1 retail store with associated car parking, landscaping, servicing and access arrangements.
Land at the Berkshire Retail Park, Pincents Lane, Calcot, Reading.
IKEA Properties Investments Ltd.

The application is for a 39,612 square metre IKEA store with associated 1,179 space multi-storey car park. The site is close to Junction 12 of the M4 motorway.

Grounds for request:


  • The store would attract customers from within a radius of about 50 miles, threatening the viability of numerous town centre shopping areas.
  • The nature of goods sold in the store would mean that almost all customers would travel to the store by private car. This means that the proposal is not a sustainable one.
  • The site of the proposed store is just inside the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the 22.5 metre height of the blue coloured store would affect views into the AONB from nearby public footpaths, public open space and the M4 motorway.
  • Although it is proposed to extend one bus service to the store, the site is otherwise difficult to reach by public transport. This means that most of the 400 employees would travel to work using privater cars, reducing sustainability further.
  • The large amount of traffic that would be generated would cause congestion on the M4 motorway and on roads leading from nearby Reading, in addition to local roads.
  • The proposed store is not of high quality design, as required by the NPPF.
-- 
Kind Regards,
Alan Macro
Member for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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