More than 1,000 people visited exhibitions about IKEA’s proposals for the east end of Sheffield.
The company spelled out the details during two days at the Millennium Gallery in the city centre and one at Tinsley Community Centre, nearer the suggested location, off Sheffield Road, next to Meadowhall Retail Park.
Project manager Ian Nicholson said: “We knew there would be a high level of interest in our plans, so we are thrilled by the number of people who dropped in to give us their views. Many visitors told us that they wanted to see the investment in Sheffield, they wanted the job creation and they wanted to be able to shop at IKEA without travelling to Leeds or Nottingham.”
Leaflets are being distributed to 10,000 households, and comments can still be made through the IKEA website.
It is expected a planning application will be submitted to the council in a few weeks, following the intensive campaign by the company to make its case for a store in Sheffield, an ambition it has been pursuing for more than ten years.
A groundswell of public support appears to have been generated, with the council under pressure to back the project, especially after criticism of its rejection of a big Next Home and Garden store alongside Meadowhall.
But obstacles remain, notably the effect on the city centre and on traffic in the east end.
In particular, the Government’s Highways Agency will have to be satisfied that traffic around Junction 34 will not snarl up at peak times.
Residents have raised concerns about worse traffic fumes.
A council verdict could be reached before Christmas.