Plans for a £60m IKEA store in the east end of Sheffield go on display tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday - with a groundswell of support already emerging.
Online comment on the scheme for the former Tinsley Wire site off Sheffield Road, has been overwhelmingly positive.
Many observers see the council’s response as test of its ambitions for the city.
The Chamber of Commerce is also welcoming the prospect of a major investment and 400 jobs, and Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP ramped up the pressure this week by saying: “It is quite clear that Sheffielders are overwhelmingly in favour of this opportunity for new investment and jobs”.
An online petition has been launched in support of IKEA.
As the big debate continues with an exhibition at the Millennium Gallery in the city centre, the council is preparing to assess the details in terms of the impact on traffic around Junction 34A of the M1 and the city centre.
It continues to work on a deal with Sevenstone retail quarter developers Hammerson, which includes a new John Lewis department store.
There was an indication of concern from John Lewis this week, with the company saying the prospect of another major shop at Meadowhall “seems completely at odds with the council’s priority to strengthen the city centre”.
Meanwhile, a group campaigning for better air quality in the east end of Sheffield says the proposed IKEA is a “hammer blow” for residents .
See page 14 of today’s Telegraph for The big debate.